Saturday, January 21, 2012
OLD THOUGHTS VERY NEW
Before I get back to the inimitable philosophical stylings of Catharine MacKinnon I have to put this essay up.
I just finished reading for the first time the December 29, 2008 issue of ‘The Nation’ magazine.
I find that there is a tremendous value to reading ‘old’ journals of opinion ‘fresh’. As you get into the reading, you are of course absorbed into the streams of thought that were very much ‘fresh’ and usually ‘urgent’ and presumably insightful when they were written. Yet simultaneously your mind is informed by all of the actual events that you know have happened since the articles were written (now 3 full years ago and a bit).
It’s a rather stimulating and useful mental exercise on several levels.
So to a couple of the articles or columns and the thoughts they prompt.
Eric Alterman discusses the up-coming Presidency of Barack Obama in terms of whether Obama – as a welcome relief to the outgoing George W. Bush – is going to repeat the failures of a longish string of Democratic presidents who failed because of their “militant liberalism”.
First he tries to dispose of the fact that “barely one in five Americans embraces the label ‘liberal’ to describe themselves”.
“This is easily explained”, Alterman breezily asserts, “by the mountains of opprobrium that conservatives – working hand in glove with a cowed MSM [mainstream media] – have heaped on ‘liberals during the past three decades and the negative associations that have resulted”. So, it’s all been the work of a predominantly conservative and cowardly MSM and the ‘conservative’ political machines themselves.
I think not.
First, I am not at all going to get into the ‘liberal’-vs-‘conservative’, he said/she said kabuki that has come to pass for politics and political commentary over the past Biblical 40 years here. In my view, the ‘liberals’ are not really liberal, and the ‘conservatives’ are not really conservative. And they both are “sisters under the skin” insofar as neither of them have any use for any “deliberative democratic politics” or the Framing Vision which anchors the entire Constitution and the political vitality and survival of the American Experiment and the Republic on the robust fundamental of a three-point circuit consisting of The People, their elected representatives, and the Sovereign Authority of the government, all of which is underlain by a common and mature commitment to that Framing Vision.
Second, as We have been seeing since the very early 1970s – and especially after the stunning defeat of the Democrats’ New Order Party vision in the presidential election of 1972 – The People, given what may have been their last chance to kick-tire and deliver their judgment on that vision, utterly rejected it, 49 States to one (the hold-out being Massachusetts, politically controlled by Teddy Kennedy and his powerful electoral machinery in his home state).
Third, I would have wondered then – and certainly so now – if Alterman et al. aren’t trying to pull a leaf from the Israeli playbook: that if you object to anything the ‘liberals’ have done or to any consequences that have flowed therefrom, then you are a ‘conservative’ (and a ‘backlasher’ and etcetera and etcetera). After all, especially now that the aura of national ‘wealth’ has been burned away, all sorts of consequences of so much of their agenda are now suddenly appearing, as if by magic although actually they have been hiding in plain sight for decades.So it is hardly outré to imagine that The People sensed something very wrong, perhaps even very dangerous, deep in the Democrats’ vision for the country’s New Order.
Indeed, Nixon (for whom I hold no brief) realized that some sort of ‘elitism’ – comprised as We now have seen of both homegrown Progressive elitism and the shockingly Alien Universe of Marxist-Leninist thought as shrewdly developed by Antonio Gramsci and already by 1972 embraced (without attribution) by radical-feminists here - was lurking in that Democratic New Order.
Recognizing that ‘elitism’ Nixon made a hardly-ungrounded claim that the views of a vast majority of Americans – whom We now know to have been classified in the Gramscian scheme as bourgeois, dominant oppressors of the marginalized (all of which are Gramsci's terms), and in radical-feminist thought as being a huge bunch of oppressive lumps who ‘just don’t get it’ – were being sidestepped and utterly disregarded (as per the gameplan of Marx, Lenin, Gramsci, and the radical-feminists who had filched that gameplan for their own purposes).
That vast majority of Americans constituted, in Nixon’s phrase, “a silent majority”.
Apparently, by 2008, even Alterman has to admit that that group remains very much in the majority.
Rather than engage the idea and examine the whole matter, Nixon – who voiced it – was wholly discredited by the later (and in light of, say, LBJ’s machinations in regard to Vietnam and Israel’s acquiring nuclear material for their upcoming Bomb,utterly secondary) Watergate brouhaha.
