I think “politics becoming culture” in the sense of supplanting culture has been with the U.S. from its inception. The self-liberation from British tyranny was chiefly a cultural act, clothed in a loud and flashy political veneer/justification. And although, on-and-off over the decades, the U.S. has developed various regional sub-cultures that outshine its political currents for a time, these sub-cultures ultimately end up intersecting and merging with the political narrative. U.S. politics is like the Borg in this regard. Perhaps this is a feature of democracy itself — or of a democracy that has always been steeped in media, commercialism, and commoditization — where so much can be determined at a national level. Everything ultimately becomes political, because politics impacts nearly everything in our lives.
My 2 cents.
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