"Help me understand this overused & exaggerated statement"
something along the lines of...
"...the end of America" "this is the end" "America is over..."
Tucker Carlson says it all the time. It's being said about Biden & Harris. It's being said about Biden & Harris bringing "socialism" to the country. I've even read the statement here.
when people say that, what do they mean?
It really confuses me because I hear/read it literally but also figuratively.
Like, is the statement saying, the concept of what we THOUGHT America is is dying? That is the collection of ideas that when combined make up the concept of whatever we think "America" is, be it, free market capitalism, boot straps, the white man being on top, free speech, the right to bear arms...is the idea that the physical geographic foot print remains the same and under the umbrella of "America" but the core and fundamental ideas of what the countries IS has changed?
America splits and splinters and becomes a collection of independent countries?
America is taken over and swallowed by another country by means of brute or coercive force?
Everything, every place, every person is reduced to a steaming pile of ruble, dust, bones and blood?
3. "I read it as baseless fearmongering. " In response to Reply # 0
As far as I can tell, "this is the end of America" is just empty rhetoric spewed whenever white/conservative/religious either lose a layer of their status as a favored class, lose a layer of ability to impose their will on the rest of us, etc.
It's no different from when people bitch about "PC Culture" or "Woke Culture". It's essentially a lamentation that, hey, being carelessly insensitive, an asshole or outright piece of shit just ain't what it used to be, because now they- minorities of all stripes- now have a voice and no longer have to just sit there and take it.
It's a lamentation that there is now greater accountability and transparency, and you just can't say or do certain things with impunity.
"This is the end of America" is, IMO, the top level of this, being the easiest catchall dog whistle to the largest number of people. Frankly, it's current form is the "save our kids" mantra. If your patriotism (really jingoism, but I digress) and fear of the death of this great nation isn't enough to get you good and scared to hate anything that even looks progressive, well, those evil commy democrat libs also want to fuck your kids!
It's a moving of the goalpost. When straight white males lose a bit of footing at the top, (hi, bshelly!) they're not going to sit there in self reflection, and choose to do better. They go on the attack, from a defensive position.
And that defense is to sound the alarm that the whol country is now going to shit. Oh, you're calling me out for being a racist pile of garbage? OHHEYLOOKATTHATBEHINDYOU!! THEY'RE TRYONG TO DESTROY AMERICA!
People always like to think they're living in the most important time.
"This is the most important election of our lifetime......until the next election"
The only time the phrase "America is over" was relevant was the time surrounding the Civil War. At that time, the entire concept of America was in limbo.
To answer your question more directly, I think people are referring to your first definition when they say something like that. But it doesn't make sense. The idea of America isn't static. America is different now compared to 1776. So did America end somewhere inbetween?
14. "Had white women online reminiscing about the 1950’s" In response to Reply # 11
On some “remember when we used to get our ass beat by our husbands and act like nothing ever happened because we knew the cops and family and friends wouldn’t help us??? Back when we could only be secretaries and got paid .50 cent on the dollar?... we want those days back!!!”
**************** TBH the fact that you're even a mod here fits squarely within Jag's narrative of OK-sanctioned aggression, bullying, and toxicity. *shrug*
12. "I know what I mean when I say it" In response to Reply # 0
It's aspirational. Empires are bad. Impersonal steamrollers that flatten everything good and interesting about people in the service of production and acquisitiveness. America being over would be lift a tremendous burden we've put on the rest of humanity and maybe offer an opportunity to make the world into something different, better.
As far as your very well-structured categories, that makes it a mix of #1 and #2. This American Empire was born out of two lies: free land, which was actually stolen from Native Americans; and free labor, which was actually stolen from Black people. Those lies didn't just make America. They continue to re-make it every day by establishing a mutually buttressing relationship between that made-up history and our self-image.
But there's got to be an "after" right? I mean, even if you're right that the sentiment is an exaggeration, it is literally the case that nothing lasts forever. Rome was eternal once too. So while history probably doesn't provide the best guess for what post-America is going to look like, it does provide *a* guess - and the simplest one is balkanization.
"Walleye, a lot of things are going to go wrong in your life that technically aren't your fault. Always remember that this doesn't make you any less of an idiot"