The elections are over. The new president is installed and has already brought chaos to the world, not just the US. History may not repeat itself exactly, but it does prove we humans have gotten into cycles of the same stupid mistakes and for all of history since the first civilizations of Mesopotamia, and, indeed, all other parts of the world where civilizations arose, humans have been repeating the same pattern of expansion, complexification, and resource depletion to the point of exhausting their source of wealth. And the rulers invariably respond to the unrest in the ways we are seeing today. Some, like Assad, who were already in power when the s**t hit the fan, respond with brutal crackdowns on rebelling populations. Others like Trump are put in power by promises to fix what is wrong with the status quo, but turn very quickly to trying (and most often succeeding) to subdue the potential unruly crowds by continuing promises to fix their lives, all the while undercutting their meager sources of income or wealth. Look at the repeal of Obamacare and replacement with a plan that is widely recognized as greatly inferior - except for the already rich.
The old saying goes, "the people get the government they deserve." And I think there is a great deal of truth to this. We have become a nation of profoundly ignorant people - ignorant, tending toward stupid, and incredibly selfish, narcissistic. When somebody pops up and promises to make the world the way it was when they were "happy", well this is what we get.
As the days get longer the pressure will be building toward an all out breakdown in civil society. As millions lose their healthcare, or unemployment (the real unemployment) rises when good jobs were supposed to be increasing, somebody is going to wise up and call bulls**t on the current government. I expect the same to happen when Brexit produces more hardships or when the far right parties in Europe gain control and proceed to screw up royally.
The problem is that even if some of, say for example, Trumps prescriptions were correct with respect to the intended, and promised outcomes, he would still fail because his predecessors (and at all levels of government and business) have left an unfixable system. The sheer complexity of the modern state, along with the sheer lack of consciousness and knowledge of the general governor, ensures massive failures as have happened so many times throughout history. Nothing fundamental has changed in this pattern since the days of old. Only now the collapse of civilization is global. And there is no sanctuary for those who seek to flee. Look at the plight of the Syrian refugees as they struggle to find places in countries that are on the brink of collapse themselves (hint: Greece).
Several thoughtful people I know who have been concerned about the future are now voicing a kind of despair for the future. The evidence for the build up to collapse is now so evident that anyone with half a brain and a bit of knowledge about the history of civilizations can see the end in sight.
On the other hand, and to leave you on a high note, the collapse of the current cultural system (neoliberal capitalism, profit maximization, revolving debt financing, the impacts on the education system, etc.) is a good thing. When I say unfixable, I mean just that. Some systems are fixable, or adjustable so that they work better in time. This one we live in is neither. It is so full of positive feedback loops that reinforce destructive behaviors that there is very little that can be done to break out without that very act destroying the interlocking processes and thus, itself bringing about collapse. What we need to do is see the bright side of this. For one, it will significantly slow down the human-caused forcing of the climate (other natural feedbacks aside this will be a very positive development.)
Once the rotten old system is debris it will be possible to reset human values (many of which are learned) and start fresh. We won't have the high tech gadgets to help us back to the kind of life many of us live now. But, so what. We will get a chance to start over, and hopefully do it better next time. At least that is my hope on this day of turning.