America is doomed! (And other thoughts on our gloomy historical moment.)

Politicians are bashing the persecuted. Voters are supporting wars they don't believe in. The government is caught in a cycle of self-destruction. Is the end nigh?

Captain America
(Image credit: (Allison Shelley/Getty Images))

The second half of 2014 is shaping up to be a veritable springtime for political pessimism.

You know the old line about pessimism — that it's the best option because its adherents invariably end up either vindicated or pleasantly surprised by events? Well, that's as true as ever. But this political season has given us something more: a series of personalities and events perfectly suited to confirm the outlook of those inclined to expect very little from American democracy.

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