Think of this as Volume 16, Number 16 of A-Clue.com, the online newsletter I've written since 1997. Enjoy.
What those who follow politics in the short term don't understand, and those who take the long view do, is how you can see which side is rising or falling quite easily, through a simple study of isolation and engagement.
As political assumptions and the industries behind them fade and die, those who follow those assumptions tend to become isolated from the wider world.
You can see this easily in retrospect. Hard reality turns to sepia. The Confederacy became the “lost cause” because slave-owners became isolated from the reality of mechanization. The Gilded Age gave way to the Progressive Era as speculators and the native-born became isolated from the real life of the industrial economy, while those who embraced change prospered and defined a new era of finance.