Although the data presented by Robert Weissman is pleasing, why is it corresponding policies are not implemented? Weissman effectively responds, "The problem isn’t that Americans don’t agree. The problem is that the corporate class doesn’t agree with this agenda, and that class dominates our politics". Without challenge, Weissman is correct in his response.
Ever since Ronald Reagan, the "corporate class" has dominated the Republican Party. And, at least ever since William Jefferson Clinton, the "corporate class" has dominated the Democratic Party. In the candidacies of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, this dominance has come under serious assault. Effectively, the masses are rising against the "corporate class".
But, now a caveat. Reading article after article concerning current American politics, as well as comment after comment by members of the public in response to on-line articles concerning current American politics, a word check reveals something I find very disturbing. The word "democracy" occurs uncommonly. Commonly occurring is "jobs" or "the economy".
It is as if the politicians and public have abandoned the political principle of democracy for the economic principle of employment. Disturbing in this abandonment is a loss in any perceived means available to the public to implement policies in response to the data provided by Weissman. Effectively, the public perceives itself as left with little more than whining.
Focusing on the whining,
"There is widespread recognition among politicians and pundits that Americans are sharply divided by party on virtually all of the big questions facing our country.
Everyone knows this is just the way things are, and it’s why we have gridlock in Congress.
But here’s one thing: That story is not true".
What Weissman misses here is not only is there "widespread recognition among politicians and pundits that Americans are sharply divided", the public shares in this "recognition". And, why not so? Reinforced with the popular imagery of " Americans ... sharply divided by party on virtually all of the big questions facing our country", little else can be expected.
Excluded in this imagery is "our country". Democracy presupposes a communal identity, while economics presupposes an individual identity. Democratically, the individual is a communally grounded social citizen. Economically, the individual is a free floating asocial cipher.
If this be questioned, simply reflect on the once popular principle of globalization, in contrast to the nationalism and religious identity currently popular. Globalization approached the human as a productive-consumptive object. As having instrumental, not intrinsic value. Nationalism and religious identity approach the human as a rights and duty bearing subject. As having intrinsic, not instrumental value.
It is the mutual identity provided by nationalism and religion of which Hillary Clinton and the Republican competitors to Donald Trump do not understand. Lost within the last thirty years following Ronald Reagan's Presidency, Clinton and Trump's competitors still seek to serve the corporate world. This, while speaking to the public of Weissman's policies only to ameliorate the public. My suspicion is the public has caught on to the con.