Election Overload


The country is near unanimous in feeling that the elections of 2016 were unique in American history.  Some say for the unlikability of the two principal candidates; others, for the rhetorical violence and vitriol on all sides.  Still others cite the general volatility of the political year from its beginnings, in its wide swings left and right, in its precipitous ups and downs, and in its sheer unpredictability and its numerous stunning surprises.  Lastly, the revelation of stark intraparty divisions within the Democratic Party as well as the GOP seems to have been unsuspected by many people.  My own opinion is that what turned this election year inside out, the greatest single contributor to the chaotic political atmosphere, are the digital media, from the largest and most extensive systems down to the individual iPhones carried by an estimated 94 million Americans, or one quarter of the population.

Among the Southern Agrarians’ chief indictments, perhaps the principal one, of the industrial-technocratic-capitalist system was that system’s concern with means to the neglect of any consideration of ends; indeed, its unwillingness to think in terms of ends at all.  In our own time, the so-called digital revolution, in communications especially, is the most spectacular example in human history...

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