If America’s worst enemies had spent years designing a plan to erode our greatest strengths, they could not have done better than what some of our fellow citizens are doing to the country every day for short-term financial or political gain.
Prominent figures in government, politics and commerce are behaving in ways that are so destructive of the core institutions and norms that underpin our democracy, one can only assume that they take the country’s stability as a given — that they can abuse and stress it all they want and it won’t break.
They are wrong. We can break America, and right now we’re on our way there. Not in the Cold War, not during Vietnam, not during Watergate did I ever fear more for my country.
This moment “is like Wall Street before the financial crisis, when everyone just took for granted that the system was forever stable,” remarked Gautam Mukunda, research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of “Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter.”
“So they kept taking bigger and bigger risks and pushing it harder and harder — until they pushed too hard and it crashed and the government had to step in and rescue everyone. If they keep acting like this, Trump and his allies will keep getting short-term wins until the system crashes. Only there won’t be any government to step in and rescue them, because they’ll have broken it — and the country along with it.”