American Political Realities You Must Understand

The most insightful explanation of contemporary American political realities is found in an essay entitled “America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution” that Angelo M. Codevilla published the July-August 2010 issue of the American Spectator.

Codevilla effectively makes the case that America is comprised of two classes. Both parties in Washington DC comprise what he designates as the “ruling class.” This class of Americans is spawned from elitist colleges that indoctrinate their students with a secular worldview that includes the perspective that common people must be ruled by those more intelligent in society, which the ruling class perceive themselves to be.

Therefore, for the nation to run as it should they must achieve positions of political power from which they can shape society. Because society needs the benefit of their social engineering it is important that government grow as big and become as pervasive as possible. The greater the reach of government, the more these intellectual people can exercise necessary control over the masses.

Codevilla views both Democrats and Republicans as belonging to this ruling class since they have gone to the same schools and have a similar vision regarding the need of the common person for government, especially government controlled by them. Though these parties vie for power, they both desire bigger government and greater power centralized in Washington DC. This perspective is supported by the growth of government during the six years when Republicans had control of the House, the Senate, and the White House. It is also supported by the current wranglings over the debt ceiling that will amount to little more than arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Occasionally a Ronald Reagan or Ted Cruz who don’t share the ruling class orientation, finds his way into office, but such outsiders find themselves demonized, marginalized, and outnumbered.

The ruling class advocates higher taxes because through the control of money they can expand government. This expansion comes not only through the growth of government bureaucracy, but also by granting political favors to business and other elements of society, which usually come in the form of cash, thus gaining control over the recipients of their favors, which enables them to incorporate those elements into the ruling class.

For example, labor unions for the most part do not work for the benefit of their members, but for their own welfare, which is achieved primarily through an incestuous relationship with government. Government legislation supports labor unions, and labor unions contribute to big government. Therefore, labor unions become extensions of the ruling class. Codevilla explains how the American Medical Association and similar organizations are also brought under the ruling class are umbrella.

The result of this arrangement is that to an ever increasing degree success in America comes not from hard work and ingenuity but from gaining influence with the ruling class. Codevilla points out that laws and regulations are no longer designed to apply to Americans in general, but rather they specify certain businesses and groups chosen to be winners by the ruling class in exchange for campaign contributions and other favors. Such specification requires voluminous bills as the 2700 page Affordable Care Act.

Codevilla refers to the other class of Americans as the “Country Class.” Though a heterogeneous group, they are in large measure comprised of traditional Americans with Christian values. A substantial segment of these people have some level of commitment to Christianity. Most of those who do not nonetheless possess a Christian cultural orientation. They believe in integrity, traditional marriage and family, freedom for the individual, and success through hard work and ingenuity.

The ruling class disdains these bourgeois values. Though we frequently hear of Barack Obama’s derogatory comment regarding those who cling to their guns and their God, the reality is that most of the ruling class possess the same diminished perspective of common Americans and their values.

This raises the question of how the ruling class maintains power since they represent a minority. Codevilla describes American voter orientation as follows—and this is highly significant:

When pollsters ask the American people whether they are likely to vote Republican or Democrat in the next presidential election, Republicans win growing pluralities. But whenever pollsters add the preferences “undecided,” “none of the above,” or “tea party,” these win handily, the Democrats come in second, and the Republicans trail far behind. That is because while most of the voters who call themselves Democrats say that Democratic officials represent them well, only a fourth of the voters who identify themselves as Republicans tell pollsters that Republican officeholders represent them well. Hence officeholders, Democrats and Republicans, gladden the hearts of some one-third of the electorate — most Democratic voters, plus a few Republicans. This means that Democratic politicians are the ruling class’s prime legitimate representatives and that because Republican politicians are supported by only a fourth of their voters while the rest vote for them reluctantly, most are aspirants for a junior role in the ruling class. In short, the ruling class has a party, the Democrats. But some two-thirds of Americans — a few Democratic voters, most Republican voters, and all independents — lack a vehicle in electoral politics.

More recent polls reflect even further movement toward dissatisfaction with the ruling class.

What do these numbers tell us? First, because Democrats are who they say they are, that is, the ruling class, and consequently satisfy their base, they will continue to grow in power unless some crisis alters our national situation. For example, it was the utter debacle of the Carter presidency that brought in Ronald Reagan. However, apart from such a development, we can expect the Democrat Party to continue to gain power and the Republican Party to decline.

One would think based on the statistics above that an obvious and easy solution would reside in the development of a third party. The numbers support this option. However, several factors militate against it.

First, the current grasp of power by the ruling class makes such a development very difficult. For example, I heard yesterday that Sen. Mitch McConnell already has $17 million toward his upcoming senatorial race. It is extremely hard for a contender to compete.

A second impediment to the development of a third-party is found in the power of the media, which we have often referenced in this blog. For a practical understanding of media influence and its destructive force just think of Sarah Palin. The media do not need substantive issues to destroy people. They can create them, propagate them, and in so doing give them substance where none exists.

Yet another roadblock to the formation of a third-party consists of the difficulty in transitioning into power. For example, the Ohio State Senate recently passed a bill related to how elections are conducted in that crucial swing state that would make it almost impossible for a third-party to get on the ballot.

These types of obstacles, and there would be many of them, make prospects for a third-party very slim.

One would have thought that the utter debacle of the Obama presidency and the painfully obvious ineptitude or unwillingness of the Republicans to respond would have provided more than ample impetus for the Tea Party to morph into a third-party. The failure of this to happen, or even begin happening to date telegraphs that we are stuck with what we have, with worse on the way.

Politics offers no hope. As we concluded yesterday, hope that’s real only resides in a spiritual Third Great Awakening. Only the Holy Spirit can bring this to pass. Future posts will develop what we need to do to prepare for His ministry.

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