Quote Originally Posted by dcarrigg View Post
The thing is, there's kind of two USAs, right? There's the one the vast, vast majority know and interact with every day. Then there's the kids whose drivers bring them to fancy college classes in a Rolls where the grading system's rigged and even showing up doesn't matter; the few who are too big to fail, jail, or bring into line in any way. Any warning signs I'm seeing are not coming from anywhere that 99.99% or so of the population deals with or sees. My tailor's a friend. He was conscripted into the soviet army, as was standard. He has some stooge antics. I've got no doubt you've heard some better. Corruption's a notoriously hard thing to measure comparatively. Transparency puts out the corruption perceptions index which tries to do it. The trajectory the US has taken in recent years is not good, even if it's a long way to the bottom.
I agree that there is a lot that the US needs to address, and being the least worst among the larger nations shouldn't be a goal.

My hope is that the rise of left leaning populists such as Warren and Ocasio-Cortez, and the success of Trump, puts the elite establishment - both Democrat and Republicans of the government and business establishment - on a path to self correction.

It's happened before in the US - the guilded age turned into the progressive era, and the roaring twenties into the New Deal. They weren't peaceful transitions, but neither were they catastrophic on the scale of the French Revolution or Bolshevik uprising. Few countries in the world have that ability to self correct. It just takes time.

So yes, even though I say things aren't that bad in the US, comparatively speaking - they do need to change. And I'm actually glad that Trump won and that Ocasio-Cortez and Warren are rising. These are forces that push back the pendulum. They are warning signs - symptoms - that are always heeded by the US elite, historically speaking.

At least I hope so.