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The Death of American Political Culture and the Fate of the Republic

Once did She hold the gorgeous East in fee;

And was the safeguard of the West…

And what if she had seen those glories fade,

Those titles vanish, and that strength decay…

Men are we, and must grieve when even the Shade

Of what which once was great is pass’d away. 

The decline and full decay of American political culture is now on full display in the headlines, the factual and fake news, and the two vastly different universes inhabited by those who once could be collectively considered Americans, Democrat and Republican alike. American political culture was once founded on an ultimate comity based rational discussion, mutual respect, and reaching compromises and reflected by Americans’ pride in the orderly, peaceful, and mutually respectful transfer of power from one party to another. Americans truly prided themselves on their peaceful transfer of power, symbolized by the presence of the outgoing president at the inauguration of the incoming president, their shaking hands, and the more private matter of handing over the ‘nuclear suitcase’. How did Americans lose comity and fall into the grips of an intensifying enmity and polarization? When did the decline of American political culture begin and how will it end?           

The causes of our declining ability to ‘keep our republic’ are many and complex, internal and external. An incomplete historical sketch might highlight the following turning points. The beginning of the our decay came almost immediately after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of America’s nemesis, the Soviet Union. The American political elite became drunk on hubris poured by victory in the Cold War, and the vistas of massive global power as the lone superpower opened unimaginable possibilities for power and profit in Washington. The sense of American the ‘lone superpower’ coincided with the closing and dumbing down of the American mind as a result of luxury, ubiquitous entertainment of progressively decadent kinds, declining educational standards and practices, and numbed intellectual curiosity.

With all this came Bill Clinton’s wanton decadence in the Oval Office and Hillary’s disgraceful scapegoating and corruption. Vice President and Democrat Party candidate Al Gore rang in the 21st century with a pre-Trumpian refusal to accept his defeat to the Republicans’ candidate George W. Bush. The latter’s move into the Oval Office signaled a new form of decay in the American polity first proposed by the Kennedy ‘dynasty’ but rejected by the American public. This and Bushes nepotistic hold on the Oval Office and Republican Party marked the bureaucratization and stagnation of America’s once rough-and-tumble two-party system.

Bush’s promise of ‘compassionate conservatism’ was buried under the rubble of 9/11, the draconian Patriot Act, and unnecessary Iraqi and Afghan wars. The conduct of both wars had a ‘fighting the previous war’ character with the massive deployment of ground troops, occupation ala Germany and Japan after World War II, where surgical military and intelligence operations could have accomplished the missions. America’s post-Cold War hubris led to a belief that we could make over entire societies and cultures about which we had limited knowledge. Like the hedge hog, we knew one thing; everyone wanted or could be made to be like us. So hundreds of millions of U.S. tax payers’ dollars were spent on introducing post-modern feminism and gender studies alone in Afghanistan. Nation-building does not even begin to describe the goal of the grand folly of thinking we could accomplish societal transformations there that in the West required centuries.

This utopian naivete` followed from a radicalization of the liberal-left wing of America’s political spectrum that had surged after decades of radical leftist and identitarian propaganda in U.S. schools, universities, media, and Hollywood. Thus, the moment of reconciliation that the presidential election victory of a ‘black’ – actually half-white, half-black American – by the name of Barack Obama was never to be and was never meant to be. The Democrat party had moved beyond the bourgeois capitalism of the Kennedys and Carters to socialism. Obama’s narcissism, reverse racism, and Marxist leanings brought relentless race- and class-baiting, and for the first time an American president referred to members of the opposition party as “enemies.”

Mr. Obama’s smoothly spoken but arrogant cultural Marxism manifested itself in phrases like ‘typical white person’ ‘clinging to their Bibles and their guns’ and ‘you didn’t build that.’ He openly lied, and top officials in his administration would even acknowledged lying to the American people about everything from the ‘affordable care’ medical insurance (‘you can keep your doctor’, ‘you can keep your plan’, ‘policies will cost less’) to the Al Qaida Benghazi attack (a spontaneous demonstration caused by an Internet movie) to the 20 February 2014 snipers’ massacre in Kiev, Ukraine, which was not carried out by President Viktor Yanukovych’s ‘Berkut’ riot police but rather by the radical neo-fascist wing of the Maidan protest movement firing at both police and demonstrators. The Obama administration marked the greatest devolution of republicanism and the democratic sensibility of comity that sustains it in all American history.

