American Party Culture, Part 5: The Pressure to Conform

The quest for an efficacious politics is a coming-of-age tale of sorts. There is an inevitable moment of reckoning in the life of each and every member of the polity, a moment when the veil of winsome ignorance is lifted and the mind is awoken to the realities of civic life. In this moment, each citizen must grapple with their political identity and determine whether it is more personally efficacious to allow their opinions to…

View More American Party Culture, Part 5: The Pressure to Conform

American Party Culture, Part 4: The Struggle for Popularity

Messages of political unity have a particular magnetism. For certain, campaign rhetoric that appeals to the ability of a nation to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds if people put differences aside and pull together for the common good is like lodestone for would-be politicians. “Come together” messaging might seem incongruous in the framework of inherently divisive elections, where competitors speak of hope and unity in one breath then deride the motives of their opponent in the…

View More American Party Culture, Part 4: The Struggle for Popularity

American Party Culture, Part 3: Purging Substance

A party which does not stand on substance, which does not appeal to voters on the merits of ideals but instead panders to vaguely defined social needs, cannot govern. Consensus, which is ultimately defined by the ever-shifting goalposts of public opinions, is worth more than demonstrably workable ideas. Modern politics defines morality by the numbers: the more people who approve of a policy, the more political capital is possesses. This attitude goes hand-in-hand with the…

View More American Party Culture, Part 3: Purging Substance

America’s Party Culture, Part 2: Destructive Behavior

Discrimination is an operative force in politics; a functioning government must calculate what courses of action are likely to benefit the citizenry and the nation as a whole. To do so, politicians must have a vision of an end towards which they are working, meaning ideological belief is the driving force behind an efficacious politics. Parties are an organizational tool to this end; they connect members of the citizenry, who have disparate sets of belief…

View More America’s Party Culture, Part 2: Destructive Behavior

America’s Party Culture, Part 1: An Exclusive Club

An efficacious politics requires some degree of exclusivity, even in a democratic society. A functional government is built on choice; politicians must sort through vast troves of information, not all of it reliable, in order to identify and pursue the one course of action most likely to lead to a desired outcome. But it is not enough to lobby for the passage of a specific policy on the grounds that it benefits a certain constituency;…

View More America’s Party Culture, Part 1: An Exclusive Club
Top
All content protected by copyright. The Politics of Discretion, 2016.