What happens to a nation with a two party system, where one of the parties moves away from rational policy and reverts to base gutteral emotion? What happens when that party’s leaders fall back on the rhetoric of hate, anger and bitterness rather than offering viable policy alternatives? And what happens when the mainstream media ideologically supports that party and therefore fails to provide any meaningful scrutiny of it?
You end up with a country with a two party system in name only. One party continues to be actively engaged in governance, while the other party moves further and further away from the playing field content to shout insults from the sidelines. Insults that simplify, easily assign blame, that are aided by hindsight and insulated from accountability while being cloaked with the impression that a utopic solution has been forgone.
Facilitated by an irresponsible media content to engage in agenda journalism we end up with political discourse of the rediculous. To be sure, the ruling party is making mistakes. Policies can be improved. Viable alternatives exist. But real solutions are lost in a discourse of the absurd.
We saw it happen in Iraq, and regrettably we are seeing it occur with Katrina. Healthy discourse, open, honest debate, and an objective media which holds both sides accountable in the process, are essential to a functioning democracy. At the moment it appears that America has none of these.