But – of course – while the messenger was slyly done in, the reality of the message, to the extent that it was real, remained very much alive, despite the best efforts – widely picked up by the MSM – to spin it as merely ‘backlash’.
But the spin-stampede was kept up in a massive elite-driven and Democratic and Beltway-supported demonstration of all the primary plays in both Gramsci’s and Goebbels’s game-book. Thus unto this very day.
Of course – as We now know – “majoritarian politics” and “deliberative democratic process” had already been written off by the Dems at the behest of their newly-embraced radical-feminist clients, whose ‘philosophy’ was slyly plagiarized from Gramsci and that Alien Universe. Since most Americans ‘just didn’t get it’ then they would have to be herded, stampeded, or penned up into irrelevance. Or: if The People failed the elites in 1972, perhaps then The People need merely to be replaced: youth were given the vote and immigration increased to bolster the possibilities of destabilizing the Culture that had rejected the elite dampdreams.
While all the while, the whole thing was spun as merely a continuation of MLK’s marvelous and genuinely American vision, calling all Americans to participate in a “new birth of freedom” for the American Vision.
But, of course, what had happened by 1970 or so was that the entire American Framing Vision had been written off in favor of a) an elite-driven imposition (with the full collaboration of the Beltway) and of b) that thorough-going and multi-form assault against the ‘dominant, hegemonic, oppressive’ Culture that Gramsci had envisioned (and those descriptive terms are his, not radical feminism’s) as the best way to undermine the target Cultures of the West.
Alterman says that if you change “liberal” to “progressive” then you will double the “number of respondents” who identify themselves on that end of the spectrum.
But that is hardly a solution here. “Progressivism”, even as a natively American movement, had always relied upon ‘elites’ to help educate the unwashed masses of newly arrived immigrants. And, in a hardly irrelevant coincidence, Progressivism was contemporaneous with the burst of anarchist and socialist thought already running at high speed through Europe and Russia. As was, by amazing coincidence, Gramsci’s thought.
But to embrace and unleash this approach on the mature postwar American polity and politically mature Citizenry in 1970 and since then was a hugely dubious and dangerous gambit, even without taking into account the stunning presumptions of Gramsci that the whole targeted Culture was rotten and irredeemable and had to be undermined and attacked as often and as widely as possible, and by any means necessary.
Alterman then goes on to sniff assertively that “it’s rather a stretch to argue, following George W. Bush’s Vietnam-like Iraq misadventure, that Obama is likely to reprise [LBJ’s and Bush’s] catastrophic combination of arrogance and incompetence”. And here We are in 2012 and what do you think?
But I would agree with him, to some extent, that Obama did not “reprise” that “arrogance and incompetence” exhibited and deployed by his aforementioned presidential predecessors. Rather, I would say that Obama – a callow and youthy as well as ambitious fellow – merely found himself indentured from the get-go to the nefarious dynamics of that Alien political Universe that by 2009 was already (irretrievably?) embedded in the nation’s politics and its political discourse (greatly and intentionally corrupted and weakened by decades of dishonest and distracting spin into nothing more than a mostly immature kabuki of dueling cartoonish conceptions and assertions, into which no light of clear analysis was allowed to intrude).
Whatever his natural fall-back gifts, he wound up reverting to them in order to keep himself afloat in the treacherous riptides between the Scylla of the National Nanny State and the Charybdis of the National Security State, between the now-embedded pandering government indenture to both Big Identity and Big Money.
And here We are in the Year of Grace Two-Thousand-and-Twelve and of the independence of the United States the two-hundred-thirty-sixth.
America is, Alterman perhaps regrets, far “less liberal than Europe”. But he refers to a Europe wracked by Eurocommunism, which was the 1970s erection of Gramsci into a Plan by numerous European nations whose Socialist and Communist Parties were already trying to somehow find a new role for themselves, given the brutal postwar and post-1956 revelations of Leninist-Stalinist Communism’s treacherously violent wrecking of the very ‘masses’ in whose name that regime – in Russia and in the satellite nations – imposed its ‘visions’.
Thus in Christopher Hayes’s article “The Pragmatist”, that author seeks to explain what it might mean to say that Obama is a “pragmatist”.
He notes a then-recent George Packer essay proposing that in order to secure election, Obama’s campaign rhetoric had been neatly designed to send out ambiguous messages that would lead both “progressives” and “post-partisans” to think he was on their team.
