Watching the information bonfire of the current US election processes is troubling, to say the least. Beyond external interference in the fidelity of democracy and the internal dissonance of a nation being in many ways torn apart by incessant adversarial posturing and partisan self-interest, there is in this situation an instance of some broader unresolved issues which at this time and place assume a very specific shape and character.
The question is of the ways in which the systems of incentives and rewards that have sedimented and evolved around the constitutional frameworks have themselves become the critical pivots and abstractions around which democracy orbits. It is not, necessarily, that the core system is flawed – more that the extent to which the relentless and adaptive complexities of political self-interest have so shaped the environment in which it functions that these pragmatic intrigues and power-plays have assumed the central position. The center of logical gravity has drifted away from core functions to the malleable, ambiguous and serially-exploited representations of those functions as a perhaps unexpected consequence of increasing social, technological and economic complexity as much as of political self-interest.
Questions as to whether or not the base axiomatic (constitutional) framework still works as intended or if current doubts regarding this are a consequence (and symptom) of the fact that the audience and participatory observers for which it was written were dramatically other than those which currently exist are issues for the social media warriors, media and ideological pugilists to contend. I merely think it is worth mentioning.