Magazine January 25, 2021, Issue

The Case for American Optimism

An American flag outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington, D.C., December 15, 2020 (Al Drago/Reuters)
As policy-makers debate, people are creating their own new nation

When there is a general change in conditions, it is as if the entire creation had changed, and the whole world altered.
— Ibn Khaldun, 14th-century Arab historian

Now that Trump has been edged out of office, Joe Biden may emerge as the harbinger of a brighter, better blue future or as a version of Konstantin Chernenko, the aged timeserver who ran the Soviet Union in its dying days. To succeed, he will have to confront massive pessimism about America’s direction, with some 80 percent thinking the country is out of control. The Atlantic last year compared the U.S. to a “failed

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Joel KotkinMr. Kotkin is the presidential fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., and the executive director of the Urban Reform Institute. His new book is The Coming of Neo-Feudalism.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

The Week

The Week

Republicans put up two weak candidates in a competitive state, and then discouraged their voters from showing up.
Athwart

The Great Reset

Lunatic paranoids think it means a lizard in the shape of Bill Gates is going to microchip everyone with a vaccine so we can be tracked.
The Long View

ASAP!!

Senator, please review this and note changes, thanks — fundraising letter needs to drop tomorrow PM!!!!

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