MAJOR TROUBLE AHEAD FOR DEMOCRACIES : In Donald Trump Is The Next Barack Obama, Angelo Codevilla makes some important points about the fundamental transformation underway in the USA. These changes are being echoed in other democracies. A bit heavy perhaps, but this big picture stuff is important.
The Obama years have brought America to the brink of transformation from constitutional republic into an empire ruled by secret deals promulgated by edicts. Civics classes used to teach: “Congress makes the laws, the president carries them out, judges decide controversies, and we citizens may be penalized only by a jury of our peers.”
Nobody believes that anymore, because no part of it has been true for a long time. Barack Obama stopped pretending that it is. … Because Trump would act as our second emperor, he would render well-nigh impossible our return to republicanism.
The rise of the permanent government of bureaucrats, academics, media, judges and large corporations:
Congress no longer passes real laws. Instead, it passes broad grants of authority, the substance of the president’s bureaucracy decides in cooperation with interest groups. … Americans have learned that, as they say in DC, if you are not sitting at one of these tables of power, “you’re on the menu.”
America is now ruled by a uniformly educated class of persons that occupies the commanding heights of bureaucracy, of the judiciary, education, the media, and of large corporations, and that wields political power through the Democratic Party. Its control of access to prestige, power, privilege, and wealth exerts a gravitational pull that has made the Republican Party’s elites into its satellites.
Voting is a symbolic form of civil war, where we count how many on each side, then skip the fighting and let the majority govern for a while. But:
This class’s fatal feature is its belief that ordinary Americans are a lesser intellectual and social breed. Its increasing self-absorption, its growing contempt for whoever won’t bow to it, its dependence for votes on sectors of society whose grievances it stokes, have led it to break the most basic rule of republican life: deeming its opposition illegitimate. The ruling class insists on driving down the throats of its opponents the agendas of each its constituencies and on injuring persons who stand in the way. This has spawned a Newtonian reaction, a hunger, among what may be called the “country class” for returning the favor with interest.
Like Obama, Trump is not about persuading anybody. Both are about firing up their supporters to impose their will on their opponents while insulting them. Throughout history, this style of politics has been the indispensable ingredient for wrecking republics…
And that just leads to a cycle of revenge.
Ordinary Americans have endured being insulted by the ruling class’s favorite epitaphs—racist, sexist, etc., and, above all, stupid; they have had careers and reputations compromised by speaking the wrong word in front of the wrong person.
No wonder, then, that millions of Americans lose respect for a ruling class that disrespects them, that they identify with whomever promises some kind of turnabout against that class, and that they care less and less for the integrity of institutions that fail to protect them.