Let’s be honest with ourselves. The old political order deserved to die. The moneyed interests that manipulate both political parties and finance the elaborate electoral machinery that shapes so-called “public opinion” effectively suffocated American democracy a long while back. In our modern high-tech society, the notion that we are self-governing citizens has been turned into a cynical joke.
People knew this, sort of. As long as things were going good in their lives, most people learned to live with it. Both parties made pretty promises during campaigns, but average folks understood that these were mostly garbage. Whatever it took to win the election. Voting became a marginal option, since most people had learned to expect that not much would be changed.
The actual facts of governing—the real meat of power politics—were reserved for privileged circles who needed to know what was going down, the lobbyists and do-gooders and agents of heavyweight influence. The news media made sure that the real struggles of governing were dumbed down for average readers so as not to disturb their innocent ignorance.
This is the system that Donald Trump and his army of mobilized citizens blew up on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. I predict that this date will live forever in the annals of small-d democracy. The governing system was overthrown by the plain people, who are mostly ignored by systems of power and influence. These folks literally didn’t count with the bean counters who organize campaign strategies or with the economists who measure something called “GDP” or the reporters who explain to the untutored public what the economists said.