You are right, but the roots go back to even the times before we were a nation. “The Nine Nations of North America” describes our differences quite well, actually. While some of the “mini-nations” or tribes were pro-government (New Englanders), many others just were not. Negative-sum thinking and “every man for himself” aptly describes a number of the groups of early immigrants here. Extreme capitalism came about because unscrupulous men found a way to exploit desperate white Europeans and, of course, Natives and African slaves to make a lot of money. It was a money and land grab, and many of these early groups weren’t interested in democracy at all. In truth, it’s *amazing* that these disparate tribes managed to make a republic. If you think back to the “wild west,” the “law” was whatever the powerful people decided it would be. It still works that way. Oh, I admit, there were years when the elites were much better at pretending that our system was there to benefit everyone. But there were plenty of years when they didn’t. The “Golden Age” of the late 19th century, the excesses of the 1920s, the elite’s corruption has always been on display. It’s always been a contest to see how well they could hoodwink the rabble into being satisfied with their lot. Or, as FOX has done, to vote against their own interests. Socialism was once a strong and valid force in this country. I’m not disagreeing with you at all, mind. I’m just saying that this story is old, and maybe what’s really changing is that the folks running the show have been exposed behind their curtain, and they can’t really keep it going anymore. And as things fall apart, we have to endure the chaos that follows. I just hope we can learn to work together for a change.

Writer, painter, cat fancier, troublemaker, democratic socialist, & antifascist.

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