Then Obama performed the coup de gras, laying numerous bombs in the government bureaucracy to explode under its successor—Donald J. Trump. Obama’s successor was ill-equipped to coldly and systematically work through the enormous opposition of career bureaucrats and radical, corrupt Obama appointees that lurked in the corridors of the now labyrinthian state apparatus ready not just to obstruct Trump’s policies but subvert his entire administration and if necessary the country’s stability and increasingly tenuous unity. The effort to pin Trump as ‘Putin’s puppet’ by using Russian-style secret police methods in the so-called ‘Russiagate’ affair amounted not just to the single greatest abuse of state power in American history. It was an attempted coup d’etat by the Obamas, Clintons, and Bidens intended to fix the 2016 presidential election and keep these three clans’ hands on the levers of power. In attempting to cover up their various crimes (Obama’s Benghazi and Maidan, Clinton’s Benghazi, server-gate, and Biden’s influencing-pedaling and outright business activities with corrupt Chinese, Ukrainians, and Russians), the Democrat Party-state clans poisoned American politics for good. Look at what one of their Russiagate minions from the ultra-nationalist wing of the Ukrainian diaspora, Alexandra Chalupa, proposed a week ago be done to prominent journalist and commentator Tucker Carlson for a TV segment he produced questioning the wisdom of NATO expansion to Ukraine:

This was from a ‘lawyer’ no less and one of many such comments on this Tweet Thread.

When that coup failed and Trump was elected, the Democrat Party from failed Hillary on down and its media minions used the poisonous ‘Russiagate’ scam to deny Trump’s election victory and delegitimize his entire presidency. This along with Gore’s previous rejection of the 2000 election set the precedent for Trump’s own and other Republicans’ reluctance to accept Biden’s 2020 victory, particularly given the mounting evidence of massive electoral fraud.

Democrats kept the ‘Russiagate’ coup plot going through Trump’s entire term of office, deploying the Obama-captured justice system and intelligence services against him in unceasing ‘investigations’ and media campaigns. Adam Schiff conducted himself like Stalin’s Great Purge prosecutor Andrei ‘Vyshinksy’ in running House Intelligence Committee impeachment hearings and generating two surrealistic impeachments. Justice and the FBI scammed FISA arrests, doctored documents, deployed fake dossiers, leading to indictments, arrests, show trials, and imprisonments for Trump campaign staffers all on the basis of trumped up charges of ‘collusion’ with Russians. To complete the Soviet analogy, the Obama-Clinton-Biden would-be junta loosed the Bolshevik-like revolutionaries of Black Lives Matter and Antifa onto the streets in a near insurrection in Washington against Trump in January 2017.

The Democrats and their commune-fascist allies repeated this on a national scale in summer 2020 during the presidential campaign just as the ‘Russiagate’ hoax was being played to attract more moderate Democrat Party supporters. BLM and Antifa burned down police stations, court uses, and ‘capitalist bourgeoIsie’ businesses and carried out a ‘red terror’ against police, innocent Trump supporters, and white people. All this was stoked by Biden’s castigations of ‘white supremacism’ and Kamala Harris and a host of Democrat politicians and media types simultaneously cheering the violence on and denying it. The future vice president even supported bail for the arrested revolutionaries, terrorists, and rioters.

Having so abused power and committed so many outright crimes, the Democrat Party-state had little choice but to keep the coup plot going in order to remain in power and effectively immune from prosecution. This was accomplished through massive election rigging and outright fraud through state governments under its control, Facebook and other entities’ privatization of the election process, social media censorship and other methods used to tilt the playing field.

