Where Is America Going?

Where Is America Going?


Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

John McCain’s last week in Washington was an honorable end to the career of a great American patriot in every sense of the word. The personal and professional celebration of his life lifted the spirits of most Americans regardless of their age, partisan affiliation, or political preferences. It was a week dedicated to a man who believed in his country and in its values. All Americans should be grateful and proud of the man and the way he was memorialized.

The public memorials this week underscored just how bleak the future of this nation might be, unless Americans will be able to pull together and fight the misguided direction in which it is headed. Given the agenda Washington and the nation has on its plate as it considers what might transpire over the next 64 days, there could be a dramatic and significant increase in the disintegration of the society which John McCain loved.

Practically speaking the mid-term elections loom large over Washington. The Senate will be considering the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The Republicans hope to have his confirmation approved so he can join the High Court when it convenes on the first Monday in October.

Leaving aside any international crises, Congress also must past appropriations bills for fiscal 2019 which begins on October 1; or a continuing resolution for all those departments not yet funded.  President Trump could consider a possible Government shut-down, although Republicans have counseled the President that a shut-down could likely negatively impact the mid-term election results. At the same time, Trump might actually move to use the shut-down face off to demand that Congress provide sufficient spending to build the “wall” on the Mexican border. (Admittedly, the President’s recent love fest with the outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto regarding a new bi-lateral form of NAFTA may soften Trump’s demands at this time.)

Last week’s focus on Senator McCain did represent the more normal business of Washington.  What was so stark was the difference of the times in which McCain served during his long congressional service in the House and Senate. It was a very sobering picture that the sitting president of the United States was not invited to attend any of the ceremonies, while the two previous presidents—from different parties—both were specifically invited by McCain to deliver remarks at his funeral.

One might have expected more of a push back against the President from some of his base. It is hard to comprehend that many Americans do not recognize the sad symbolism reflected in these events. If indeed no brakes are applied by the leaders and the voters very soon, it will take America decades to repair the damage to the Republic.

Underlying the sadness of John McCain’s passing is the reality of what is happening to his country


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