What is the thread that unifies Iraq and Social Security, the election crisis of 2000?
A constitutional order has three parts: mandate - what the government should do - and meaning - how the public views the role of its duties, rights and options in relationship to the government. These are tied together by mechanism - how the government functions. In American history, and to no small extent world history, the most important mechanism is money. Not in the sense of who gets money - but in the sense of how money works. Each of these three parts of government are often written about, but how they interact is usually handled poorly - because generally an author knows one well, details it quite clearly, and then tries to apply the thesis of one to the others. The situation is more complex - each interacts with the others, and the process of bringing all of them into harmony is not immediate, it does not lend it self to nice clear lines of demarcation.
But a new constitutional order must get all three in sync - people must expect of a government what it can accomplish through handling mechanisms, and through motivating meaning.
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