BY STEPHEN NDEGWA
The United States of America is a superpower in turmoil.
Things are not doing well any more over there as the country continues unabated towards a crescendo of social, economic and political upheaval. And, it does not take a genius to discern the fact that the superpower of yore is fast losing its grip not just of its domestic dominion, but of its hegemony as well.
As we enter into an age of what the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday warned as the ‘age of chaos’ during a briefing of the UN General Assembly, the world’s policeman also appears rudderless and, for once, unable to disentangle itself from the malaise that is afflicting the global community. This, in Guterres’s view, include ‘escalating conflicts, widening divides and intensifying polarization’.
Never mind that the US is actually either the direct or indirect architect of the ongoing global crises. With its economic and military machine, the superpower has run roughshod over many countries in a bid to stamp its geopolitical authority and identity. In addition, the chaos has spawned disaster capitalism, which has largely benefited the US capitalist machine fueled by its multinational corporations’ behemoth.
As fate would have it, the US is caught between a rock and a hard place, and does not seem to have a clue of how to disentangle itself from its predicament. By default, it is committing hara-kiri, an analogy to the traditional Japanese ceremonial suicide ritual that involves ripping open one’s bowels with a dagger or sword.
The foregoing sentiments are collaborated by a just published CGTN poll that reveals almost 90 percent of people globally are of the view that we are entering a new normal of the ‘U.S. against U.S.’ The global online poll conducted by the giant Chinese media house on 11,000 netizens showed that the intensifying immigration crisis risks tearing the superpower apart, with 89.3 percent of the respondents saying that the immigration issue is only the tip of the iceberg of the US domestic political chaos in the context of the polarization of US politics, and “America against America” may become the norm.
The ongoing tussle between the Texas state government and the federal government is a case study of the simmering national conflict. It is symptomatic of the systemic failure of the country’s politics and its much hyped democratic credentials.Stephen Ndegwa
One respondent even cited in a message that the perennial immigration crisis is the powder keg that will ignite US’ decline and collapse. This may sound presumptuous, but it is the stark reality when compounded with a myriad of other problems facing the country, and the lack of political will to reach bipartisan solutions due to polarization.
Experts see the tug of war between the Republicans and Democrats on the perennial immigration stalemate as a recipe for civil war in the US. It is instructive that former president Donald Trump exploited the immigration crisis to garner votes particularly from the white population that feels threatened by the influx of foreigners. But immigrants have now earned a lot of clout within the country’s body politic and political class that they cannot be wished away through the ballot.
The ongoing tussle between the Texas state government and the federal government is a case study of the simmering national conflict. It is symptomatic of the systemic failure of the country’s politics and its much hyped democratic credentials. In December last year, the Texas Nationalist Movement claimed that it had collected sufficient signatures under a petition drafted by state representative Bryan Slaton to include a question on secession in the forthcoming November elections.
Ironically, it is a well-established fact that the US was “discovered” and built by immigrants from all corners of the globe. Over the years, the constant flow of immigrants has enriched the country’s economy, culture and democracy. Therefore, the notion of a puritanical American society is racist, selfish and discriminative.
As put in an essay titled, “Immigrants Put America First: In Coming Here, They Affirm Our Values” by Carlos Gutierrez, Former US Secretary of Commerce, “immigrants enter the United States with dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. Rather than posing a threat to our democracy, they reinforce and enrich the values that make America the country it is.”
The immigration crisis in the US always reaches a crescendo during an election year. In the upcoming elections in November, US citizens have an unenviable task of choosing between two impossible options as president. They either continue with the forgetful incumbent Joe Biden or return the unpredictable Trump to office. The propaganda that the American presidency is a system, not an individual, have been debunked by the cost of the blunders by both the incumbent and his predecessor.
To survive, the US needs to rediscover its original values, the ones that transformed the hitherto backwater to the most developed and powerful country in the world it is today.
The promise of a country without regard to race, creed or color, and which dispenses justice blindly to all and sundry has been lost in the ever expanding capitalist motivated moral lacuna.
Stephen Ndegwa is the Executive Director of South-South Dialogues, a Nairobi-based communications development think tank, and a PhD student at the United States International University-Africa