It’s politically convenient and so, taught that Americas’s Civil War was fought over slavery; it is of course, not so. While that was an issue, it was managed; what proved unmanageable was the Industrial Revolution.
The war was fought to settle whether the industrial and protectionist North would control the U.S. government’s economic policies or whether the agrarian South would impose its quite different ones. It was then, like so often, an economic policy battle. Slavery was a useful tool in the contest.The farmers lost.
It’s amusing to note how the Democrats whose stronghold was long the slave-owning South now hold slavish support from the American blacks freed by Republican Abraham Lincoln’s war. Added interest comes from America’s “first black president” Barack Obama’s vehement dependence upon demonizing whites in general and any conservative blacks in particular.Lincoln wanted to heal divisions; Obama depends upon exacerbating them.
Politics has changed. Once a president from either party endeavored to become the President of all the people once in office. Political infighting went on in back rooms devoid of reporters. The appearance of a unified country was an important goal, even if an illusory one. One cannot, after all, long govern half a country. (It can lead to civil wars, right?)
Barack Obama is at present a true iconoclast; he has dropped all pretense of representing Americans in favor of representing Democrats. He seems to make far more public appearances than most of his predecessors and they are usually partisan and often partisan fund raisers. His White House is a fountain of partisan propaganda and it is reported to lean heavily upon major media outlets that publish information that displeases it.
Past presidents have contended with Congress; few have ignored it, publishing what amount to edicts as “executive orders.” And nor has Congress so meekly allowed, funded and thereby empowered such moves while pretending to opposition to the degree of today’s hypocritical playacting.
Much of this change probably follows technology; Washington D.C. was days or even weeks away; now it is on C – Span and every news source almost as it acts. No politician and certainly not his backers, wish to waste such an opportunity. Unfortunately, just as journalists fell heir to this hold on the eyes and ears of the voters, they have also become part of the “crony capitalism’ that describes the new Fascism that has followed technology into the ever-expanding State.
President Obama appears to be pioneering the evolution of his office into a much more overt format, riding the tech that has brought it about. His successors will necessarily follow as the voters are now influenced in that fashion by every interest group. Naturally, it’s the most effective and economical means.
The glaring weakness here is that of the 15 second sound bits: superficiality. We are fed short, censored commercials based upon extensive polls intending to show us what we seem to want; all else is removed. So we have a President who so far as we know, may or may not be legally in the job with more or less of an education and no idea why he had to give up his law license. We have reached the age of information, but the content is an empty sales pitch.
This requires more backroom cooperation behind the scenes lest unwelcome truths leak out. The American government is become a massive compound of Democrats, Republicans and big business, most particularly Big Journalism. It cooperates, apparently, in putting on a show with appropriate commercials to manipulate its audience as it wishes. As this works, it will continue. We recall advice once given to newcomers to Alaska: “Believe nothing that you hear, and only half of what you see.”
To us, this seems likely to shape the future until a widespread reality becomes so unpleasant that a majority are no longer willing to overlook the swindle. When that occurs, more time will be needed for enough people to find something around which to come (or be herded) together. While we await that, we probably should expect to be increasingly ruled rather than governed, from invisible back rooms behind staged electronic puppet shows.
How far are we now from voting for virtual candidates?