This is how a nation of over three hundred million people are so readily psychologically conditioned. Keeping the population divided into two political camps, Republican and Democrat, and managing their perceptions, not in relationship to their government, but in relation to their opposition to the other party.
More times than not, the public won't be voting for what they want, for its highest vision for itself, but against what the other party proposes. Not much different than Michigan vs Ohio State football fans. Both fan bases spend their Saturdays rooting for their bitter rival to lose as much as they root for their own team to win.
That makes college football a passionate, enjoyable, pastime. But it is tragic for a nation deciding its governing principles.
This is how disasters like Donald Trump happen. A significant portion of Trump's base only care that, "he makes liberals heads explode".
They were resistant to the sorely needed changes being instituted in the United States. They felt they were being infringed upon. They were fearful, fear that manifests as anger. Reagan tapped into that anger, a very powerful force. It was palpable. This link spells out clearly Reagan's appeal to the neo-racist, angry rural white male concisely. Reagan's campaign induced a fantasy fueled nostalgia remembering an all-white America, introduced the worship of Wall Street and 'free market' capitalism. Criminalized the poor and mentally ill and re-introduced the militarism that had been severely discredited during the Vietnam era.
A strident patriotic fervor engulfed the country. A patriotism that went ballistic on September 11, 2001. The right wing backlash, from the ascendant liberal 1960s American transformation was swift, powerful and complete. Twenty five years after Reagan left office, that backlash is still in full effect.
That backlash culminated in the Ron Paul and libertarian tea party movement. It was the crucible the Alt-right was contrived in. The Republican party is now seen as too moderate or 'leftist' for even them. That is what happens when the critical issues of a nation become reduced to bumper sticker slogans, programmed by an information bubble like Fox News. Terms are redefined, reality is contorted. They will tell you that you didn't see what you just saw.
Black Lives Matter born in the shootings of young black males by white police and vigilantes, BLM is smeared as 'the real racists'.
When a man that is black becomes President, then hysterical screams of "we want our country back" is a rallying cry. You'll hear that Obama, who was actually a status quo agent for the corporations and Wall Street bankers lobby, and the military industrial complex; is being described as a "Socialist", Kenyan, Muslim, and they demand to see his birth certificate. Efforts to institute any relief for wage stagnation, healthcare relief, erosion of the middle class and poverty become hysterically shouted down as big government communism or at the very least part of "the socialist agenda".
Any populace influenced government effort is denounced by tea-partiers and libertarians as "too much government intrusion". In short this society is held hostage to 'reactionaries'.
Corporate interests are now in control of government and the election process. They own the major information channels and the news reporters. They set the agenda for national discussion, which has become more deflective and distracting from the truth than enlightening or empowering to the people. The corporate owned media are simply mouthpieces for the status quo, a status quo that is serving corporations very nicely. The tea party and many staunch right wing libertarians do not understand that what they propose for this country won't work for we the people. Conservative/Tea-Party/Libertarian policies are custom crafted for corporations.
I understand that simply writing this will result in antagonism. I do not care. I have friends that are libertarian, I have had this same discussion with many of them in person. They are not as myopic as they come off to be, they are frustrated at the way things are now, they've been told who to blame, who to hate; (liberals, socialists, you know, all the usual suspects). They cling to their fenced in ideological label like someone clings to a light pole during high winds.
The winds of change are indeed howling...that is scary for many. When those winds are whistling through the trees in ones backyard, one will manufacture a quaint 'memory' of simpler, more tranquil times past, in this case the corporate media will supply that meme, sub-consciously, for you and tell you whose fault it is that you lost that fantasy dream-time.
Divide and conquer, separate by opinion, no need to think about it, it's already been thought out for you, just repeat the slogan we've provided you to anyone that thinks another way.
George Orwell is doing tantrums in his grave screaming:
"I tried to warn you!"