Over the years I have come to realize that the world of politics and our world disconnected at some point. There has always been a separation of politics and regular life, but with enough movement back and forth to keep both sides tethered to one another. There was also the practical reality of politics depending on popular support. If things got bad for the people, they may try to hang the king, so the king had to keep an eye on them.
Today they are completely different worlds. I have a segment on Liz Cheney. Her life may as well have been lived in another solar system. Technically, she is supposed to be representing the interests of Wyoming in the people’s house. In reality, she is the Cloud People’s representative to the Dirt People of Wyoming. She may as well correspond with them via video link, like the alien overlords in sci-fi movies. “People of Wyoming, this is your humanoid representative. Obey and listen to instructions.”
Again, all societies, regardless of the form of government, have a ruling elite that is often at odds with and out of touch with the people. That is why there are subsystems that provide feedback to the decision makers. That is the problem that parliaments are supposed to solve. How best to keep the rulers and the ruled in communication so both sides understand the other enough to avoid conflict. Today, those feedback loops no longer exist. The political system operates in isolation from us.
The result is we have the Dirt People thinking they live in a representative democracy where their votes dictate public policy. The Cloud People think they live in a novel form of dictatorship where their decisions are applauded by the masses. It is why so many of the Cloud People are convinced there is an evil conspiracy afoot to rile up the masses against the system. Why else would they not be clapping? From their perspective, the system is running as expected, so the opposition is illogical.
The Dirt People, having been trained their whole lives to think the humanoids they choose between in elections care about their votes, are baffled by why those humanoids never following instructions. Unable to question the logic of the system itself, they come up with novel theories about why the Cloud People are doing the things they are doing. At some point, the right answer is “they are not us”.
Indeed they aren’t—which is the consequence of allowing a Professional Politician class (or ProPols, as I’ve taken to calling them of late) to rise and flourish. This most regrettable lapse into inattentiveness, and its inevitable result, is exactly what the Founders—in their remarkable wisdom and foresight—dreaded, feared, and explicitly cautioned their posterity against. The very idea of making a career out of politics, as opposed to doing a term or two of what can no longer be referred to as “public service” with a straight face, was anathema to them. Just one more thing those titans among men got right.
I’ll say it again: our problems don’t stem from some shortcoming of the Constitution’s, nor even from the long-extinct government for which that neglected and abused document was the foundation. The Founders’ blueprint for proper governance, the US Constitution, was as close to flawless as fallen humanity could possibly come. It has never yet been surpassed, and it’s unlikely that it ever will be. The simple, obvious fact that the further we stray from it the worse our situation gets ought to be all the demonstration of it anybody should ever need. Call it the Constitution’s real-world proof of concept, maybe.
We are where we are today not because the Founders were lacking in vision or foresight. On the contrary, things have turned out precisely as they predicted they would, should their descendents ever foolishly disregard their warnings and relax their vigilance against tyranny. The failure was in no way theirs. It was ours.