In theory, there was a lot to like about the United States of America. But by the time Donald Trump assumed the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, he couldn’t find much to praise.

According to Trump, the country’s institutions were “rigged” against the “forgotten men and women” who had been “ignored, neglected, and abandoned” by elites ensconced in every sector of society. It was a nation plagued by violence. Its official statistics were fraudulent. Its elected officials and corporate interests actively sought to undermine the prospects of the less well-off. It’s foreign economic, political, and military relations amounted to a conspiracy against the public. The president didn’t change his tune when the nation elected him to its highest office either. The portrait Trump painted of America in his inaugural address was a place of hardship, persecution, and “carnage.”

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