That “post-partisan” is a clear if oblique reference to the fractalizing partisanship that is built into the Gramscian-derived Identity Politics.
In the context of Beltway dynamics, to be “pragmatic” therefore means that one is not going to remain restricted by – or committed to – the de rigeur (one could say ‘ideological’) requirements of that Identity Politics so irretrievably permeated with Gramsci’s thoughts and plans from that Alien political Universe of Marxism-Leninism and Eurocommunism.
But the restriction of having to satisfy its now decades-old Indenture to the Far, radical feminist Left constitutes one of the only ‘reliable bases’ of the Democratic Party – which had been precisely the pols’ intention to establish 40 Biblical years ago.
In the service of which they had to slyly (and treacherously, in light of what they had sworn to preserve, protect and uphold) begun a double-life: for public consumption praising the American ‘thing’, while claiming to merely demonstrate their wise and effective chops in implementing ‘reforms’ and ‘continuing’ MLK’s great civil-rights work; and yet actually betraying all of that in order to implement whatever their New Order advocacy bosses and bossettes wanted.
Thus the Beltway and almost the entire sitting political class (in 2008 as well as 2012) were already into a verrrrry baaaaad habit of duplicitous treachery, for which ‘pragmatism’ is very much too nice a term.
If even in 2008 Obama and his strategy staff realized that somehow he had to distance himself (and the Party?) from at least the appearance of its indenture to Big Identity, then the 2008 version of ‘pragmatism’ was only going to be rhetorical, because the vampires and vampiresses of that Alien political Universe had now gotten very used to being in the Beltway house (having been invited in by the gate-keepers themselves) and, indeed, with the help of a helpfully unreflective and shallow MSM had gotten wayyyy too many folks thinking that if If it’s Democrat, then it’s ‘liberal’ – and Gramsci and the Eurocommunists are nothing if not anti-liberal and anti-Liberal: for them only ‘radical democracy’ will do, and that type of ‘democracy’ doesn’t include ‘deliberative democratic process’ since so many Citizens are enthrall to Dominance, Hegemony, and Oppression (whether the poor chumps realize it or not).
And when Hayes reports that Obama “plans to govern from the center-right of his Party” then that’s not usefully insightful either. Because by 2008, both ‘left’ and ‘right’ had been long-trapped in the swamp of endless cartoonish assertions of one’s ‘position’ – accompanied by all sorts of TV-friendly sound-and-light effects. But nobody of importance on either ‘side’ wanted to look more deeply into mattes, for fear of exposing the Gramscian Elephant in the middle of the national political room.
Nor did the MSM want to risk its ‘access’ to A-list dinner parties by mentioning the Elephant either.
In that context, to be “open-minded” and not “excessively partisan” – which to all appearances seem worthy objectives – could only mean to the Far Left cadres that you were not going to consider yourself bound by any ‘fetishizing’ of the Constitution, traditions, principles, or any of the other tools of America’s fundamental Hegemonic Oppression of its “marginalized”. While to the Rightist or even centrist, such an assertion would seem fatuous and guaranteed to fail, in light of the fanatical rage of the cadres (and ‘advocates’) of the Far Left bases who would no more consider yielding their ‘revolutionary’ gains than any Scriptural demon would politely leave a possessed body if asked nicely.
And – let’s face it – ‘pragmatism’ by 2008 meant simply layering yet one more level of unprincipled plasticity over an already hugely ‘plastic’ and mushy sense of principle that had been cemented into place by the original Beltway trahison in the early 1970s.
The name of Cass Sunstein flits by in the article, a University of Chicago law professor who had a nice little run explaining how Obama was not really a “flip-flopper” and not a “doctrinaire liberal”.
But of course, by 2008, both ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ had morphed together into a new Leviathan (or, in the Left’s Nanny State, Leviatha) that had no use on Left or Right for any ‘deliberative democratic politics’. Either the emergency of ‘oppression’ or the emergency of ‘national security’ required an engorged and intrusive and impositional government that knew far better than its Citizens or than The People what had to be done.
So commentary at the level of even bosky academics like Professor Sunstein and his ilk was, if more polite and polysyllabic than in-your-face radical feminist crowing or Fox News declamations and insinuations, about as useless.
