Washington is a mad, swirling world where political sanity seems to be as scarce as unicorns; our American political system is currently dancing on the knife edge of absurdity. Yes, friends, strap yourselves in – it’s going to be a wild ride.

We’ll zigzag through the gamut of short-term strategies, petty power plays, and plain old political buffoonery that seem to be our country’s chosen route toward global irrelevance.

But first, let’s take a shot of the hard truth.

The United States, once a defender of the little kid against the red bully on the global playground, is increasingly looking like the old man muttering to himself on the park bench.

I’ve found myself in the thick of combat, facing down enemies with clear objectives and long-term strategies. We weren’t planning just for the next skirmish; we were considering how our actions would shape the battlefield. We understood, acutely and urgently, that strategy extends beyond the horizon of tomorrow’s sunrise.

Uncle Sam on a bench
Uncle Sam grumbling to himself on a park bench. Original art by SOFREP.

Meanwhile, back in the civvies world, our politicians are playing a twisted game of musical chairs, swapping seats every election cycle and barely remembering the tune. The Russian bear and the Chinese dragon are playing chess, and we’re stuck playing checkers with hockey helmets on our heads (pun intended).

Our adversaries, namely Russia and China, are simply out-waiting us, perched on their geopolitical branches like cunning old vultures, biding their time. And why not? They’re playing chess while we’re still trying to figure out how to untangle the knots in our shoelaces, waiting for the medicine to kick in.

Our system, once a shining beacon of democracy, is now more like a flickering neon sign outside a rundown motel. It’s becoming all too clear that the two-party system – a political see-saw that goes up and down with the rhythm of a drunken tango – is utterly ill-equipped to deal with the cold, calculating long game being played by our international competitors.