How does this end? What happens when so many Americans come to realize how they've been manipulated and conditioned to fear and reject so much of what is actually in their best interests even as they rabidly defend so much that is not.
When I look at America's rabid Right, it's easy to see them as round-eyed North Koreans. Both do blatantly irrational things. Both have a thirst for the blood of their enemies, even if only metaphorically. Both embrace what is unquestionably extremist and magical thinking.
America's "killing kulture" also resembles North Korea's. And, like North Korea's, it is embedded from the bottom straight to the top.
US environmentalists complain of receiving death threats. When the former Democratic governor of West Virginia marries the gun culture with anti-environmentalism in his successful bid for the US Senate, is that any wonder?
So long as it is carefully and skilfully controlled, modern US-style conditioning has a genuine utility but surely the Tea Party movement illustrates what happens when control is lost. What is the Tea Party but the culmination of the anti-tax fetish introduced by the leadership of the hard Right? The CBC's Neil Macdonald has this fascinating look at what happens when America's tax phobia runs amok.
America's ruinous spiral isn't the result of structural or institutional failures but of mental collapse. FOX News only sounds plausible to troubled minds. People who can be brought to believe that the solution to government debt is to just keep slashing tax revenues are in a state of a genuine psychosis. It's like half the population has crowded into a prayer tent to place their country's salvation in the hands of a crackpot faith healer.
This simply cannot go on and it almost certainly won't. A recent report on 60 Minutes showed that 2011 is the year in which a great many American states will confront their insolvency, the direct legacy of three decades of Ronald Reagan's Age of Ruin. It's crunch time and it's going to be ugly and possibly bloody to boot. Lord knows America is primed for bloodshed, by the bucketful.