Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
This is a good account as far as it goes.  I think your argument would be stronger if you acknowledged, however, the existence and role of elites in the US.  

These are the people who shape the media and feed the approved narrative to the proles.  They LOVED Reagan; they love "he said / she said" "journalism;" they propagate the meme that the market works magic and government is a zero sum - or negative sum game; and they are disappointed that their boy Dubya hasn't worked out that well.  

They will still be in place when Dubya is toast - and they are working on arranging the next fratboy to rule us.  And they hated Clinton and started working to remove him the day he swore the oath of office.

So while it is true that the majority of Americans couldn't tell you for sure if Reagan was President before Carter or after, and who exactly fought on which side during WWII, we have arrived at this sorry juncture because the road was well-paved and carefully by our elites.  I find the media/Elite retreat from truth and empiricism - supposedly a characteristic of post-modern eggheads - the most chilling and Orwellian aspect of it all.  Go read Vonnegut on the 1972 Republican Convention, in Wampeters and Grandfalooons.   It was all there even then.

by cambridgemac on Tue Dec 26th, 2006 at 11:28:40 PM EST
And just why did the elites hate Clinton? I could never figure that one out.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Dec 27th, 2006 at 08:07:18 AM EST
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Well, he wasn't one of them.  He actually grew up poor, and clawed his way up.  That couldn't have helped.

He also had the temerity to be a Democrat, and to defeat Bush the Elder.

He ran a sane fiscal policy.

I'm sure there are more reasons why, but in the end they don't matter that much.  The vileness of the elites really needs no explanation or understanding.

by Zwackus on Wed Dec 27th, 2006 at 08:30:37 AM EST
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But he was the best Republican president we had in the twentieth century. Maybe you're right; he just wasn't their boy.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Dec 27th, 2006 at 08:45:13 AM EST
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I agree with all the above, but I was trying to get beyond the perhaps over-simple approach of blaming some group or other. People have the power to seduce based first on the non-understanding of their victims of the process, and second, that the process entails the existence of handles on the human psyche that are readily available to anyone who knows how to grab them. We got seduced. Most people don't know that, or how it happened.
It is possible to, by understanding your own nature, make the handles a lot less easily grasped by the likes of Carl Rove, et al. You aquire a crap detector by understanding your own tendency to lie --to yourself.
It aint really the elites. It's us.
We give them the power to manage us by being blind to our own susceptibilities.  

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Fri Dec 29th, 2006 at 11:17:16 AM EST
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