What has happened? What has happened is quite simple. Those elements of the population which are both brutal and stupid (and these two qualities usually go together) have combined against the rest… The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. Even those of the intelligent who believe that they have a nostrum are too individualistic to combine with other intelligent men from whom they differ on minor points… Perhaps we shall have to realise that scepticism and intellectual individualism are luxuries which in our tragic age must be forgone, and if intelligence is to be effective, it will have to be combined with a moral fervour which it usually possessed in the past but now usually lacks… In this gloomy state of affairs, the brightest spot is America. In America democracy still appears well established, and the men in power deal with what is amiss by constructive measures, not by pogroms and wholesale imprisonment. After the defeat of the French Revolution, democracy; discredited by the reign of terror, reconquered the world from America. Perhaps America is destined once more to save Europe from the consequences of its excesses.

Bertrand Russell, “The Triumph of Stupidity”, 1933

Who will save America from its excesses in this age?