Sunstein burbled that Obama was a “minimalist” who “prefers solutions that can be accepted by people with a wide variety of theoretical inclinations” – that is “his defining trait and chief virtue”.
But in the context of what had been going on in American politics since 1972 at least, then such competences were guaranteed to be of little use and would create even further damage. Because at the heart of American politics for the past 40 Biblical years has been a truly Either-Or Question that demanded to be recognized and Answered: would the Framing Vision of 1787 or the Gramscian vision derived from Marx and Lenin be the ‘ground’ for Beltway policy and legislation and for the ‘elite’ vision of what was needed for this country?
On that Question , I am saying, there truly could be no waffling and no middle-ground. You cannot simultaneously support the Framing Vision (shared by MLK, embodied in the Constitution) and the Culture which that Vision informs, and also the Gramscian vision that democracies are merely bourgeois tools of Dominance, Hegemony, and Oppression (adapted by radical feminism here, of course, to include Patriarchy and etcetera and et cetera) which along with their Cultures had to be attacked, weakened wherever possible, torn down, and replaced no matter what it took nor how long it took.
Like Hitler who, when initially planning the Wehrmacht’s invasion of England in the summer and fall of 1940, paid little attention to the “mere 20 miles” separating the Greater Reich and England, traditionally called the Channel. So too, the Beltway biggies apparently figured that they could paper over the genuine abyss yawning between the Framing Vision (to whose defense they were formally sworn) and the Gramscian Project (which was the price the radical-feminists were going to charge for ‘delivering’ the allegedly monolithic ‘women’s vote’). How, after all, could a simple ‘abstract’ matter of ‘principles’ and a long-past history really interfere with the big plans of major Macher in oh-so-cutting-edge modern American politics? How many divisions does the Framing Vision have (to borrow a trope)?
Thus the Beltway as it descended into the Valley of the Little Big Horn (to borrow an image).
Thus, Hayes quotes Packer quoting Sunstein, it is wrong for people to “expect Obama to be the anti-Bush” (remember him?).
After all, says Sunstein, the only problem with Bushism “is not its content but its form”. Which precisely reveals – although slyly costumed – the fact that by 2008 both ‘liberal’ Nanny State and Rightist ‘Security State’ subscribed to the same content: The People can’t be trusted to know what’s good for them nor to govern their own government. And that, I am saying – ‘justify’ it how you may – is pretty much the end of the Republic in a nutshell.
In trying to make the Great Experiment of 1787 a lot less demanding and ‘oppressive’, the Left grossly weakened it (and hardly surprisingly, considering they imported Gramsci’s methodological refinements of Marx and Lenin to do the job). And into that vacuum the ancient demon of Leviathan, traditionally seen as arising from the Right, did indeed awaken and burst back into the American polity, since the Left – out of the purportedly best of intentions – had weakened the walls built by the Framers to keep that ferocious Kong a safe distance away. And the sworn defenders and guardians of the Wall had, in 1972, happily put all the government’s resources into the Project.
What a movie! Or, to borrow the master vampire’s best line from the 1985 movie of the same name: “Welcome to fright night … for real”.
And here We are in 2012.
But back to 2008.
Obama, continues Sunstein, is really the “best kind of anti-Bush” because he is not “ideological”. But that’s bullplop. The entire Democratic agenda had become indentured to ideology the moment it invited Gramsci inside in 1972, brought to the nation’s Beltway entrance by radical-feminists insisting that such an Approach and such a Stance were simply the most ‘cutting edge’ and ‘fresh’ and ‘rich’ and ‘creative’ and ‘transgressive’ stuff and was completely their own invention and just a more efficient way of realizing MLK’s truly and genuinely American civil-rights Project. Should the Beltway pols – especially the Dems – join and support them, the radical feminists prophesied, they would make History rather than be oppressed by it, and they would all be greeted as liberators.
Sunstein intones that it is a fallacy to think that “all ideology is dangerous”. Meaning by 2008 that commitment and faithfulness to an overriding (and underlying) vision is not always dangerous. It is only dangerous when it is some other vision than their Correct elite vision (which, as I have said above and in the immediately prior Posts, is actually Gramsci’s and the Eurocommunists’ and Marx’s and Lenin’s vision about how to go about wrecking a well-established Western, democratic polity and its Culture).
