This is one of the sharpest observations that I've ever encountered about American politics.
"Policy formation is the province of a bipartisan power elite of corporate rich [Rockefeller, Mellon] and their career hirelings [Nixon, McNamara] who work through an interlocking and overlapping maze of foundations, universities and institutes, discussion groups, associations and commissions...Political parties are only for finding interesting and genial people [usually ambitious middle-class lawyers] to ratify and implement these policies in such a way that the under classes feel themselves to be, somehow, a part of the governmental process. Politics is not exactly the heart of the action but it is nice work—if you can afford to campaign for it."
I've never read Vidal, and suspect that his novels are much too lengthy and densely-written for my taste. But I'm quite interested in his essays, particularly United States: Essays 1952-1992, which I could easily see myself working through at my leisure, as I've pleasureably been doing with nonfiction books lately.
I've only read one - 1876 - and I didn't feel the need to read any more.
Posted by: Paul Lamb at Aug 1, 2012 3:49:06 PM