A while back, I wrote about California is structurally ungovernable. Simply put, spending increases requires super-majority and benefits need only simple majority. As years, or decades, go back, the government is permanently stuck with all those benefit mandates but not able to increase taxes to pay for them. Everything came of of “general budget” and that means nobody will be served.
The USA, yes, the country, is becoming ungovernable for another reason. This is more complex. The bottom line is simple: this democratic system has evolved to become minority rules, instead of majority.
When two parties of roughly equal size oppose to each other. An all-out battle will lead to mutual destruction. It is a stalemate situation that both sides are stuck. In this situation, a smaller third player becomes the deciding factor and wields disproportional power over the bigger players. China proved that in its SanGuo period (180~280AD) when three forces vied for the control of the middle kingdom. China witnessed the best display of diplomatic strategies and tactics then.
The controlling minority, by definition, does not care about the majority — that’s us, the people. If they do, they become part of the majority.
There are two possible outcomes: normally, the controlling minority gets absorbed into one of the majority parties and things get back to normal. (For historical China, the larger party proceeded to conquer the remaining players and unified China.) As I observe the dwindling of the Tea Party radicals, things appear to be heading that direction.
The other possibility is the opposite, that the system get broken down further. It takes a coalition of more than 2 parties to form majority. That became politically chaotic. System spirals downward until a strong leader emerges to unify everyone. Before that, nothing gets done. Several European countries are in this state right now.
We had an office pool betting on the length of this shutdown. I put my money after the posting date of this article. If you read this and the shutdown is not yet over, then I have won.