In a number of threads on the dope, the topic of the US’ relative status comes up, usually in the context of whether the US is still the A Number 1 bestest country (and, my opinion remains that US hegemony was only ever going to be temporary, and it’s inevitable that the US will become just one powerful nation among several).
But, events like the Covid pandemic, where the US has done objectively worse than the rest of the developed world, with hundreds of thousands dying, and yet many americans are in denial about it, show there is something very “special” about the US right now. Examples like this may suggest an actual decline is on the cards, not merely other nations joining the superpower club.
Let’s say the US goes into full decline; that it eventually ends up something like Russia today, with a powerful military and bags of national pride, but an under-achiever in almost every other respect.
What will have been the primary causes?
Of course Trump is the proximate cause right now. But many other issues with the US e.g. healthcare, gun violence, misinformation etc, predate him. And of course, Trump has needed a political party, other branches of government, and at least a third of the electorate behind him to enable him to do everything that he has.