| The Beat |

America, 2030

It’s a far-fetched, dystopian vision — could it ever come to pass?

America, 2030

IT was dawn when agents swooped down on the home of the House Speaker, far-left Democrat Jamaal Bowman. The New York congressman, who’d risen to fame as a member of the progressive “Squad,” had been swept to power in the Blue Wave that came as a response to Donald Trump’s second term in office.

It was the same swing of the pendulum that had led to the mind-boggling sight of AOC — a self-styled “democratic socialist” — as the first female occupant of the Oval Office.

But on this chilly winter morning, Speaker Bowman was powerless as the agents wearing black DJI coats roamed over his Washington home confiscating documents and computer devices.

The Directorate of Judicial Intelligence had been built on the wreckage of the FBI. Back in 2024, when a 78-year-old President Trump had been re-elected on the back of a conservative revolt against the unprecedented hounding of the former president, the new administration had laid waste to the veteran agency.

Alleging a “deep state” conspiracy against Trump, the White House had purged hundreds of top and mid-ranking Justice and FBI officials.

At first, many Trump supporters had approved of the measures. But as Trump’s second term went on, and the president entered his ninth decade, the administration grew increasingly erratic.

The cycle of media attack and presidential counter-attack via his Truth Social app reached fever pitch.

In DC itself, the National Guard had become a permanent feature, to keep the warring gangs of far-right Oath Keepers and far-left Antifa extremists from attacking each other and federal property.

The unrest in the capital had polarized US politics. The moderate center had shriveled, and the margins had metastasized. Figures who’d spent years on the political margins now held the highest offices in the land.

Distrust in federal institutions had spread to health care as well. Despite the ever-greater sums invested in the system, deaths from polio and measles spiked, as distrust of vaccines hit home.

As America turned in on itself, the Chinese leadership rubbed its hand with glee. The sight of Washington’s warring elites piling on trillions in foreign debt while trashing their governing institutions made President Xi’s iron-fisted rule attractive by comparison.

Beijing’s forces were massed for an amphibious assault on Taiwan, and the US Navy — which had suffered from years of bi-partisan neglect — was both too ill-equipped and unconfident of political backing to intervene.

Back in Washington, none of that mattered as news of the raid on the vice president’s house broke. Vicious fighting erupted between the rival groups of body-armor-clad extremists, and a haze of tear gas drifted over the White House.

By 7:30 a.m., President Ocasio-Cortez was livestreaming her reaction from the Oval Office.

“This is a coup against America’s first socialist government,” she railed. “We are going to go after the Directorate of Judicial Intelligence and the Trumpist bureaucracy. We have to restore democracy to America and hand back power to the people.”


It’s a far-fetched, dystopian vision — could it ever come to pass?

The convulsions that have shaken American politics over the last few years have made such scenarios less fanciful.

At heart, democracy depends on mass buy-in to the idea that the process itself, and the institutions that guard it, are trustworthy. For decades, major organs of federal power — from the Supreme Court to law-enforcement and health bureaucracies — were by-and-large trusted.

But the mainstream media hounding of President Trump, the Russiagate investigation, the turmoil of the Covid era, followed by the January 6 attack on Congress, and now the Mar-a-Lago FBI raid have undermined trust in those key institutions.

Republicans think that law-enforcement has been weaponized against them. Democrats think that the Supreme Court has been hijacked by the right. Americans everywhere view authority with distrust.

For partisans on both sides, the answer to the turmoil is their side’s victory. They’re wrong.

As America hemorrhages trust, the stability of the world’s largest democracy is disappearing through the gap where the political center used to be.


Shidduchim for Conservatives

Discrimination against conservatives on campus, in the media, and in tech is an old story. But according to presidential historian Tevi Troy, marriage is the latest challenge for non-liberals.

“A 2021 Generation Lab/Axios poll found that 71% of college Democrats would not date a Republican voter,” Troy wrote in the Washington Examiner, laying the blame on “dating apps that promote ideological conformity.”

There’s an app for that, as Apple famously said. So conservative tech billionaire Peter Thiel has come up with a right-of-center version, in which no pronouns (an endless source of liberal angst) are necessary.

“It puts the shidduch crisis in perspective,” Troy messaged me.

Start ’Em Young

If you’ve been through an interchange in Israel from Tzfas to Tel Aviv, you’ve probably seen them: the country’s most dedicated political activists.

No’ar Noam,” their T-shirts read, and they really are young. From age ten to fifteen or thereabouts, the supporters of MK Avi Maoz’s Noam party hold up large posters with their skinny arms for hours on end.

Israel faces many pressing issues, but if not for Maoz, the attempts by the left to make progressive gender ideology the norm in schools would get little pushback.



It’s the ultimate association game. Take a yeshivah bochur, balabos — anyone who’s had a meaningful acquaintance with the yeshivah world — and ask him what the word “Elul” conveys, and the reaction will be a trip down memory lane.

For anyone who’s passed through Gateshead Yeshivah, for example, the word recalls the Rosh’s simple mussar, in the tune sung in Kelm, “L’hisrachek min hagaavah…

Every yeshivah is different, but for many, the word transports them back to a world of seriousness, of growth, of the excitement of starting a new shiur, a new masechta and a new page.

As hundreds of thousands go back to learning, and hundreds of thousands more head to work with the sound of the shofar about to ring in their ears, that one word and the powerful associations it elicits, are testament that what goes in really deep lasts forever.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 925)

Oops! We could not locate your form.