Is the US in serious trouble, trouble so bad that our survival as a nation is very much in question?

The statement in the title was mentioned by a poster in a BBQ thread. Since there was no elaboration there by the person making the statement, and I’m not “calling out” him or her, I see no point to link to it.

Does anybody feel the same way? I do not. There’s problems certainly, as there always are, but I do not feel the that the survival of the US as a nation is anywhere near being threatened. Anybody disagree?




I think you need to define “survive as a nation.”

Another year or two of *American Idol *and I might lean toward “yes”.


Posters are invited to provide any definition of “survive as a nation” as they see fit in order to answer the question in title.

There are two parts to the OP’s question. My answer is: yes, we are in serious trouble. No, our survival as a nation is not “very much in question”. Not at this time, anyway.

It does seem to me that we are heading in some not so super-jiffy directions that could take us down an irreversibly terminal path, but the final stop of that path is still a ways off. I suppose that every generation has felt that way at times.

[Chief Wiggam] Yes.

Um, I mean No. [/Chief Wiggam]

I don’t think we’re close to a revolution or anything of that magnitude. I do believe people are becoming bitter at their government and massive protests like during the 60’s aren’t far off. I don’t think this is the end of our country as we know it, but I do think the people are going to start applying pressure for change.

We survived the 60s, the 30s, the civil war, etc.

Even a nation like Iran which underwent mass social upheaval to bring the Shah to power (I think), to bring him down, and now against the ayatollahs. France underwent a string of revolutions around the Napoleonic times. But neither was or is technically in trouble of breaking up as a nation as far as I know. My point is even when countries are so troubled that they make fundamental transitions in how the government works, generally the nation as a concept itself survives.

I think these times are going to start changing our character and direction as a nation and result in mass unrest, but the survival itself isn’t really in question.

No, but I am disturbed by the violence advocated against our government by some on the right. I have been disturbed by those on the left too (the anti-globalists say), but the right seems to have cranked it up a few notches and are becoming ever more public in their lunacy.

I don’t think “survive as a nation” lends itself to much interpretation, unless you want to distort the terms “survive” and “nation” beyond reason.

Massive protests about what? I can’t think of any issue now that angers and excites people anywhere close to the way Civil Rights and the Vietnam War did in the 60’s.

The fact that the US government seems to represent corporate interests. This actually motivates some of the anger the tea party feels (aside from race and fear of novelty) as well as the left.

I didn’t live through the 60s, so I have no idea if the anger then was a lot higher than it is now though.

The problem I see in the USA is lack of compromise. Politics is about compromise, only a dictator can have it all their own way. It says something about how messed up the system is when a party with the presidency and majorities in both houses, 59% of the senate, cannot get a bill passed that is basic party policy.

It used to be that the people in congress were capable of compromise. Now we see situations like fanatics in the Republican party promising to work against their own people next election (primaries) if theyshow a hint of comromise. Look how an originally relative moderate like McCain was forced to adopt more right-wing policies to have a fighting chance of winning the election…

I saw an interview with Bill CLinton a few months ago - they asked him about the recent election, and he said something like this: It used to be, about 80% of the voters were confirmed Republican or Democrate (fairly even) and the fight was to woo the remaining 20%. Now, he says, the persuadable group is down to 10%.

This is the crisis I see. I doubt the USA will fall apart, but it may sink lower economically and politically.Government has to be big; it has to provide health care, along with education, roads, police, etc. Every other developed nation does. The USA has a peculiar history where it has avoided the welfare state and medicare - to some extent(!!). That implies big government, and there’s no way around it. Medicare and education will account for 50% of government spending. It has to be paid for by taxes. The VAT in most european countries is 15% or higher, and income taxes commensurately high. Canadian GST and PST combined is about 12% depending on province.

Will the voters see this in time.

Serious trouble? Don’t know. I figure we’ll bumble through whatever happens–I doubt America is going to end up fracturing into a half dozen rival countries, or everyone in it dying, or it falling into the sea.

I do think that America as an idea is very much in jeopardy–one of its defining tendencies is that it’s supposed to be the city on the hill, the last great hope for human civilization. That’s going to become more and more untenable, as other countries play catch up, both politically and economically.

That said, I think that’s going to happen anyway, regardless of whether politicians of a certain party continue on their hellbent quest to win at any cost or if they start acting patriotically for the best of the country. The end result will be similar, just a question of degree–in the 22nd century, do we want to be Britain or do we want to be Argentina?

The Empire has crumbled, that’s for sure.

Oh we’ll survive. As long as you don’t mind the fact that they’ll be taking down the Statue of Liberty and replacing it with a statue of Mao Zedong.

I do think we are in for some very difficult times ahead, and I think they are centered around managing expectations.

For all of the nation’s history, there was growing economic opportunity for all. Each year, each generation was better than the one before, by and large. And I think there is a realization that were are in, or rapidly heading toward, a bit of a net sum zero society. The national treasure is no longer expanding as it had. And with that realization comes the currently selfishness that we have now, which is rapidly undermining us a nation and society.