The message from the pleasant and nobly resilient city of St Louis rings true. The social contract that bound Americans is broken.
But the mechanism that repairs it may not be a political party led by a modern day Teddy Roosevelt (where among us today is there one like him?)
Rather the reparing mechanism may be a new kind of media: neither public nor commercial, as we know them today, but civic: dedicated to making citizens and government responsive and accountable to each other in realizing opportunities and solving problems in communities of any size: local, state, national and even international.
To restore the social contract that binds Americans, civic media would use modern communications technologies to give all Americans an informed voice in the political decisions that affect their lives.
Why doesn’t America already have a civic media? It should, for civic media is technologically feasible. But two things are lacking. First is trust on the part of owners of existing media in the core premise of democracy that “men be trusted to govern themselves.” And second, awareness of the fact that any media that engages all members of a community is ipso facto tapping Market of the Whole, the largest of all large markets and the new 21st century Holy Grail of marketing.
The fact of the Market of the Whole ensures that civic media will happen, sooner or later. And when it does, it will spawn not one modern day Teddy Roosevelt but an array of them. Google “Seeding Civic Media.”