The First American Republic is in the books. When those books are written up by better writers than myself, it will be noted that the Founders had a seriously Utopian vision of Individualism, and they incorporated a Nation with that idea.
To the everlasting credit of those who followed the Founders for the first 170 years or so, our citizens attempted to follow that pattern of individual effort, leading to the strength of the group. In fact, history will show that most citizens of that first 170 years thought that the individual's responsibility for his/her thread of the fabric of the Nation would last forever.
It didn't, and ordinary base emotion is responsible for the Nation's demise. That would be the base emotion of sloth, or laziness.
My mother told me, many times during my youth, that anything worth having was worth working for. I have attempted to follow that creed, as did most of my generation (technically, I came just before the "boom", by about 2 years). Those who followed (the "boomers" and their offspring, two generations of them now), have NOT followed that creed.
It's quite obvious that those generations after mine prefer to be handed life on a silver platter, whether or not they earned it, or even inherited it. My generation was called on to begin to pay for that sloth, then the next generation, and finally the present generation of teens-to-twentysomethings have their turn to pay.
There's a little problem of math here, though. Math is that science which the gimme-gimme people love to ignore, but math is the basic truth in anything. The math here says that the cost of the sloth exceeds the ability of the non-slothful to pay for it, and THAT math is caused by the increase in those following the creed of sloth, and the concomitant decline of those following the creed of thrift, the opposite of sloth.
With the re-election of a man firmly dedicated (if you thought Obama wasn't dedicated - you were wrong) to spreading the creed of sloth, we can now see the end of this experiment which will likely be known as the First American Republic. It lasted longer than most Utopian societal experiments.
Will a Second Republic follow?
It's hard to say, because the Republican form of Government involves granting some power to citizens, and specifically, it does NOT reserve all the power to the Government.
The Second Government (history will decide what to call it) will either be firmly totalitarian, or factions within it will try to restore the First Republic with it's democratic principles, and lack of sloth. The second choice means a protracted conflict, probably a bloody conflict, and unless I miss my guess, most of the First Republic people with the attitude to actually fight are too old to do so.
So, it ends here. There will be an interregnum until the Second Government is finally, formally declared, but it ends here.
To be continued.