From Seeing the Forest I came across an article that gives much food for thought. "The Apparat -- George Bush's Back-Door Political Machine", let me know what you think. The sidebar at Media Transparency, where the article is located offers resources to use to learn about the big money shapers of public perception, as do links in the body of the piece. Learning about these big money think tanks lets us see how a powerful minority worldview can jockeyed the perspective of many Americans into positions that actually go against their best interests.
The potency of right wing politics and opinion molding lies in the architecture of the movement. That is, its constituent organizations think and act strategically. Agendas, priorities, and propaganda are directed from the center. Members are disciplined and dedicated to the narrow theology of the right.
The disparate streams of conservative thought and action -- social, economic, religious, libertarian, and corporate -- set aside major differences and march to a single drummer -- with the tempo set at weekly tactical conferences in Washington.
This cohesion has undeniably had a large impact on the American body politic. The far right coalition now effectively controls the three branches of the federal government, overriding the checks-and-balances against rampant political power built into the Constitution. Conservatives now also set the terms of the national political debate through their dominance of the unofficial "fourth estate," the media.
Anyone paying attention sees the obvious fact that we are beholden to right wing media if we choose to get the news from "mainstream" corporate information sources. Coupled with a hard right executive office as well as judicial branch we have to have hope that the will of the people can be advocated by legislative arm of government. In "America as a One-Party State"
Robert Kuttner speaks to us of the slide to the right of the Senate and Congress leaves us in a virtual autocracy due to changes in legislative process. When joined with a collaborative media and the spectre of an election this fall tallied by unaccountable "black box voting" electronic voting machines democracy as we know it seems under assault.
Benjamin Franklin, leaving the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, was asked by a bystander what kind of government the Founders had bestowed. "A republic," he famously replied, "if you can keep it." There have been moments in American history when we kept our republic only by the slenderest of margins. This year is one of those times.