Trump’s self-centered, undisciplined overreaction to the fraud and possible theft of 2020 election aggravated matters, moving them further outside the realm of process and the rule of law and onto the streets, something only the Democrats had ‘accomplished’ previously. His mistakes included repeated and inflammatory public claims of theft, when it would have sufficed to issue a single strategically timed statement some time before Biden’s inauguration declaring the existence of mounting evidence of massive fraud that raised the possibility of a false election result. The president then could have pledged that after leaving office he would mount a massive investigation, file law suits and if justified seek nullification of the election and the holding of new election. Instead, Trump repeatedly issued polarizing claims of fraud without having fully gathered and systematized the evidence to prove a level of fraud that could realistically have amounted to stealing the election. In lieu of this, his pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to reject certification of the electoral college’s votes was highly improper. But most egregious was Trump’s call for a rally in central DC on the day of certification, January 6th, in so heightened an atmosphere. This provided an opening for the Democrat Party and Obama-seized FBI and other government entities to entrap half of America in its false flag operation at the Capitol—an operation that has been exposed by Darren Beattie at and Julie Kelly of American Greatness.

Americans must separate themselves from the politics of race and class polarization and DemOcrat-Republican enmity and return to the law and constitution. Otherwise, neither side will accept a loss in the 2024 presidential election. This is a recipe for civil war. I am not convinced that the Democrat Party is something other than a lost cause for the maintenance of the republic. It has but a handful of politically mature and socially sane representatives in Congress and the party leadership. The party of Kennedy, notwithstanding all of that family’s and its party’s shortcomings, is now but a fading shadow; its remnants pale in significance to the scurrilous cabal of cultural Marxist extremists and corruptionaires that is the party of Obamas, Clintons, and Bidens. The party seems destined to devolve into a radical cultural Marxist communo-fascist party (or two) and drive the country into civil war and/or dictatorship.

The Republican Party has a better chance to save itself and the nation from the rapidly approaching demise, despite its intellectual and financial corruption and a preference for power over decency and truth that is exceeded only by its opponents. For salvation of party and country, Republicans need to abandon ‘divisive Donald’ as its standard-bearer. The country cannot afford another term of polarized politics driven from the very top of the political system. There are only a few potential sound alternatives to Trump at this juncture: Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis, Senator Rand Paul, and perhaps former Vice President Mike Pence and several others.To an extent, Mr. Trump now seems to recognize some of his mistakes. In his recent interviews and comments, he has carried himself with less egotistic and antagonistic and more presidential demeanor than the one he purveyed before and during his term in office. But it is too little, too late. Even if Trump has learned and incorporated lessons of incivility, excessive egoism, and they grave price they demand when combined with the Oval Office, his return to that office in and of itself will drive the Democrat Party and its radical allies to violence. Trump supporters, other Republicans and hotheads on the right will have had enough. The outcome will be terrorism and a civil war hardly one mostly of Trump’s making but the likely outcome nonetheless. In order to save the country, the former president must remain a former president, at last put himself second, indeed third behind party and country, and hand the baton to a new generation of conservative constitutionalists. Therefore, he should announce that he will not run in 2024 and that he will support any alternative Republican candidate and do whatever that candidate requests during the election. He would do well to do this with some acknowledgment of his mistakes and then undertake social media and other projects he has planned that will support a reform of the Republican Party, the electoral system, and political system.

Redemption is real, but it is only possible through humility and by acknowledging and paying the price for one’s errors. In Trump’s case, the price is saying farewell to one’s dreams. This is a small price compared to the prize of the real possibility of an American renewal, to which he can still make an important contribution. Losing this one dream, Mr. Trump, you will gain a country for your children and compatriots. In time and history’s keen eye, you will also win their forgiveness and gratitude.            

The only way Republicans and constitutionalists should even consider Trump as the nominee is for Mr. Trump to admit his mistakes. Otherwise, another presidential term led by a president who does not have a truly deep moral and spiritual understanding of the real meaning of the American experiment, its failures, and the beautiful constitution that has guided us for two and a half centuries will put an end to our great republican experiment. America will have become unexceptional or dispensable, following the path of less worthy republics and evil empires, falling gracelessly from the hill upon which it once shone so bright into the dustbin of history.




About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., is an Expert Analyst at Corr Analytics, and a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group,

Dr. Hahn is the author of the forthcoming book: The Russian Dilemma: Security, Vigilance, and Relations with the West from Ivan III to Putin (McFarland, 2021) He has authored four well-received books: Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the “New Cold War” (McFarland, 2018); The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland, 2014), Russia’s Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007), and Russia’s Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction, 2002). He also has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media.

Dr. Hahn taught at Boston, American, Stanford, San Jose State, and San Francisco State Universities and as a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and was a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Kennan Institute in Washington DC, and the Hoover Institution.

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