Is American democracy in a death spiral? Do we now have democracy only in form – akin to the Soviet-era “People’s Democracies” where governments won every election? Will the combination of mass ignorance, lying politicians, and boundless government power be fatal to our remaining freedoms?
These are some of the questions examined in my new book, Attention Deficit Democracy, due out in January from Palgrave. The public is increasingly on automatic pilot, paying less attention to each new war, each new power grab, each new bogus presidential proclamation.
Attention Deficit Democracy lulls citizens into thinking that they have nothing to fear from the rising number of sticks and shackles that politicians and bureaucrats can use on them. Thanks to the Battered Citizen Syndrome, the more debacles government produces, the more voters cling to faith in their rulers. As a result, the U.S. government is becoming an elective dictatorship in which voters do little more than select who will violate the laws and trample the Constitution.