Mirror editor Andy Hobbs penned an editorial Feb. 6 in which he asked the residents of our suburban city whether the specter of a new zeitgeist now haunts the land of political professionals.
The private Twin Lakes Country Club is almost broke and offered a proposal for private homeowners living near the country club to pay an extra $300 a year in exchange for limited membership.
Could it be that our editor is accurately reading the social forces that now militate against elitist arrogance? Douglas Schoen touches on this in a book titled “Declaring Independence: The Beginning of the End of the Two-Party System.” He also has another book, “The Political Fix: Changing the Game of American Democracy, from the Grassroots to the White House.”
Schoen, a Democrat and political consultant, says that people are fed up with the old partisan paradigm. Seemingly disparate events point to the fact that we, the people, are dusting off old copies of the U.S. Constitution and the Federalist Papers. We are rediscovering inalienable rights and recommitting to old-fashioned concepts of liberty. Former President Bill Clinton and talk-radio host Michael Medved — shrewd partisans from opposite sides of the aisle — apparently endorse Schoen’s analysis.
Zeitgeist is an exotic concept that entered into modern intellectual lexicon from the writings of German philosophers like Nietzsche and Hegel. It means the “spirit of the age” and actually goes back to the time in the Roman Empire when the New Testament was being written. Politicians and journalists — like lawyers, poets and other artists — have a knack for descrying the times.
Personalities like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Scott Brown exhibit hurricane like tendencies that reflect all kinds of things going on below the surface of the water and in the air. Social forces, it has been aptly observed, also tend to take on a life of their own. Democrats and Republicans that seek to co-opt the forces manifested in Massachusetts, the “tea party” phenomenon or even the election of Barack Obama will be severely disappointed.
The vote for Obama was more of a shout that “Enough is enuf!” and not an endorsement of Obama’s big government policies. Look for all kinds of minor local anomalies that may very well be further indications that many of us have had enough. After the perfect storm arrives, liberty will soon shine again — at least as long as we the people are willing to remain vigilant and keep fighting for it.