I have been watching our political system for decades and always saw some chance for a more representative government that was until 1980 and the election of Reagan wedge issues started sneaking into the discourse…..then in 1992 and the election of a corporate stooge made the slide more easily achieved…..and then 2010 arrived and the rise of the wedge issue dominance…and the slide gained momentum…..and here we are today…..a system in chaos.
Some ask why has this been allowed to flourish…..
Political inaction is the key to this devastation of our political system….
Speaking to Salon’s Chauncy de Vega about how the United States is mired in a crisis of democracy that shows parallels with Germany’s descent into Nazism during the 1930s, Norman Ornstein recently noted that “Most people don’t pay close attention, day to day, to what’s going on” in the political sphere.
Speaking just anecdotally, my guess is that Ornstein is correct. In my experience, most people I talk to outside of my pre-existing left circles have only the foggiest notion about the specifics and meaning of current events. “The news” holds little real interest and significance for everyday Americans. And the notion of doing the work to “pay close attention, day to day,” is simply beyond the pale of imaginable life activity for most ordinary citizens in the nation that absurdly claims to be the world’s greatest democracy.
This is a problem – at least it is a problem for those who would like to live in a polity rooted in popular sovereignty and a society committed to the common good. It is an appropriate longstanding truism that democracy is impossible without an informed citizenry paying informed attention to political developments. Public knowledge is a matter of life and death, like when people learn on the radio or television that they must evacuate because a major hurricane. The political hurricane of white nationalist authoritarianism – fascism, American-style – is bearing down on the United States today (anyone who thinks it has gone away because Joe Biden is president is living in denial.)
Militant ignorance is our biggest answer….
With apologies to Paul Simon, and despite all of the information available to the mortal man, there are still millions of Americans who currently believe they’re gliding down the highway when in fact they’re slip slidin’ away.
It is the root cause of our problems with China. It’s why some people don’t want to get vaccinated. It’s why some people still gleefully follow Donald Trump. It explains why Congress can’t get together in a bipartisan fashion to deal with infrastructure, health care and gun control. It’s why we have problems understanding climate change. It explains voter suppression. It’s why “critical race theory” has become controversial, why elements of our population on the left and right are at war with each other and why some believe the earth is flat and the Holocaust didn’t occur. It’s why some of us believe we’re still the “No. 1” nation in the world when — other than having the largest military — we clearly lag behind other major nations in many critical factors. More than anything else it explains why we fail.
Until the voter backs away from Facebook and Twitter this slide will continue until there is nothing left of this country but division and hatred….and we are well on the way today.
Is this the future you want?
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”