America’s Bipolar Disorder


But what people miss is that China plays “go” while the rest of us around the
world argue about how to set up the checker board. They’re just playing a different game. And they plan in 10-year increments. They don’t do anything for six months or a year; they do everything for a decade. They’re about to have this 19 th Party Congress to come up with the next five-year plan, but it’s really a 10- and 20- and 30-year plan.

– Mark Yusko on the Macro Voices the podcast

It is very fashionable right now in the MAGA crowd to complain about the deep state  without questioning why it exists and what would replace it. In a republic that has two, four and six year terms how do we make viable long term plans? Party platforms used to fill this role. The parties would act as filters to get the right people elected who would go along with the plan. The big picture stuff would rest with the party. There are also layers of top and mid-level bureaucrats that ensure long term plans and the state keep functioning between administrations and the ebb and flow of politics. This is the function of the deep state. To overlay long term systems over inherently short term politics.

How does the deep state fit in the current world, now that we find ourselves more polarized than ever? A article from PLOS One  documents this polarization:

We find that despite short-term fluctuations, partisanship or non-cooperation in the U.S. Congress has been increasing exponentially for over 60 years with no sign of abating or reversing.

Notice the word exponentially in the quote above. Trends increase exponentially until they break.


There used to be more bi-partisanship and consensus between the parties allowing them to work together and get big projects done. Now this is seen as political weakness. This is the bifurcation of America.

One current symptom of this bifurcation is that Trump seems to be hell bent on reversing  Obama’s major legislations and executive orders. We just saw that recently with Trump decertifying  the Iran deal. If the next Democratic administration is elected on a Sanders like platform then it will do the opposite of Trump. We will likely start seeing radical oscillations in policy. This is our bipolar disorder. If you look at the chart above it looks like the two hemispheres of a brain splitting apart. Regardless of your political affiliation this is bad for stability and long term planning.

If we were just a republic then it would be an internal matter. The problem is that we the pole in a unipolar world.  I can hear the MAGA voices on the Internet saying “So what! We have the most powerful military in the world. Nothing they can do about it.” Imagine if we were no longer the world’s reserve currency. What would that do to our military? According to this paper

[The reserve currency] affords states strategic flexibility and policy autonomy that they would otherwise not experience. In particular, it allows states to access cheap and stable finance, procure inputs for the war effort from abroad that it might not otherwise been able to, maintain forward bases, and wage economic statecraft during wartime. If the rest of the world thinks we are not stable then they might start looking elsewhere for leadership.

The military and our ability to wage war go hand in hand with our economy and our position as the world’s reserve currency. The military rests on the foundation of the economy. Our economy is global. If other countries see us  as unstable and unreliable then they will start looking elsewhere for leadership. Our economy will suffer. They will start looking to countries that can make long term plans and are stable. Which brings this full circle to the quote at the beginning of this article.

Do you like speculating on world event? Then come to debatehub where we debate topics like this.


One thought on “America’s Bipolar Disorder

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s