How I Learned to Love the Goddamn Hippies – The Daily Beast

24 Oct

And in a strange kind of way, Occupy Wall Street made me think more fondly of the Tea Party as well.

The theme that connects them all is disenfranchisement, the sense that the world is shifting deeply and inexorably beyond our ability to control it through our democratic institutions. You can call this many things, but a “democratic deficit” gets to the nub of it. Democracy means rule by the people—however rough-edged, however blunted by representative government, however imperfect. But everywhere, the people feel as if someone else is now ruling them—and see no way to regain control. In Europe, you see millions unemployed because of a financial crisis that began thousands of miles away in the U.S. real-estate market—and grim austerity being imposed to save a currency union that never truly won mass democratic support in the first place. In the U.S., the hefty majority for sweeping reform behind Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 has been stopped in its tracks by slightly more than half of one House in the Congress and by a historically unprecedented filibuster in the Senate. Even when it is perfectly clear what the only politically viable, long-term solution is to our debt crisis—a mix of defense and entitlement cuts and tax increases—it is beyond our democratically elected leaders to reach a deal.

via How I Learned to Love the Goddamn Hippies – The Daily Beast.

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