The institutions of power in a democracy cannot rule without the consent of the governed, but those same institutions also often control the mechanisms by which the governed are “educated” (school, media, church, etc.). Through this framework, those who are in power (both the individuals and the groups) are able to create a sense of consent from the governed by fostering ideologies (capitalism, Christianity, patriarchy, etc. in the United States) that make the status quo seem like the only possible world.
Because insider rhetorics and the public interests of insiders are so deeply entrenched in U.S. democracy, individual leaders (typically, politicians such as representatives or presidents)can manufacture the necessary level of consent among constituents in order to maintain the status quo. The efficacy and efficiency of this system may seem appealing to outsider rhetors who wish to insert themselves into the public discourse and mechanisms for change, but simply parroting the system of the insiders is not workable when applied by those who do not already control the hegemonic structures. In “Commonwealth,” Hardt and Negri write:
* The primary form of power that really confronts us today is not so dramatic or demonic but rather earthly and mundane. We need to stop confusing politics with theology. The predominant contemporary form of sovereignty—if we still want to call it that—is completely embedded within and supported by legal systems and institutions of governance. . . . There is nothing extraordinary or exceptional about this form of power. Its claim to naturalness, in fact, its silent and invisible daily functioning, makes it extremely difficult to recognize, analyze, and challenge.
__Floyd, D. G. (2020). The Threshold of Democracy: The Rhetoric of Outsider Activism (Doctoral dissertation, University of Cincinnati).
__Hardt, M., Negri, A. (2011). Commonwealth. Belknap Press.
__Huxley, A. (1958). Aldous Huxley on Technodictators. Austin, TX: Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin.