Checks and Balance: Apocalypse Now

The pandemic has been grim for admirers of America's preeminence. The country that rallied allies to defend democracy and lead the world in scientific endeavour has been hit hardest by the coronavirus. China has sent medical supplies to American states, while the president brainstorms unlikely cures on live TV. Is America ceding global leadership? Maybe. One certainty is that fretting over the demise of the Republic is a longstanding American tradition. 


In this episode we trace the origins of declinism in modern American politics and hear from someone who spent years preparing for societal breakdown, only for those plans themselves to unravel.


John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, hosts with Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief, and Washington correspondent Jon Fasman.


Read The Economist’s full coverage of the coronavirus.


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