Here’s a Puzzle

I believe America is dead. The constitutional experiment of our nation’s founding has failed.

All of us who live within the legal boundaries of the Union are therefore at great risk. Civil war and external aggression against us are all but certain.

The puzzle to be solved is this: How can the hypothesis of America’s death be proved or disproved?

58 thoughts on “Here’s a Puzzle

  1. It is up to you to provide the evidence that your very gloomy “hypothesis” is true.

    Here is a hint to get you started . . . Your preferred candidate for President being soundly defeated in a very high participation and well-run election is NOT evidence of the death of which you speak.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What we are in danger of is not insurrection but a government which simply ignores the Rule of Law and gets away with it.

      There is no group of revolutionaries nearly so dangerous as an unrestrained government.

      Like

      1. What planet are you from? Our government has been and remains severely restrained.

        If anything, we are harming ourselves greatly with so many years of divided and powerless government. The inability to respond effectively to challenging situations is a major weakness of our system. We should somehow take a page out of the books of parliamentary democracies where the Executive and Legislative work together instead of at cross purposes so much of the time. Then, when a government fails, the people can let someone else have a go. All we get when there is failure is finger pointing and very little changes.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. CONCLUSION

            “I believe America is dead. The constitutional experiment of our nation’s founding has failed.”

            More to the point no reasonable or credible reason to believe your assertions. You made them as categorical statements but, when asked, have failed to support them in any way. So, off the scale on the empty blather spectrum.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I do not accept your “analysis” of the difference between us. It is not even close. But, even if that statement is correct, it is not evidence to support your view that we are in danger from an unrestrained government.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I remain hopeful that we might get by with a shrug.

    The “Progressives” were really just as bad in the 1930s . Then the Great Depression came along and stopped them.

    “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” G. Michael Hopf

    I am afraid it will take some hard times, but fortunately we can make those in a controlled manner. All it would take would be for the remaining capitalists to close their businesses and take a month off at the same time to deliver the message that government can’t provide for their needs.

    Like

  3. “ All it would take would be for the remaining capitalists to close their businesses and take a month off at the same time to deliver the message that government can’t provide for their needs.”

    We just did that for most of a year.

    PS:

    A corollary to your quote that I have always liked:

    When there is plenty of food, there are lots of problems. When there is no food, there is only one problem.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. You need to define what you mean by “America is dead”.

    We just had an election with very high participation and vigorous campaigning on strong issues. The vast majority of Americans have food, shelter, growing wages and mostly adequate access to healthcare and education. People can worship how they want without persecution. Unless you are poor, justice is decent if spotty. You can call out, ridicule, insult and attack government policies and officials with impunity.

    A complaint is that conservatives don’t get the respect by liberals they feel is warranted.

    Civil War for that?

    Why?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. RE: “You need to define what you mean by ‘America is dead’.”

      The constitutional experiment of our nation’s founding has failed.

      Like

        1. Mr. Rothman asked for a definition. My answer was to repeat the definition given in the original post.

          Also from the original post: The puzzle to be solved is this: How can the hypothesis of America’s death be proved or disproved?

          Like

      1. How has it failed? Just saying so does not make it so.

        As bad as 1/6 was, it was resolved, Congress was able to fulfill its Constitutional requirements in the face of extreme violence fomented by ignorance. Ignorance being the idea that the VP could pick election winners. Purposeful misdirection by our own president.

        Arrests and justice will prevail.

        McConnell tried hard through several presidents to make the experiment a failure. His success is not good. Obama was a two term president despite the GOP’s best efforts. Similarly, Trump got booted.

        Yes, we have problems but looking past the conservative hype and it’s best efforts to create a self-fulfilling prophecy of destroying our democratic Republic, we are doing quite well.

        IMHANO (in my humble and non-expert opinion).

        Liked by 2 people

          1. “What would you accept as evidence?”

            Uh, evidence that it has failed.

            Let’s be honest, shall we. You started with a with a very categorical statement – “America is dead” and then followed it up with more of the same – ““The constitutional experiment of our nation’s founding has failed.”

            Now when challenged to defend these statements with some kind of reason or evidence you shuck and jive like there is not tomorrow. Sorry to report, that is a clear sign of empty blather but the kind of empty blather that can be dangerous when shitheads decide to act on it by, say, trying to overthrow the government.

