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The Dissolution of America
Coming of Political Age
I was born in 1982, which makes me a member of the millennial class of 2000. So my very first active foray into our Democratic process was the disastrously laughable and lamentably memorable Presidential Election of 2000. With the results of that debacle finally settled, viciously demonstrating what's wanting in the electoral college system, and with what's followed I've wondered; Does every generation feel uniquely situated at the crossroads of U.S. history or is their something truly crucial and absolutely unique about this Political era?
I asked those older than me to help me with this question by making use of the wider perspective that they enjoy and the answer seems to be both yes and yes. Every generation does feel that they are poised to either make a difference or watch the beginning of the unraveling of the America fabric, but there does seem to be something particularly defunct about the Federal government in the 21st century.
One wonders if the circumstances that birthed this age of Political malfeasance was an inevitability, a decade or two in the making, or a scurrying trip down the rabbit hole to which 9/11 was the necessary antecedent.
Reactionary elements, when tracked back through their tortuous actions and reactions do seem to have at last landed us so politically, socially, and economically divided that a significant portion of both the populous and the electorate have lost their innate perspective towards national self-preservation over party preservation. However to classify the trenchant partisanism as evenly cast at the feet of both parties seems at best a liberal olive branch offered in a vain attempt to establish a false common ground.
Preparing for Change
After eight war-mongering years, complete with an executive branch granted powers that no one dared speak of pre 9/11, meaningless color-coded threat level scare tactics, and a financial collapse in which the only people who suffered were those farthest removed from it's making, the democratic push back for hope, change, and something new made a young Senator from Michigan a Political superstar.
The Political propaganda machine that was FOX news had to relent in the immediate wake of it's corporation driven ride over the edge. The Republicans in predictable fashion though, only quieted down in order to watch, with the rest of the world, the U.S. crash into the ravine below and offered help to a hemorrhaging nation only by way of pointing out the mess they had made while disowning all responsibility for it.
The backlash of having the first African-American accede to The American Presidency is a very thinly veiled new type of Racism that is most uniquely pernicious in it's self-denial. The Tea-Party, Neoconservatives, Right Wing Religious Zealots, and the most particularly ignorant factions of America soon found their scape-goat. Ever so carefully crafting their brand and feeding it to the hopelessly frustrated, America's problems soon took a historically predictable form in the guise of Immigrants, real and imagined.
Without, "godless communists," to blame since the end of the Cold War, anyone and anything deemed not really American, i.e. foreign, ethnic, erudite, secular, immediately became the problem that seemed feasible enough for a few opportunist to construct campaigns platforms of shocking simplicity and drastic enough vitriol to propel themselves to federal office.
This, "revitalized Republican base," has become the recalcitrant congressional inerts that throw around the words, "socialism and fascism," with the comprehension of babies with bright shiny new toys and measure their success by their obstinate efficiency at inefficiency. These are the dug-in members of the house that have voted over 40 time to repeal The Affordable Care Act, have signed Grover Norquist's tax pledge, and have only recently accepted that the President was indeed born in Hawaii.
Beyond All Argument
But I think what might be crippling this government even more than a significant number of congress members who refuse to give even an inch to the President is the transformations of Politics by 24 hour news networks into a reality show.
When a network has nothing to do but report the news, they tend to sensationalize it and repeat it ad nauseam. Thus instead of two somewhat divergent view points, as in yesteryear, coming to the table to find common ground each side views the other instead as an enemy, not to be actively engaged, not to be negotiated or reasoned with, as the fundamental problem with which it is an American imperative to smote.
And why this new battle scape at home smolders, the conspiracy theorists, the racists, the fanatics, the paranoid, and the ignorant, have all found their respective foxholes from which to snipe. The dialogue of the last 10 years has been carefully reworked by the corporations behind political action committees to offer up the poor, the disenfranchised, and the immigrants as unsuspecting and underserving shields covering them from their own particularly deadly brand of friendly fire.