1. The political system is broken
Rothkopf says that the political system is broken because gerrymandering has made general elections irrelevant. The primary elections are the only ones that count and the left and right wings dominated the primaries. The current system rewards extreme politicians and virtually ensures them of re-election. He also cites campaign finance rules that give more power and influence to the wealthy. He advocates for campaign finance reform and an end to gerrymandering, among other reforms.
I am not sure what Rothkopf means when he says the system is broken. It seems to me that it has always been broken in various degrees. When was the political system working well? Was it in the first few decades of the country when slavery was legal? Maybe during the Civil War?
Rothkopf has forgotten that Gerrymandering has been around for a long time. It earned the name from, Elridge Gerry who was Governor of Massachusetts from 1810 to 1812. Gerrymandering is nothing new and has been part of the political landscape for over a century. That part of the system has been broken for a long time. However, it does need fixing. Perhaps Rothkopf is referring to the Tammy Hall period of the 19th century. Could he mean the Nixon years?
I think when we review the history of the US government, we find the system is working better now or as well as it ever has. That is not to say that it is perfect or that it doesn’t need fixing. I just don’t agree that we are any worst off now than any time before.
Rothkopf goes no to say:
2. Our national conversation has gotten off-track.
3. Governance has become a lost art.
4. We are ignoring the really big problems.
5. The American people have failed their government ... and each other.
I will comment on these other issues on my next blog.