As one military official argued in a testimony before Congress in the recent past, the national debt is the biggest national security issue or national security threat which the United States faces above all others. And coincidentally, a reckoning of this issue or threat has come upon us in recent days. But one must keep in mind that there is perhaps another issue which underpins the barriers and the obstacles in the way of an immediate resolution to the debt issue or threat, namely, toxicity in Washington. Toxicity is fundamental to the inhibition of full functionality on both an individual level and a collective level. Remove toxicity from an individual, and the individual becomes fully functional. Remove toxicity from a collective, and the collective thrives. 

Moreover, there has been an edict or order from the top of the Republican collective to go into default. Donald Trump is now a spiritual leader of sorts in the Republican party à la Mullah Hebatullah of the Afghan Taliban. Trump is more than just a presidential candidate, and his call for a default is a guide of sorts for Republicans in their negotiations with the Democrats over the debt issue. Although the Republicans make good points about overcoming path dependency and so forth, the heart of the matter and the essence of what we are dealing with is that neither side wants to negotiate in good faith anymore due to the hardliners on both sides. And the fact that neither side wants to negotiate in good faith anymore stems from the toxicity which has pervaded American government and society over the course of the last few decades. 

And arguably, no one embodies the toxicity more than Ron DeSantis, the current Republican governor of Florida and the latest person to announce that he is throwing his hat into the ring in the 2024 presidential election. DeSantis’s fight with Disney, his culture wars, and his cancellation of Black culture all make Donald Trump look like an angel. And it is totally fair to categorize and label DeSantis’s inclinations and tendencies as pathological and sociopathic. For the Black community to label Florida as “hostile” under DeSantis is totally fair and rational.

And while Biden and Trump are part of the generation who miseducated and wrongly socialized the current generation which DeSantis and others are a part of, the current generation which consists largely of Millennials and Gen-Z will be the ones to ruin the social fabric of American society and in turn will bear yet another generation afterwards who will hammer the nail into the coffin, as one high-level Chinese official argued in a book he wrote while he was a student visitor in the United States a few decades ago. Universal education was a policy and an imperative which should have been instituted and recognized a long time ago. And the failure of instituting such a policy and recognizing such an imperative is now bearing fruit. Toxicity in the body politic is one of the fruits which are being brought to bear as a result of the failure to institute universal education a long time ago. Nor does the political will and the wisdom to overcome the toxicity seem to exist at the moment within the elders and the youth who are in charge of the system at the moment, and this reality reflects in the stalemate over the debt issue which we have been experiencing in recent days. But as we are suggesting, the debt issue is merely a scratch on the surface of what we are really and truly dealing with as a society and as individuals in 21st century America.

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