The Words of the Kaufmann Family
Either Bush or Gore Will Have A Hard Time Governing Such A Fractured Nation
November 12, 2000
The elite media was fast on the path to becoming increasingly discredited even prior to its waterloo on election night 2000. The politically biased and as such unreliable electronic media are CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN (and their cable news affiliates). The print media which suffer from the same disease are Time, Newsweek, the New York Times (and the Boston Globe which it owns), the Washington Post, L.A. Times, and most local newspapers wherever there exist "one paper towns."
There are media which are less transparently biased, seeking balance and fair representation. These include (electronically) c-span (of course), and in the commercial area Foxnews. In Print US News and World Report is the more fair and less ideologically tipped among the news weeklies. The Wall Street Journal is balanced not by being in the middle, but by its rift between the left leaning journalists, and its right leading editorialists. I select this USNews article as the springboard for my remarks because it strives to represent the concerns and sentiments of both Republicans and Democrats, as well as beginning to examine the larger and more important issues pertaining to the stability of the current US political and social lay of the land.
It is understandable, while the results of the US Presidential Election remain undetermined, that people continue to approach the matter along classic two party thinking. For those capable of transcending the passions of the moment, issues far greater than partisan concerns have revealed themselves through this election. Some should have anticipated, or recognized this national split through two high profile events of recent vintage. This election scenario was foreshadowed by two horrifically divisive phenomena in recent US history. I refer to the OJ Murder Trial, and the Clinton Impeachment Trial.
The election shows that there is no majority in America. Political and social leanings have solidified. We have not reached the end of democracy, but we have reached the end of the ebb and flow of two party history.
The new question for political scientists and those seeking elected office should now shift. The question can no longer be how the republican or democratic (or conservative or progressive) can gain ascendancy. That piece of world history is moribund. The new pair of impulses which citizens should now be urged to consider are the 'divisive' party on the one hand, and the 'unitive' party on the other. This means with a permanent, solidified, and dead equal division in the social and political experience of both US and world citizens, two dynamics or advocacies for leadership must now emerge. One model of leadership represents exploiting permanent division for the acquisition and retention of power, and the other party represents a political dynamic characterized by the difficult process of harmonizing people who are in conflict experientially and ideologically.
It must be kept in mind that both the 'divisive' party and the 'unitive' party recognize the natural human preference for the end of conflict, and both therefore will employ the rhetoric of harmonization.
The point for the educated voter and citizen as well as (most especially) for the media is to ferret out the actual record of the candidate. Interviews, policy inquiries, and other demands of the electorate should orient itself toward piercing the spin and determining the candidates potential most importantly on this matter of how to work with an equally and permanently divided electorate.
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