I have had seriously waning interest in politics over the last few years focusing on other important issues instead, to my son’s horror. With the advent of this political cycle, there has been a seismic shift, however, with my focus revived although not happily so. The last few years have certainly witnessed the rise of big money brokers behind the scenes pulling all the strings. Sadly, it has become a given although it is just one contributing factor to democracy’s unchecked and spreading cancer; just one of four reasons James Allan sights in his 2014 book, “Democracy in Decline”, with the “undemocratic invisible elites” now controlling critical levers in significant world democracies.
Sadly, the many dispossessed comprised of old white men, truck drivers, and numerous others on the one hand and the educated elites, millennials, and rejuvenated hippies on the other, have become a consequence in our political landscape stirring an angry juiced-up stew. I submit while some of the dispossessed could contribute to our collective salvation, the danger lies in what can best be described as “the drunken monkey” syndrome, hell-bent on a steroidal rage, relegating reason to the stratosphere.
But all this just may be too vague, abstract, erudite, and punditry-filled goo on my part. From the Democrat’s centrist but stiff Hillary Clinton to the passion-filled hope-springs-eternal if not naively so, Bernie Sanders, on the left and the raging whacked-out Trumpites and Cruzites on the right, our politics have become so fractured and extremely warped, reason and coalition-building has become a distant memory. Don’t kid yourselves. Neither side really wants much of that either, regardless of what they say on the campaign trail. It just seems to me that democracy as we have known it here in America, while never pure or without its backroom deals and machinations, seems to be in serious decline and I submit may even be close to if not AT a tipping point of no return. Time will tell, as they say, and my hope is if only I could be so very wrong, wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Like everything else animal, vegetable and mineral, evolution has been at work here and is always at work, or so it seems, in the democratic process in America….and Australia, Britain and Canada, according to Allan. Greece and Rome, and during previous centuries of the British Empire, have been prey to a limited truly democratic shelf life and have ALL waned. America is hardly exempt from this process. Actually, with our remarkable Bill of Rights and Constitution we’ve had a longer run than most. And while evolution by nature is glacially slow before reaching some critical mass, it is that very nature that makes it so hard to see the subtle shifts when one is smack dab in the middle of such mess: sure signs of the antecedents that presage our dying institutions and government, that you can’t very well see it for what it just might be.
Anyway, there are smart people out there who chronicle these things with far greater detail and scientific argument. My perspective is a visceral gut read at best but I’m hardly alone. Most Americans believe our politics and government has become one severe kind of stuck in the muck! Gridlock extraordinaire! I will say this: while our decline may be irreversible, Even if we are unable to pull ourselves out of this undemocratic morass, I don’t think it has to be all doom and gloom even if it is sorrowful and sad to witness in its current state. Who knows, America could end up becoming a fanciful and savvy egalitarian place, compassionately run by hugely intelligent and wise grandfatherly/motherly oligarchs a few hundred years from now; oligarchs with our own best interests at heart. You never know. For further reading, see: http://www.amazon.com/Democracy-Decline-Steps-Wrong-Direction/dp/0773543503.