Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

 Thanks for your comments.

  I'd like to know, then, if I'm correct in thinking that you'd generally disagree with these following paragraphs--

  " The parties of Republicans and Democrats, then, were in appearance and in fact not so very different in their basic political philosophies--if they can even be said to have had one for more than election campaign's purposes.  Wherever there is a desirable prize to be won--in this case, the exercise of political power on the national level--we shall find two or more contenders vying for it.   Where Democrats and Republicans differed was in the personalities which belonged to their party and in these individuals' talents, in their abilities to effectively manage the public's affairs--or, that is, at least to persuade the public of that in an election campaign."

    " Americans determined how to vote according to their feelings about such things as whether taxes were supportable or not;  whether the roads were maintained and the schools properly administered; whether businesses and farms were able to prosper in the nation's economy; whether public affairs were tolerably or intolerably corrupt; and,  of course, whether the public morals were paid adequate lip service and whether or not those in the public's view set a not-too-scandalous example for children.   The ideological details of politics were the concern of a relative few, notably lawyers, writers, scholars, some politicians, clergy and, of course, the militant fringe among the poor and oppressed.  Thus, party fortunes waxed with economic booms and waned with economic busts or with what voters foresaw as imminent in boom or bust."

  As you see, then, it's not the general public which shared a basically common set of political views but, rather, those (élites ?) most active in electoral politics, on both--or all--sides of ideological divides ?

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 29th, 2006 at 09:15:12 AM EST
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