Not mine but true
I respect the concern, but you're greatly overstating the issues. I'll talk you back from the ledge.
to be the fundamental weakness of the system.
So far, the system has proven to be strong. Yes, Trump sucks. But the system is designed in such a way that he, along with his supporters, cannot make wholesale changes to the US. There are plenty of checks and balances in place to mitigate lunacy. Even when lunacy is merely looking for the bathroom to take a **** but unexpectedly finds itself in the Oval Office.
Along comes a reality TV old-timer
I mean, Ronald Regan was an actor and he became president. Europe has had a few "showman" politicians. And there have been several governors in the US that had unorthodox backgrounds. What Trump was didn't necessarily discredit him. His personality and poor business acumen and lack of political knowledge were what discredited him. (Also that he was compromised by outsiders).
I personally don't care if an ex-mason or ex- baseball player becomes president, so long as they know what they're doing. Yes, it sucks that Trump is the dolt that we ended up with, but I'd rather risk a Trumping every couple hundred years than a dictator or monarch. Now, if this becomes a pattern, and we elect some moron every term, then it might be cause for concern. But that says more about the populace than the system itself.
manages to distort the democratic process
You're giving him too much credit. I firmly believe in Russian/outside meddling. And THAT is the true weakness in the system: the impact of modern technology on modern campaigns and democracies. And frankly, we can see that even European nations are susceptible to this intrusion. This needs to be addressed. Collusion, undermining, shady donors, etc.
dividing the US right down the middle and seemingly shatters whatever civic unity could be seen
The US is divided, but way more than down the middle. The news reports would have you believe that everyone and everything is A and B, Black and White, Odd or Even. But it's not that cut and dry. Civic unity in the US was always more superficial than it appeared. We collectively get along during the 4th of July, Christmas, Thanksgiving, the Olympics, and maybe 1 or 2 other unifying events. The only thing that truly brought Americans together was a common language. Outside of that, there's a bit more disunity than people realize.
The US isn't divided in two. It's divided in many more regions, each with its own culture, community, viewpoints, voting patterns, religious preference, etc. etc.
If you're suggesting that the country is divided more acutely between Red states and Blue states, you may be right to some extent. But here's the good news: the blue states, even when not controlling the government, are winning. Red states are backwaters: tombs for bad policies, bad politics, bad economics, bad education, and other dumb conservative policies. The Red states in the US are largely the states that don't matter. They're falling behind in every meaningful measure when compared to their Blue state counterparts, and will have little influence or impact on US or even global politics and development. The Red states are suddenly out southern Italy.
I can't help but wonder how the **** you'd manage to build such a fragile system.
And compared to what? The ever-functional and benevolent and strong and stable systems throughout European history? This system is working exactly as intended. Given another system, Trump could have entered the White House and made wholesale changes to the very foundation of the country. But instead, he struggles to pass anything meaningful, even with a republican majority in Washington. Also, he'll be gone before you know it.
And the best part of the system is that the people are uniting where it matters: state and city governments. In such a bloated and diverse and expansive country, the efficacy of federal government is somewhat questionable. People realize that local government is more important, more impactful. Federal government is good for the basics: aid, defense, a few other things. But local government is where it's all happening.
You see here in these stories that "the US is pushing coal and gets laughed at." So, everyone in the US must be coal crazy, right?
In reality, local governments are pursuing alternative energy without the support of the federal government. Coal plants are shutting down at a very fast rate, solar and wind farms are being constructed all over the southwest, states are issuing their own forms of carbon tax, pressure is put on automotive manufacturers to meet strict fuel efficiency standards, massive research is being dumped into autonomous driving in Michigan, public transit gets expanded in cities across the country, urbanization is encouraged to reduce city sprawl, new construction must have solar panels, etc. etc.
Basically, dozens -- hundreds even -- of local politicians, whether mayors or governors or congresspeople or whatever, are pursuing green energy and addressing climate change as aggressively as their counter-parts in Europe and across much of the world. And you might think, "Well what does it matter? It's only a few states in the whole country."
Well, the good news is that the states and cities that matter -- that dictate the future of not just the US, but the world -- are the ones putting in the work. California, New York, Texas, and Florida have economies bigger than all but a couple of European countries. And another 10 that would still make the top-25 largest economies in the world list. As they go, so the country and even world goes. And these are the ones having the biggest impact. While this fucking idiot talks about coal, the state of California is doing, building, testing, designing, and making **** that will help change -- and possibly even save -- the fucking world.
how the US could be put back together culturally save a major war or economic cataclysm.
Again, the US has always dealt with division. From its inception. Separatists and loyalists, Federalists and royalists, slave holders and abolitionists, native born and immigrants, the Civil War, the isolationists and the bellicose, Christian and atheist, north and south, east and west, conservative and liberal, ruling elite and working class, Boston and New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Yankees and Red Sox, University of Michigan and and Ohio State University.
This country will be fine, if the PEOPLE so choose it. The division might seem real as ****, on TV and in news reports and in our bubbles on the internet and at political rallies. But let me tell you right here and now that there is little hostility between Americans when they are together in our daily lives.
Reading Reddit and the news, you'd think that the country was burning. In reality, people are friendly and open and happy and only the most extreme on any side allow themselves to be sucked into some extremist political fervor.
Everything is going to be ok. Deep breaths. We'll get through this. While Trump and his dipshit sack of merry idiots are embarrassing themselves (and many Americans), innovators are busy behind the scenes working to change the world, and the majority of Americans are here, ever still the allies and friends of Canada and France and Germany and Japan and Korea and Australia and Mexico and whomever else Trump has **** on recently.
Edit: in regard to the "backwater" and "states that don't matter comment", I understand why some would take offense. It's really not meant as a disrespect to individuals who live there. Or a direct attack. And I recognize that there are plenty of successful republican areas throughout the country.
But with all due respect, states like Mississippi, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana, West Virginia, Alabama, etc. are simply not going to be at the forefront of change and innovation and development. That is coming from states like California, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, etc.