Thursday, March 10, 2016

The wages of Strauss are Trump

[Yet another topic that I will have to rush through to get something on the blog -- literally dictated to my phone -- then hopefully come back later and fill in the details.]

If you start from the assumption that governing must be done by the intellectually superior elite and that handing over power to the masses will lead to disaster, you are basically faced with two choices:

You could openly tear down the democratic institutions of the country and replace them with something authoritarian;

Or, you can subvert the democratic processes so that a small, powerful group can hold power even when it entails regularly going against the will of the majority.

How can you accomplish the latter?

-You can make voting less representational, either by suppressing the vote of those who disagree with you or by seeing that it counts less through measures such as gerrymandering.

-You can make sure to control certain strategic points such as K St. or state governments during redistricting.

-You can take advantage of what might be considered inefficiencies in the issue market, finding voters who put so much value on one issue that they consistently undervalue the rest and are willing to trade them away.

-You can create a favorable media environment. For supporters you construct an immersive world of tailored news and opinion. With the mainstream media you undermine, manipulate, and intimidate.

Obviously this is just an outline. Each of these bullet points could be the jumping off point for long discussions, but I am working under the assumption that everyone reading this pretty much knows what would be said.

The point of this post is that, almost by definition, strategies and tactics designed to allow small groups to gain and hold power in a democracy are vulnerable to hostile takeover.

The fact that we just saw such a takeover isn't that remarkable; the fact it caught so many people by surprise is.

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