George Graham

As America Falls Apart

Things fall apart, the center cannot hold…

William Butler Yeats could have been describing a vision of America’s impending future when he wrote “The Second Coming” back in 1919.

These United States are drifting apart. We the people no longer share a common cause; we have become mesmerized by our own narrow self interest.

As its population expands, America becomes less centralized, more divided. And political forces are exploiting existing dissensions without regard for the consequences.

There are few “moderates” left. Trump’s right-wing zealots have captured the Republican Party, and the Democrats are responding by adopting more radical positions.

The other political parties are mere special-interest advocates, with no realistic agenda for the nation.

This destructive malfunction extends far beyond politics. It  reflects the current mentality of the nation’s people.

Americans in coastal states have little in common with those in  “the Heartland.” Or in the “Deep South.”

And no  common-sense compromise seems possible. As Yeats put it:

The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

As the antagonism deepens, states like Texas and California are considering breaking away from the federation.

Even individual states are showing signs of breaking up.  An initiative calling for California to be split into three separate states will be on the November ballot.

So why is the Founding Fathers’ dream apparently dissolving into a bickering nightmare?

Perhaps it was unrealistic to expect so many millions from such diverse origins to live together in harmony and agree to self sacrifice for the common good.

Perhaps the defenses built into the Constitution are proving no match for the predators who have invaded and perverted our political system.

Perhaps it’s just that any system of government, however well designed, must fail eventually

We are mere mortals after all. And even when the spirit is willing, as the Good Book observes, the flesh is inherently weak.

All civilizations eventually implode. And that could well be happening to this great nation.

Or it might not be just an American collapse. It could be a global phenomenon.

This could be, as so many believe, the beginning of the end, the prelude, as Yeats suggested, to the Second Coming.

It could be the fulfillment of divine prophecy, beyond our ability to avert or modify.

Still, however inevitable it may be, the end of the American dream would be a great tragedy. It was such a noble concept.

Read the poem

The California initiative

Separatist movements

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for