            Like

          2. Providing evidence is your responsibility after your posits in the post. Prove it has failed and we may have a debate. Saying it has failed and for anyone else to prove the negative is just a rant.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. “What would you accept as evidence?”

            Seeing as you have provided none, it is hard to say whether it is acceptable or not. Or more accurately, proven or debunked.

            Like

      2. “The constitutional experiment of our nation’s founding has failed.”

        I don’t agree. The Constitution was drafted to codify rule by elite consensus with as little participation as possible from “The Great Beast,” as Hamilton called us. That fundamental framework remains intact.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. “The “Progressives” were really just as bad in the 1930s . Then the Great Depression came along and stopped them.”

    Uh, a little bit of actual history for you . . .
    The Great Depression started in 1929 on the watch of GOP President Herbert Hoover.
    The “Progressives” came to power in 1933.
    Over the next few years they implemented “The New Deal” which gradually returned vitality to the economy.
    Progressives stopped the Great Depression NOT the other way around.

    With all due respect your statement quoted above is complete ahistorical nonsense.

    With that said, I share your optimism. We have survived jackassery as a nation in the past and came out stronger on the other side. We got past McCarthyism. We will get past Trumpism.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. uh, a little more actual history . . .
        Wilson ended his Presidency in 1921. He was followed by extremely conservative Republicans until FDR became President in 1933. Why you bring him up now in defense of your nonsense statement about the Great Depression in the 1930s is a mystery.

        Did they not have any liberal arts requirements in dental school? How could anyone with any kind of education claim that the Great Depression stopped the Progressives?

        This exchange is now kind of typical. You make truthy sounding pronouncements totally divorced from reality and then, when called on the nonsense, start blowing irrelevant smoke.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No, you just don’t want to see the point.

          The Constitution has been under assault before and we recovered. Wilson started in 1913 and finished in 1921, it takes a while for judicial appointments to do their harm. FDR would not have gotten away with his expansion of government but for the start Wilson gave him.

          But Wilson’s rhetoric would easily be confused with AOC were it not for the education she lacks. The hatred for the Rule of Law is the same

          Like

          1. “The Constitution has been under assault before and we recovered.”

            What was the ideal time in American history–the time most closely associated with the correct way the country should be run? Immediately after the signing of the Constitution? Pre-Civil War? Pre-Federal Reserve? Are you an Articles of Confederation guy?

            Liked by 2 people

          2. “No, you just don’t want to see the point.”

            You flatter yourself.

            You are lamely trying to defend your initial nonsense statement with shifting arguments and shifting timeframes.

            Once again, here is the actual point you are trying to dodge . . . Progressives stopped the Great Depression, the Great Depression did NOT stop the progressives as you initially claimed. Again I wonder did they have not liberal arts requirements at dental school? A little general education to go with the technical materials? Where do you get such “history?”

            Liked by 1 person

          3. AOC does NOT lack education or talent. In fact, she is one of the brightest people in Congress. In high school she was a finalist in the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Then, in spite of personal tragedies and financial hardships she graduated Cum Laude from Boston University with her degree in both International Relations and Economics. At age 29 she became the youngest Congress woman in history and did so by mobilizing a grass roots effort to remove an entrenched establishment Democrat. As a member of Congress she has demonstrated again and again her work ethic, diligence and raw intelligence in her committee assignments.

            I know it is common in “conservative” circles to denigrate her intelligence and education. But why embarrass yourself by repeating easily refuted nonsense?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez

            Liked by 1 person

          4. “WW2 Stopped the Great Depression”

            Not to quibble but the consensus of Economic history is that the Great Depression was over in this country by 1939. This graph of real GDP shows that the economy had recovered by about 1937 and was strongly recovering by 1939

            https://tinyurl.com/s5rcy8j

            But sure, the massive government spending caused by war put the final nail in the coffin.

            Note on this chart the robust growth thoughout the 1950’s – a time of high taxes on the wealthy, strong unions and new government regulations and infrastructure projects.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. RE: “How could anyone with any kind of education claim that the Great Depression stopped the Progressives?”

          Easily. There’s a historical period called the Progressive Era which ended in the 1920s. Many radical ideologies of the period soon became unfashionable — especially during the Great Depression.

          Like

          1. “Many radical ideologies of the period soon became unfashionable — especially during the Great Depression.”

