In Americas Three Regimes, Morton Keller posits a theory of realignment in United States elections that argues that American politics have been defined by periodic political revolutions that reshaped a U.S. electoral landscape every 32 to 36 years that was still remarkable for its continuity. He cites as examples the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, McKinley's 1896 victory (directed by the Karl Rove of the 19th Century, Mark Hanna) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1932 election that produced a democratic regime that lasted well into the late 1960's. Keller claims that neither the 1968 nor 2000 Republican victories in presidential elections produced any semblance of realignment in favor of the Republican Party. Instead, he claims that the years since 1968 should best be seen as part of a de-aligning process that left no one party in charge.
While Americans like any population like to think of the American society as being eternally young and effervescent. However, the reality is very different. The best histories of the America will not just show differences, but also continuity, persistence and evolution as they function in transformation and revolution. Keller's approach yields some new insights.
[...] What Keller is pointing out is that the basic social contract varies with each different regime. For Keller, the “Populist Bureaucratic Regime” is essentially the old machine system writ large on a national scale. New Deal political economics flow naturally and grow out of Jacksonian Democracy, Populism and Progressivism (ibid, p. 207). Unfortunately for Keller, he has raised some prescient issues that he really does not answer. What are the issues of elite bodies such as corporations outside of the traditional political party system and how do these impact the system? [...]
[...] A fear of a large military and of a bloated government is evidentially something that has not transitioned into the political economy of the 21st century and is sorely needed now if the American Republican experiment is to survive. Works Cited Brewer, M.D., & Stonecash, J.M. (2009). Dynamics of american political parties. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chomsky, N. (1988). Manufacturing consent. New York: Pantheon Books. Jillson, C. (2004). Pursuing the american dream: opportunity & exclusion over four centuries (american political thought). Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. Keller, M. (2007). America's three regimes: a new political history. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [...]
[...] Keller claims that this regime is still with us. The “regimes” that have been the focus of Keller's book include the Deferential Republican Regime that lasted from the Revolution through 1828. In Keller's reckoning, the American Revolution was similar to the English Puritan Revolution and the later French Revolution in that it was a revolt against a sovereign monarch and about the costs of foreign wars. Each had to deal with defenders of old regime and with radicals pushing for a sharper break with the past. [...]
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