Analyzing the New American Polity
The 2016 U.S Presidential Elections, which culminated in a ready (and previously unfathomable) defeat for the neoliberal ‘old’ order (and style) of politics, invoked a marked change in the sociopolitical landscape of the country – and (from thereon) the world, arguably. What started off as a typical and unremarkable election season soon morphed into an electoral travesty for the Democratic Party and its two front-leading contenders: Senator Bernie Sanders, and his intra-party rival, Hillary Clinton. In the aftermath of the public spectacle, TV pundits and Radio Hosts were quick to point out the Democrats’ systemic complacency with regard to the basic issues of the American voter. These concerns largely centered on the white demographic base of the country, whose affiliates wanted to express their animosity towards any notions of globalism and multiculturalism (considering these two postwar conceptions to being anathema to their idea of the ‘American Dream’). To catch the unfolding news-cycles on this trend in real-time, you can subscribe to one of our recommended cable and internet deals today.
A Short Overview of WHAT Actually ‘Went Down’…
On the Republican side, the main front-runner for the party chair, Donald (now President) J. Trump, a billionaire socialite who is often hailed as the perfect epitome of early 21st-century capitalism, used his business acumen to sway voters to his favor. Like any good trader (who likes to keep a watchful eye on market trends, and a proverbial ‘finger’ on the consumers’ ever-fluctuating ‘pulse’), he employed the use of basic demand and supply-model stratagems to give his rioting audiences a taste of exactly what they were seeking. And looking back, it would be nothing less than an understatement to state that his methods did, in fact, pay off! The ‘conquest’ of the White House, as well as the entrenchment of the white nationalist movement (along with some of the more xenophobic elements of the far-right political spectrum) into the general sociological cultural scene, are vivid exemplars of his unprecedented success. ‘Today’s America is a fearful one’, a leading Black Lives Matter figure recently said, while pointing to the similarities between the state of the nation in the 60’s and the contemporary times. This quote, perhaps more than any other, gives a spectacular portrayal of the public conscience of contemporary America (and the existential current of ‘hopelessness’ that seems to have devoured it!).
A few cable and internet deals feature ‘On Demand’ catalogues comprised of educational documentaries and other informational content; nifty resources that can be used to gain a more in-depth understanding of the many events that transpired in American history, and led to the consolidation of the polity that exists today between the landed domains of Canada and Mexico.
The Role of Hollywood in Facilitating the Divide
Many post-election Hollywood productions have sought to capture the grim mood of the country within their storylines, with the popular TV franchises of the American Horror Story and Saturday Night Live coming center-stage to depict their society’s uneasy predicament onscreen. Although most televised spectacles aim to provide entertainment to their viewers (as per their primary teleological function), the aforementioned showbiz examples have repeatedly put on the mantle of didacticism to provide some instructive messaging – and not always without evoking some measure of irk. Several Hollywood celebrities, like Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro (being two of the most prolific actors from this category of rebelling public figures), have chosen to use their platforms to vociferously criticize the political administration in Washington. And it would not be totally erroneous to assume that many more will continue to follow suit, until the advent of the next election cycle.
Adding to the Quagmire of Public Strife
During the recent Emmy Awards, Streep publicly chose to vent her rage on Trump and his condescending predilections towards women, minorities, Muslims, foreigners and disabled individuals. Since Hollywood (whose many visual offerings can be enjoyed with the benefit of cable and internet deals subscriptions) is a cultural producer like none other, it is only natural for any social critic to study its profound influence on the sociopolitical sphere with a vigor greater than that normally vested towards rationalizing over other projects. Although the motivations of many of the artists hailing from the said creative-arts institution can be deemed to be commendable when scrutinized from an individualistic footing, any holistic overview about the role of Hollywood in contributing to the political situation of the country will have to be ranked in largely ‘negative’ terms. This is because the iconic motion-picture powerhouse, instead of healing divisions and brokering for mutual peace and understanding, has actually managed to fan the flames of dissension even further.
In order to assuage some part of the social crisis currently facing the country, a few American academics and researchers have suggested that the virtue of empathy, more so than the accumulation of greater stores of knowledge, stands a greater chance of helping to resolve this pitiable national mess. Empathy intrinsically demands a suspension of one’s critical beliefs and prejudices (as they pertain to the alleged ‘other’); for any attempts made to deploy it as a diagnostic tool in the service of constructing bridges.
As a country, perhaps we can start learning to publicly inculcate it.
More fully, that is…