            Mr. Roberts, with all due respect, this is laughable. The pain and economic dislocation of the Great Depression made “radical ideologies” far more attractive, not less. It was a time when other countries turned to fascism and communism. We turned to the New Deal which was a revival of Progressivism after it had faded in the Roaring Twenties.

            What is known as the Progressive Era was ended earlier by the prosperity and good times of the Roaring Twenties. Conservatives controlled the government from 1921 – 1933.

            I happen to know a little about this period because the fortunes of the Progressive Movement during the 1920s was the subject of my son’s PhD thesis at Columbia University. You can download it here . . . https://tinyurl.com/y4d7d37u

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “The pain and economic dislocation of the Great Depression made “radical ideologies” far more attractive, not less.”

            Can you possibly stay on topic? I answered your question, “How could anyone with any kind of education claim that the Great Depression stopped the Progressives?”

            An educated person would know that the Progressive Era ended just as the Great Depression started. Moreover, the New Deal was never sold to the public as socialism.

            Like

          3. Mr. Roberts, you are beyond hopeless.

            I stayed on topic by refuting your alternative facts supporting Tabor’s ass backwards claim.

            “An educated person would know that the Progressive Era ended just as the Great Depression started.”

            No, it did not. The Progressive Era ended with the election of 1920. The Conservatives took over the government and the Roaring Twenties were on. It was NINE more years until the Great Depression kicked off.

            The New Deal was not sold as “socialism.” However it was labelled as such constantly by the Republicans who tried to stop it.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. RE: “The Progressive Era ended with the election of 1920.”

            The encyclopedia I consulted before posting gives 1916 as the end year, but adds the period spanned the 1890s to the 1920s.

            RE: “The New Deal was not sold as ‘socialism.’ However it was labelled as such constantly by the Republicans who tried to stop it.”

            Exactly. Socialism had become unpopular.

            Like

          5. Being labeled as socialism is NOT the same thing as actually being socialism.

            I am surprised that Dr. Semantics missed that one.

            And social democracy is a more apt description of what progressives today are looking to accomplish. But the right wing HAS to label it as “socialism” because of big scary things in Venezuela.

            Fear porn at its finest.

            Like

          6. “Exactly. Socialism had become unpopular.”

            Actually, it had not.

            Uh, try thinking a little harder. FDR won. Decisively. In spite of the Republicans labelling the New Deal as “socialism,” the Democrats won the election of 1932 in a landslide, increased their control in 1934 and 1936 and FDR went on to become our first four time President. In 1936 FDR got 61% of the popular vote and won every state except Maine and Vermont.

            In 1932 the Socialist Party got 5% of the Presidential vote. In 1936 Huey Long was thinking of running on a “Share our Wealth” platform and polling then showed he could get 15% of the vote.

            Also try applying a little common sense. When is the public going to be more receptive to “radical ideas” – when everyone is prosperous (the 1920s) or when everyone is poor (the 1930s)?

            Liked by 1 person

  6. “America” has been many things throughout its relatively short history. The America you all grew up in–the time of high wages, worker protections, and widespread prosperity (relatively speaking) is in a coma, if not dead. Drawing direct parallels to history is always reductive, but the position of global hegemon has always been temporary. At a certain point, spending money perpetually expanding the frontier comes at the cost of the citizens that aren’t shareholders in weapons manufacturing. We passed that point years ago. We may very well be entering the Chinese century.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 1860-1865 did not kill America. What has gone on over the last several decades have been a challenging time, lots of them really. Ups and downs. Life.

    But if America is dead, the murderers are the GOP Senators, Representatives, and state legislatures that are doing everything to change the way we have elected representatives for decades. Gerrymandering (by both parties, but a scientific win for the GOP), closing of polling places in lower income areas, including Native American Reservations, limits on drop boxes (convenience just is not a word in the Republican vocabulary. Nor is compromise.). The ability to nullify results that they don’t like. All of these things are major causes of “death”.

