Discover more from Nothing New Under the Sun
Saturday Thoughts: We Are Living Through Interesting Times
These are historic times. America's political coalitions and policy leanings change day by day.
We witnessed the worst attack on America’s federal buildings since the war of 1812. The January 6th attack was an unprecedented assault on America’s democracy and it was cultivated by a deranged former president. This is a watershed moment in our nation’s history.
The President’s Party
In the midterm elections of 1934 and 2002, the nation kept the president’s party in power after historic changes.
In 1934, we were in the midst of the Great Depression and many in “middle America” were feeling its worst effects. The Dust Bowl was plaging farmers in the Midwest and middle states, thus, the result was a migration westward to lands as far as California. The financial system was slowly recovering despite a slowed global economy and sluggish production. At the time, the Roosevelt administration had experimented with different policies in order to restore confidence in the American system. Demagoguery was rife within the states as people reacted negatively to otherized groups or sought drastic, revolutionary change.
The historic impact of the Great Depression reordered the average American’s relationship with its federal and state governments. It created a new federal bureaucracy that would only continue to grow through the century. Franklin D. Roosevelt had become a larger than life figure for many and, the modern Democratic Party coalesced a coalition around his myth and reforms.
However, that is before postwar politics.
Since the end of World War II, the president’s party has always lost seats in the midterms.
So, more familiar to modern audiences is the September 11th attacks which defined the presidency of George W. Bush. These attacks helped foster an empowered surveillance state in the form of new federal agencies like, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The president’s party was untraditionally voted back into legislative power during the Bush administration’s first presidential midterm election. For a major attack on our homeland by much weaker foreign adversaries had shocked a nation living through a relatively long period of peace.
We Are Living Through Interesting Times
I believe that the January 6th attacks are on this same level.
It was an attack faciliated by a conspiracy within the Republican Party which aimed to subvert democracy. It ended up breaking the nation’s honored peaceful transfer of power.
As a result, we are apprehensive about forthcoming elections and we young people wonder if we inherited an atmosphere of political violence and further constitutional crises.
The health of American democracy is at stake because of an institutional failure within one of our major parties. This is a historic moment for America and voters have to be aware of the dangers within America’s conservative party.
I believe that an insurrection cultivated by a conspiracy within the Republican Party is enough to render that party unfit for national leadership.
No matter the trends.
We are already seeing what conservative zealots are doing with their Supreme Court majority. The deduction of rights and the alienation of vulnerable Americans will only be the beginning once the Republican Party regains significant power.
Nothing's New Under the Sun with Steward Beckham is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.