With presidential elections underway in the US, it seems a new electorate stands ready to participate, not just as voters, but as purveyors of power. By this, I mean that today’s voters seem less interested in the presence and content of who a candidate is, than in reshaping the nature of the presidency itself, regardless of who eventually fills the office.
Indeed, we live in exciting times as populist values, myths, and mores come face-to-face with the forces of pluralism. Evidence of a new economy is now indisputable as we head deeper into the third millennium. But, what of a new politic as well? I ask this recognizing that historically, political reform tends to lag economic upheaval.
If it is true that universal suffrage solidified populism in the modern age, it now appears that America is once again restless as it agitates for reform of the presidency as an institution, away from its modern function as the podium of populist pundits, into a fulcrum from which the voices of pluralist reason are leveraged, of and for the people.
The peoples’ call for change is not simply about electing a new president, but about changing the very nature of the presidency as society navigates its way through populism toward pluralism in the new century. Perhaps we will see democracy reborn in our time.