By Ben Tanosborn
It seems such an improbability, impossibility at times, that such a diverse population in ethnicities, races, religions and ideologies be politically housed in two tents. But this United States of America for all its diversity, and at times forced accommodation, did manage early on in its history to develop an economic critical center of gravity – a large, unprecedented economic marketplace – that kept the nation un-fragmented, magically glued principally because of a single reason: an unrivaled economic prosperity that the United States maintained for its people vis-à-vis other economies in the world.
However, that unique economic and political America that Alexis de Tocqueville would describe almost two centuries ago [Democracy in America] may have had its incredible seven-generation run, and be now ready for a meltdown; for the patent to that magic glue held by America has now expired, free for all to emulate via globalization. And, ‘though the international playing field has yet to become competitively flat, we might just be a short generation away from that occurring; and the miracle that once was America could soon become but a memory of recent past.
Poof… goes the American mythic star! The diamond-studded American exceptionalism, together with the touted and revered American dream – dual virtuosity that we were made to believe came from above… from a god who prejudicially played favoritism on our behalf – are rapidly coming to an end, as we begin to recognize and acknowledge that our lucky star was mainly the result of an unprecedentedly large marketplace that industrious Americans created in their westward territorial expansion… something which de Tocqueville clearly saw and aptly described in the 1820’s.
No matter what politicians of the two hardly distinguishable brands tell us, the future does not bode well for either political party content in alternating their unashamed ineptitude running the nation for as long as most of us can remember for the benefit of a privileged few. Both Democrats and Republicans, and here we mean the officialdom and not the rank and file, might soon be in for a rude awakening with the exit of politics-as-usual and the disappearance of the newly-birthed nobility in America represented by the parasite political-class which has usurped “the government by the people” in that proclamation of national purpose made by Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg (1863).
If politicians were honest, be they apprentices or masters, they wouldn’t be clamoring such ignorant-idiocy during the presidential campaign as expressed in “make America great again (Donald Trump),” or “fighting for us (Hillary Clinton),” but rather spouse more dignified, non-xenophobic slogans, aiming at what has been lacking in our lives: fairness and justice for everyone in America. But in politics, just as in other aspects of American life, sleaze reigns supreme; honesty and dishonesty so intertwined in our lives that often we have difficulty differentiating between those who commit crimes and their victims; those leaders who have our best interests and welfare at heart, and those paladins of sleaze who politically take advantage of us for their personal enrichment.
The disappearance of that favored economic status which gave Americans a cushion in helping to cope with diversity is already being felt, bringing about both rebuke and remake of politics as we are experiencing them today, with the final rites for two-party politics to take place sooner than anticipated as Republican and Democratic politicians could soon be writing their duopoly obituaries after jointly having placed much of the population in dire straits relative to both the economy and personal safety.
And the different constituencies – not so much their leaders but their memberships – are beginning to question whether their loyalty to either of the two parties have been abused or misused; whether they might have fared better had they taken charge of their own destiny with their own clear advocacies and “in-house” leadership, instead of leaving things in the hands of master politicians who have continually demonstrated to be no patron saints to their memberships, nor strong advocates for their needs.
Demagoguery has ruled the day for blacks, browns and labor unions who have cast their lot with the self-serving leadership of the Democratic Party, all vestiges of progressivism thrown out the window during Bill Clinton’s tenure in the White House; and, similarly, that demagoguery has also applied to fiscal and social conservatives who have rendered homage to a leadership in a Republican Party whose sole advocacy has been the advancement [in money and power] of an elite that has little in common with the highly regarded historical precepts of the Grand Old Party, or ideological conservatism.
It does look as if this presidential election, given both the character and the judgment of the presumptive (and presumptuous) nominees, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, could very well be the catalyst for a renovation of our body politic; at least fire that first shot to initiate a race that will overhaul, rapidly and democratically, American politics.