The US has been a "flawed democracy" for decades. I first realized this while serving with the US army in Vietnam over 50 years ago. A subsequent half century of reading serious, scholarly histories and studies of the US have only solidified this fact for me. An excellent case in point is Howard Zinn's A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.
There is a certain hysteria being promoted in an attempt to drive home just how bad bad bad Trump is. Exhibit #1 is how the Economist's headline - which as JoeGillis correctly notes is very possibly itself overblown, turns into the breathlessly hysterical headline in this thread.
People have gone full Chicken Little. The US, no stranger to crony capitalism, corrupt politics (Chicago, anyone?) and whatnot, is suddenly perceived as being having been very near perfect - until big, bad, Trump arrived.
The problem is that Trump is, in many respects, indeed big and bad. The coarseness and institutionalized hypocrisy that he has brought to the national debate, the absolute shamelessness, is bad. Objectively so. Really nobody can even argue about this. In many respects he is a joke, an absolute clown, whose presence in office serves more to demean the office than to uplift him.
And the left is managing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. By not reserving outrage for those cases where outrage is indeed called for, and just going crazy at every turn, Trump's opponents walk headfirst into his rather obvious trap. People's attention spans are limited, many people do not care for the outrage du jour, and there are systemic points which are much more worthwhile to go on. Go nuts daily and about everything, and people just become desensitized and stop caring.
Bullshit rankings like this one - very similar to some other ranking they posted hear a year ago, which had Argentina's happiness index as lower than Syria - are just that: usually bullshit.
Why do you think I moved to South America. Business is good here better than I ever thought it could be. A perfect stomping ground for first world gurus of certain crafts. And until it is over I get the best of both worlds. The decliner fuels my diversification what a wonderful escape.