Do the qualifications for being the “head of the New American Empire” include the same mindset that has led us to where we find ourselves today?
In spite of what the Constitution offers, we now have a system of government for which the qualifications of executive leadership are restricted to a few. Who has what it takes to manipulate the levers of power in the New American Empire? Almost nobody. Trump represents a frightening, Andrew Jacksonian energy that threatens to rescind the many unwritten bargains that represent the new American Constitution that has replaced the parchment one. Reagan appeared to be an “outsider” – he was, in fact, perfect for the role. It was Carter, like Trump, who was much more wrong and threatening to the status quo when he occupied the New Presidency with his old ideas. He was run off promptly, and Reagan – who was really closer to Hilary Clinton in Federalism – cemented the system into place.
I find it amusing that Caterer is disdained, and Reagan championed for qualities that were assigned for PR purposes. In many ways, Carter was disdained for his pessimistic focus on gritty reform. How – plebeian!
This country was in an ugly mood at the time of the Bicentennial. The citizenry were suspicious that their power over their government and the control of their economic fate was waning – and of course, they were right. Vietnam continued, as Afghanistan was to continue in the USSR, mindless of the wishes of the citizenry; and Nixon had been run off, barely, by the populace. The Washington Insiders were plenty sore at that, and needed to rebrand the United States Government of genteel, immersive bureaucracy of the future. Someone had to hush the whistling ghost of Eisenhower and his Address.
It’s been for the last 40 years that corporatism, bureaucracy and debt has become standards of the new government. We are merely playing out into the re-experiences of the twilight of cultures that are at an impasse, and perhaps an end.
Does Trump represents a “brand new approach,” or perhaps just another bad direction in the twilight? I suspect the latter. New and progressive ideas do not always turn out to be optimal. Keep the optimism, though.
I am not at all sure that the people has the willingness and patience to de-build all the wasteful and inefficient aspects of our culture and governance. We are likely intellectual and politically divorced from the earlier American concepts of limited Republican government, and we will not try to learn them again.
1980 was the watershed, when we gave up the gritty reality of trying to reform, and turned to the delight in the success that one can enjoy when one eats the seed corn, and gives up on the idea that we’re making something better for the next generation.
That’s where we are now. We have succumbed to the superstition of technology, that the iWatch and the FitBit and the EMR will achieve things impossible for humans. Algorithms can lead us to the new Utopia.
That ain’t playing out well, either – but it gives a man hope.

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