If even – as Hayes slyly notes – Pat Buchanan observed that Bush’s biggest failure was his “embrace of ideology” (and I don’t at all deny the accuracy of that statement) yet We have to realize that the Beltway had been indentured to an even more Alien ideology – and even more lethally dangerous for being ‘spun’ as ‘liberating’ – since 1972.
So the kabuki mudfight between ‘pragmatism’ and ‘ideology’ had been nothing but a magician’s distracting trick for decades by 2008. And still is today.
Starting to get wrapped up in the toils of his own conceptual incoherences, Hayes then tries to point out that after 9/11 “pragmatists of all stripes – Alan Dershowitz, Richard Posner – lined up to offer tips and strategies on how to best implement a practical and effective torture regime, but ideologues said no torture, no exceptions”.
But by 2008 any essential and fundamental loyalty to the Framing Vision and its ‘traditional’ virtues had long been ‘deconstructed’ by the ‘liberals’ and the Left precisely according to Gramsci’s gameplan. The objections raised against torture had to be only ‘practical’, because to claim any authority for the Framing Vision (and ‘virtues’!) was considered career-wreckingly not-Correct.
Indeed, as Rawls (and more recently Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen) had tried to assert, any commitment to any “comprehensive system” of explaining and grounding life and human action was inadmissible in American public discourse. Unless it was his and their Correct comprehensive system, which anyway was not based in ‘abstractions’ about traditions and classical Virtues, but rather in the (Gramscian and Eurocommunist) presumptions that a) you could not legitimately Ground and restrict humans’ ‘autonomy’ on the basis of such ‘abstractions’ but that b) you could ground such restrictions on merely human feelings and the insights of any particular historical moment.
Which turned out to be a ‘fence’ about as useful as an artfully constructed wall of oatmeal and corn-flakes in stopping either Leviathan or Leviatha. As We have now seen.
The Framers sought to boundary government because it would be made up of human beings and, the Framers knew, humans also needed boundaries not simply to ‘restrict their autonomy’ but to give them some reliable (and hopefully decent) Shape.
Absent such restrictions, human beings became mushy exo-skeletal insects and without the exo-skeleton to boot. And quite probably irrational and violent on top of everything else.
Humans are not ‘born free’ because, the Framers were convinced, they are born with a disturbing predilection to wreck other humans’ lives in pursuit of their own satisfactions. And the governments humans erect tended to do the same.
To give in to Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s bland and burbly happy-face assumption that if there were simply no ‘society’ with its laws and customs and folkways then humans would be happy and good … that struck the Framers as the height of lethal and witless imbecility.
Who can deny it?
Hayes tries to recover himself by going for the spin that it is only the Right that is ‘ideological’ and that the Left’s ‘pragmatism’ is a counter to that. But the Left is committed to an even more fundamental ideology: that there is no Ground Beyond this life that somehow authoritatively (and benevolently) sets limits to human actions and beliefs in the service of helping humans reach their most Genuine Shape.
Such a Ground and such a Beyond would obstruct and ‘oppress’ the ‘total autonomy’ demanded by the Far Left bases, spear-headed by radical-feminism and now after 40 Biblical years distributed widely like a toxin throughout the American body-politic.
Nor is Belief on so profound and vital a level really adequately describable as ‘ideology’, as Hayes then tries to assert.
Certainly in Western Culture, built willy or nilly upon the bedrock of the classically Christian (not to be confused with the ‘Christian fundamentalism’ brought to the table in the Reagan years) Vision, this ‘comprehensive Vision’ (Rawls got that part right, at least) served the Framers as an unstated but utterly reliable bedrock upon which to build their American Framing Vision.
Without that Vision, the whole American Experiment would not work, could not function. Thus neither ‘secularist’ America as sought by ‘liberals’ here nor religiously fundamentalist cultures such as Islam nor Marxist-inspired cultures, have proven themselves hospitable to a genuinely ‘deliberative democratic politics’.
And without that ‘deliberative democratic politics’ the entire Framing Vision and the Constitutional machinery and the Republic cannot stand.
Hayes then works toward his conclusion by tying in Obama’s ‘pragmatism’ to the historically American philosophy of Pragmatism espoused principally by William James in the first decade of the 20th century.
For James, as Hayes says, Pragmatism meant a “skepticism toward certainties derived from abstractions” and that “truth is pre-eminently to be tested by the practical consequences of belief”.
