Richard DiebenkornTruro, Edward HopperMafia club, BensonhurstRoy CohnStonewall bar, Greenwich Village, NYCStahl house, Los AngelesJacko’s end of This Is It tourBeverly Hills HotelAlexis de Tocqueville
The stories we tell ourselves are what a culture is, for better or worse. Each nation or cultural body tells itself its own stories, largely the ones which it desires to tell itself, though this is not always a happy story. Where de Tocqueville imagined a tyranny of the majority as the end point of America, curiously we have arrived in a quite different place. While in many trivial ways he was right – our popular culture exemplifies this – politically he was wrong, perhaps because he could not foresee the bifurcation of America into an urban vs rural experiment, in which political power in the most forceful legislative branch, the Senate, would be concentrated into the hands of representatives of rural America, whose values are in large part antithetical to the vast majority of Americans who live in urban areas. Thus Senators Baucus, Nelson, Imhofe, and others of the sparsely settled mid-west and West are able to derail any legislation not to their liking – such as the current health care reform, now mangled beyond any real reform and surely to be moderated still further by the Senate, or measures to limit global warming gasses. So for now, we suffer a tyranny of two minorities – that of rural America, representing a small fraction of our population, and that of the ruling class elite, representing an even smaller fraction, those of the 1% who own and control 95% of America’s wealth.
“The executive power in our government is not the only, perhaps not even the principal, object of my solicitude. The tyranny of the legislature is really the danger most to be feared, and will continue to be so for many years to come. The tyranny of the executive power will come in its turn, but at a more distant period.” Thomas Jefferson
That distant period arrived in the last 10 years or so.
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