Project SyndicateProject Syndicate

Restless America


4 min read

informed Summary

  1. The U.S. is heading towards a presidential election with two likely candidates that don't appeal to most voters, setting the stage for further avoidable crises.

STANFORD – Despite a resilient economy that has defied most forecasts – thus far both avoiding a recession and maintaining low unemployment – Americans seem increasingly restless. A large majority, lacking confidence that today’s good conditions will last, believe the country is heading in the wrong direction. Moreover, America is facing perhaps the most complex and dangerous geopolitical situation since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Yet with so much at stake, the country is heading toward a presidential election between a candidate who has been indicted for multiple serious crimes and an incumbent who is laboring under a stain of corruption surrounding his son’s foreign business dealings. To be sure, scandal often comes with the territory in American politics. President Richard Nixon left office to avoid being impeached and removed from office over Watergate, and Bill Clinton and Donald Trump were both impeached (but not convicted by the Senate). Nonetheless, today’s political rancor seems new in its level of intensity – and it is only growing.

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