The Two-Party System, Part IV

Lause, Mark A.

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/05/2015
Year Published:  2015  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20956

"Progressive" institutions, organizations, and ideologues have clung tenaciously to the faith that the two-party system remains an eternal, ultimately unchallengeable reality.



The realities of electoral politics changed radically in the 20 years since Reagan's deregulation of the media. The same corporate media transformed itself into what observers called a public affairs entertainment programming. Not only did cable television became endemic, but the growth of the internet has also helped provide new citizen-consumers with the power to choose the most comforting bits and pieces to structure their own sense of reality.

This made politics increasingly a conflict of hallucinations. In lieu of a debate over issues or even substantive values -- matters of war and peace or global warming -- "news" highlights what maximizes viewership (and advertising revenues).

With the presidency little more than a communicator, the mouthpiece for the real power remained in the large, unelected layers of what Eisenhower had quaintly called the Military-Industrial Complex, sustained by armies of lobbyists. Ironically, with politics increasingly reduced to the presidency, the presidency itself became increasingly an issue of celebrity.