America has a highly polarized and divisive political atmosphere at the present time. Current events, such as the Kyle Rittenhouse trial and acquittal, just seem to make things worse. How will this contagion hopefully play itself out and eventually end? None of us know but we can still speculate.
My last post, starts a discussion of this issue by describing a cyclic theory of American history as developed by the geopolitical analyst, George Friedman. Mr. Friedman explains how a repeating 80-year institutional cycle and a likewise repeating 50-year socioeconomic cycle will both be renewing in the mid-to late-2020s and how the resulting clash will likely result in a “storm” before the ensuing “calm.”
The problem of the current institutional cycle, beginning in 1945, is that the federal government has now become too massively incomprehensive and opaque. This creates distrust on the part of citizens who often feel overwhelmed by policies they disagree with and helpless in trying to overturn them.
The problem of the current Reagan socioeconomic cycle is that capital has successfully expanded but has by now created too much economic inequality. This is also a cultural issue as the now dominant internet technology has led to an assault on traditional family values.
How will these two cyclic paradigms reinvent themselves simultaneously to address the above problems? Here I leave Mr. Friedman’s analysis (which becomes vague at this point) and turn to David French. Mr. French starts out by asking the question, “How does a functioning nation manage the challenge of faction?” Response: “James Madison has the answer – pluralism.”
According to Mr. French:
- One of the core projects of a healthy American constitutional republic is to protect not just individual liberty, but the federalism and freedom of voluntary association that allows a multiplicity of groups and communities to flourish.
- Pluralism is an essential part of American life and we should seek to foster a political culture that protects the autonomy and dignity of competing American ideological and religious communities.
- The quest for moral, cultural, and political domination by either side of our national divide risks splitting the nation asunder. To embrace pluralism is to surrender the dream of domination.
Conclusion. Factionalism is the problem. Pluralism is the answer. “To save America, chart James Madison’s course.” Our Republic needs to become even more decentralized than it already is. Stay tuned for the details!