Is American politics really in chaos? Many think so. There have been a number of reasons given to account for this seemingly grave and precarious state of the American political system.
One explanation, which has caused controversy and extensive discussion, appeared in the July/August issue of the Atlantic magazine, “How American Politics Went Insane,” by the scholar Jonathan Rauch. His argument goes counter to some of the basic LWV principles, which call for a clean, transparent, meritocratic government. But now the question has been raised – does this approach have unintended and unwanted consequences?
In examining our current circumstances Rauch cites a:
“ …steady decline in the ability of the political systems to organize itself whether in campaigns, or in government. People think that politics just somehow magically organizes itself. It doesn’t work that way. You need to assemble these huge coalitions of 535 politicians on Capitol Hill, and tens of thousands of interest groups, and tens of millions of voters, and assemble all those in government to get stuff done….That requires a lot of middlemen and a lot of people in between doing a lot of bargaining and negotiation. You cut those people out, you get chaos.”
We encourage you to read the entire article online from the Atlantic. For a summary version of Rauch’s position, watch the PBS Newshour interview of Rauch by Judy Woodruff or watch it here. Do you agree with Rauch? We’d love to hear your comments.