    The accomplices are the right wing media talking heads who seem to be all for people contracting a disease and dying from it or having long term effects that will prevent them from living fulfilling lives. Or that continue to spread the “big lie” that their candidate of choice LOST BY A LANDSLIDE. (based on his numbers and claims in 2016, that is exactly what happened). Then there are raging lawyers who tell him to just go out and say that you won. Seriously? That would be like the NY Mets claiming they won the 2015 World Series after losing in 5 games. Or the NL All-Stars last night claiming they did not lose 5-2. They actually won because the AL had extra runs beamed into the ball park by Jewish Space lasers or from beyond the grave by Hugo Chavez.

    If America is dead there will be no trial by jury; but the ruling form the bench would find the above parties guilty. – IMO

    Liked by 1 person

  8. SUMMARY OF RESPONSES

    To the question posed (How can the hypothesis of America’s death be proved or disproved?) the following categorical responses were given:

    1 Prove it yourself using only evidence I approve in advance.

    2 America has survived similar periods of crisis in the past. History provides the means to test the hypothesis.

    3 America is not dead.

    4 All nations die eventually. International relations is the context in which the question will be answered.

    ANALYSIS

    I wrote the post to inspire some reflection on the puzzle of defining the condition of the nation (dead or alive). Specifically, what measurements would be effective?

    The responses fall into four categories, two of which are responsive (2 and 4) and two of which are non-responsive (1 and 3).

    The responsive categories both suggest that effective measurements of the condition of the nation are to be found in the historical record, past and future.

    Notably, no respondants suggested any measurements that might be attempted outside of politics or political history.

    CONCLUSION

    I conclude that there is little agreement among the respondants on how to measure the condition of the nation. There is, in effect, no way to prove to this audience whether America is alive or dead.

    Like

    1. You know, you are tiresome.

      I responded with a simple request for you to define what your are asking to debate and you refused.

      Then this insulting response.

      You complained about lack of experts, so you must be one of the experts.

      Fill us dummies in and we might have a debate.

      Keep insulting us and we might attack the Capitol. It is a conservative thing, don’t you know.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. RE: “Then this insulting response.”

        I’m sorry you are insulted, but it’s your own fault for failing to read the original post carefully.

        Like

        1. At the risk of encouraging more vinegar, you stated “I believe America is dead. The constitutional experiment of our nation’s founding has failed.”

          Define “dead” and how the “experiment…has failed”.

          If you do that, the rest of us might have a shot at the debate you are looking for.

          For what it might help, I believe the Republican Party is dead and has been replaced by right wing populism with a charismatic leader dependent upon conspiracies to cement his power.

          Fortunately, America is stronger than any one person.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. RE: “If you do that, the rest of us might have a shot at the debate you are looking for.”

            The post was quite clear. Read the title and read the last paragraph. You chose to pick nits that in context were irrelevant.

            Like

          2. What I saw was an opinion that America is dead, and to prove you wrong was the challenge.

            The answers were merely asking for clarification.

            The rest is history.

            Liked by 2 people

        2. …” it’s your own fault for failing to read the original post carefully.”

          I contend t is YOU, Mr. Roberts, who is at fault. You made a statement of “fact” (You are the one you said you actually believed it.). You have yet to provide ANY evidence to back your assertion. You have proven nothing except that Len is correct. You are tiresome.

          To insult those who have challenged you to prove your point is the new right wing bailiwick.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. RE: “You have yet to provide ANY evidence to back your assertion.”

            I don’t have to prove the assertion. My post asks HOW it might be proved or disproved.

            Like

          2. I am asking you to prove your assertion. You have diddled and twiddled and danced around the question.

            Your “exercise” appears to be just another idiotic chance to practice your semantics medicine.

            Like

    2. CONCLUSION

      “I believe America is dead. The constitutional experiment of our nation’s founding has failed.”

      More to the point no reasonable or credible reason to believe your assertions. You made them as categorical statements but, when asked, have failed to support them in any way. So, off the scale on the empty blather spectrum

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: “You made them as categorical statements but, when asked, have failed to support them in any way.”

        Nope. I stated a belief and asked what it would take to prove it. You chose to misunderstand the exercise.

        Like

          1. I’d be happy to, but this particular exercise suggests there is no way to prove anything to this audience.

            Like

          2. …:there is no way to prove anything to this audience.:

            Just because you posted it, doesn’t relieve you of the responsibility to back your statement. You have provided zero evidence of why you think America is dead. When asked to provide any yourself to prove it, you have danced around like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, but with no grace or panache.

            If you can’t answer your hypothesis, keep it to yourself.

            Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s