Paul Krugman’s post about The Ignorance Caucus is most relevant. Krugman’s essential argument is that the Republican party routinely spurns compelling evidence and now actively opposes gathering evidence when it might call into question its own policies and/or lobbyist supporters. This Deliberate Denial Disorder underlines the great fear that 1/2 of the US political dialogue has committed for so long to the Merchants of Doubt and Acceptable Deviance, that in a world of constant crisis and instant decision-making the US has lost the ability to make good policy let alone approach either consensus or optimal crisis response.
The flag-waving notion of being the Beacon of Freedom on the Hill given just 3 examples – the flourishing of law-defying too big to fail banks, the US drop to mediocre in the World Education Race, and the constant corrosion of voting rights while Citizen United and gerrymandering proliferate – is just a God Bless America facade for deeply troubling trends.
Now China, Russia, Europe Japan – all have their political miasmas as well – but economic and political power will accrue to those societies that can respond to evidence most effectively. In the past the US has used its natural resourcefulness to garner a leading position in the World.But that is endangered by losing its political ability to decide well and in a timely fashion.