But surely, Gramsci channeling Marx and Lenin is based on a whole trunk-full of presumptions and ‘abstractions’ that must be taken as a given if you are to ‘get it’.
And most certainly, if We are to consider the track record of the Marxist-Leninst system, however variously re-jiggered over ensuing decades, then its “practical consequences” have been irrefutably baaaad.
And I say that if We are to consider the track record of the Gramscian-Eurocommunist Project here, especially without fear of being considered politically un-Correct and a ‘backlasher’, and especially on the profound but vital foundational level of its effect on the most essential and utterly principle of Our Republic, then I think the conclusion must inescapably be that things have worked out far less than well.
Our politics and political discourse are truly deranged, and thus seem so ineffective at addressing national problems, precisely because the problem on this profound level has not been addressed and indeed is being either ignored or spun as ‘progress’. *
It is, on this level, nothing of the sort.
Obama, Hayes says, “has no taste for culture war”. But that is precisely and unavoidably what the Gramscian and Eurocommunist gameplan call for.
Further, Hayes tries to go for the high-ground by quoting Lincoln: “We are not enemies but friends … Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection”.
But the Gramscian ‘war of positions’, the font and origin of Identity Politics, and essentially committed to an eternal war of “antagonisms” (via Chantal Mouffe’s “radical democracy” – which is no democracy at all), has already precluded any such appeal to Lincoln’s superb Vision. And to MLK’s as well.
You cannot simultaneously embrace Gramsci and appeal to Lincoln. They come from fundamentally different political Universes and the former is lethally Alien to Our own as well as lethal in and of itself.
There is an old Catholic maxim: suaviter in modo, fortiter in re. It translates roughly as: be decent and skilled in how you apply your principles, but be unshakeable in your own commitment to those principles.
It was, I would say, precisely this that both Lincoln and MLK were going for. But their unshakeable commitment was to the principles of the Framing Vision – which is precisely where the Gramscian-Identity Politics Project differs necessarily and inalterably.
Nor is it a matter of making the imposition-by-elites (those who ‘get it’) a little ‘nicer’. The entire ‘anti-majoritarian’ Gramscian Project must be abandoned and all matters and demands and ‘issues’ returned to the aegis of the Framing Vision, that is to say of a genuinely ‘deliberative democratic politics’, in which a fundamental common bond of Citizenship and commitment to the American common-weal override any other considerations.
The active and vital circuit of The People, their elected representatives, and the Sovereign Authority of the government must be re-established and nothing must be allowed to undermine it.
This is a slower and more deliberate process, but it is the only one that respects the Framing Vision (and sustains the Republic). The alternative for Lincoln – as Hayes mentions – was a terrible Civil War. In Our modern situation, it has been a Gramscian ‘war of positions’ or Culture War in which the Citizenry have been divided presumptively (and ideologically) along the axes of the Race and then – even more lethally – Gender. And, additionally, huge swaths of the Citizenry were presumptively branded as ‘hegemonic, dominant, and oppressive’ (Gramsci) and ‘patriarchal’ (radical feminism).
This has to be stopped. As Lincoln also said, quoting an ancient text Grounded in the Beyond: “A house divided against itself cannot stand”.
*In that regard, this article helpfully exposes the happy-faced burbling by which one recent author quotes another of her sistern to the effect that a) Nietzsche’s assertion that “truth is merely an illusion that we have forgotten is an illusion” has been “central to the liberal critique of American ideals” and that b) Nietzsche’s “perspectivism” – that there is no truth except what you can see from where you are standing, thus no truth except your own point of view – is also “central” to that “critique of American ideals”.
Nor can it be denied that “perspectivism” is on its surface simply a euphemism for relativism and in its substance an even more lethal proposition than relativism: not that positions or beliefs are all ‘equal’ but that each individual (or Group or Identity) has its own ‘truth’ which must be ‘respected equally’.
I would add that the radical-feminist Gramscian Project has not been simply a “critique”. If it had been only that, then it could have been proposed within the national political discourse, deliberated upon, and The People would have engaged in ‘deliberative democratic politics’ and things would have proceeded – vigorously no doubt – from there.
But precisely because The People ‘just don’t get it’ then this ‘critique’ became a ‘war of positions’ and a Beltway policy of imposition. And a sustained assault on the Framing Vision and the Constitution, the Culture, and the common-weal which they both vitally sustain.