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Experimental democracy

Rupert Murdoch and his media empire made a mint over the past four years capitalising on hype. In the process, political ideas formerly associated as conservative or liberal, or the Right and Left, have been "coated" with a new spin. Essentially the new Murdoch spin is, if you are against his political narrative, you are Left and if you for his narrative, then you are conservative.

Rupert Murdoch (Photograph by Noah Berger/AP)

Not too long ago the Republican ideology, sometimes characterised in modern times as the Reagan era, had a very familiar tone. Yes, it always favoured the rich, favoured war and, in spite of its rhetorical aims, a fiscally prudent and balanced budget and growth rarely ever made its target. However, the more important characteristic was that it insisted that its values were tied to the United States Constitution and was the American ideal.

The Republican way was that a little man with a big idea can grow with hard work and ingenuity. Conservatism meant government would not place burdens and restrictions on the growth of individual enterprise — each and every man or woman was king or queen of their own destiny. In other words: big people, small government. A country with hundreds of millions of kings and queens, "a thousand points of light" as one Republican president put it.

In the former Republican eye, the Left meant big government and cumbersome bureaucracy, even if as the Democrats would argue government had a socially responsible role. But here is the interesting thing: anarchists, Neo-Nazis and anti-government radicalisms in the past were never considered as right-wing conservatism.

Further, when did confederacy ever relate to the idea of the United States? Or where did “follow the leader” fit with the idea of a thousand points of light? To the point and for posterity, we can also add the question of whether the White House was ever meant to be a palace for a ruling family or a temporary abode for the servant of the people?

They once said perception is reality, so now we have to embrace a new Right, which includes all the former fringe elements as Republican. The Democrats maintain their identity as the originalist or that nearest to. All this unless the originalist Republican can break rank and classify this alternative republicanism as Trumpism and allow each to struggle for dominance out of the Republican sector. Murdoch will play a huge role in that outcome.

Back to Bermuda, admittedly there is no experimental democracy; rather a legacy of rule. So it’s all the above questions in miniature. We don't know the day or the hour when the Bermuda public will want to be heard as a thousand voices.

It doesn't look like it will be anytime soon because even the latest version of a new party is in waiting but waiting to inherit a party vacancy when it would be far better if it were people that fill that void in both parties.

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Published January 29, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated January 28, 2021 at 6:37 pm)

Experimental democracy

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