European Perspective of US Politics

It surprised me that one of the most read pieces on the recently was “The US Is Dominated by a Rich and Powerful Elite.” Both the title and subject of the article were the result of a study by two professors, Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin Page of Northwestern University. Their stark conclusion was clearly, if academically, stated, “Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and of associations, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations, and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claim to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.” Just a short while prior to reading this article the English edition of der Spiegel, a German magazine, carried an article, “How the Super-Rich Threaten US Democracy.” Their article was not based on the Gilens/Page study, but on people like the Koch brothers, the role of money in the election process, and the general undercurrents of the current presidential candidates, citing, for example, some of Bernie Sanders’ concerns. We live with these realities, we hear them on the media, see them online, read them in all sorts of publications, yet seem to remain inure to their meaning and import. Perhaps the perception of some important other Western media sources can make us take stock of this dangerous development. Let’s hope so.

One thought on “European Perspective of US Politics”

  1. Thanks, Danielle. This reminds me that “Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty” by Daniel Schulman should
    be required reading for all of us. This book and the informative film “Pay2Play”
    (can be seen on Facebook) made me really politically active this year.
    Yes, knowledge is power…

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