State power (that is the ability of the state to use brute force) has increased beyond any somewhat comparable moment in history, yet the state’s ability to everyday govern has decreased to historically poor levels. People (across the political spectrum) typically make sense of this through various conspiracy theories, some more attached to reality than others. (Many are nakedly conspiratorial, others have elements of structural analyses, usually done by trained post-structuralists of course.) America is ground zero, but this is not exclusively an American phenomenon. (China is a possible counter-example, though their competence is both exaggerated and relies heavily on the brute force part of the state.)
This creates a stalemate of sorts. The state lacks legitimacy, but also can’t be replaced. You can add Ross Douthat’s Laschian critique of societal “decadence” (drift may be a better word) to this context. His analysis is largely correct in my view and he’s also right that it’s relatively sustainable. (His solutions fall apart, however, limited by his conservatism.) Certain leaders might make it more transparent (Trump), but we could go on like this for at least our lifetimes no matter who is in charge.