It’s estimated that there are over 300 million weapons in America, enough to arm every citizen—man, woman, and child. Not only do we buy an inordinate amount of weapons, we export more than any other country in the world. In 2015, American weapons manufacturers made over $209 billion dollars in sales—56% of the world’s lethal production. France sold $15 billion, Russia only $11 billion. We are the most weaponized nation on the planet.
We have over 800 military bases around the world. Last year American special forces were deployed in 138 countries, two thirds of the 190 countries on the planet. At home, we have imprisoned over two million people, the largest prison population in the world and the highest per-capita incarceration rate, second only to the Seychelles (a total prison population of 735 out of a population of around 92,000).
We have become the most feared and most frightening nation on earth, and yet we are still afraid. Afraid of Muslim terrorists. Afraid of Mexican immigrants. Afraid of ourselves. Afraid of the future.
Trump wasn’t an isolated phenomenon. He found fertile ground in the heavily armed, fear laden heartland of America. What have we become?