The election of 2012 presents yet another battle in the great American culture war. This one takes place on the Presidential campaign grounds. It is in fact a battle of the centuries. A contest between the America of the 19th century and that of the 20th.
The 19th century was one of progress in economic and geographic terms: Manifest Destiny, the conquering of the West and the growth of an industrial nation. In the middle of the century a horrific Civil War ended the question of whether one nation or a few would be built out of the America that became free of its colonial parent in the 18th century. And it ostensibly settled the question of whether all Americans would be free. No longer a house divided against itself now one nation it would become a nation of the very rich and everyone else.
Then came Newt Gingrich followed by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and they began to fight for that old time religion - less government and more of everyone out for them self. Now the Republican party and the ticket of Romney and Ryan personifies that 19th century view, using the rhetoric of the 18th century and the founding fathers they call for the return to a two class America: the rich (and by that I mean the very rich) and the poor - room for only a small middle class which will be mostly upper lower not lower upper. Let those who can afford it receive education at secondary and college levels; let families take care of their own elderly so they have to choose between feeding their children or getting medicine for their parents. On the international scene let America practice a weird combination of neo-isolationism which means we only get involved where Americans can make a dollar and a unilateralism that says we will lead other nations and if they don’t want to follow we go it alone. We will replace the Rockefellers and the JP Morgans with the Koch brothers and the super rich Wall Street financiers.