But if you had to pick a Number One, you could do worse than choosing the Rubinization of the economy that took place under the Clinton administration. (Be sure to keep that in mind when you're "choosing" Hillary! over Rand Paul in a few years.) Sure, NAFTA screwed the labor pooch sufficiently so as to generate that gentle sucking sound (per Ross Perot) you still hear almost a full generation later.
But the selling-out and ritual buttfucking of the working class was a multi-episode series, as they say in the entertainment parlance, and Bob Rubin's human centipede act with Citibank and the rest of the Wall Street rentiers was on a par with, say, the penultimate episode of the Sopranos, where major bodies drop but the main character still stands, bloodied but unbowed, and the viewer is still not 100% sure how things will resolve.
By now, though, the results of such events and patterns should be clear to all honest observers, and where they stand on the results, as the saying goes, depends on where they sit. The one-percenters took their spoils, as they do, and left the peons to fight over what crumbs where left. That this is not really news -- or even much of a surprise -- should provide insight as to what the real pivot, if it can be narrowed down as such, would be.
And that is the ease with which politicians of "either" party can twist common rational self-interest into neighbor-reaming greed. Forward-thinking pwogwessives loved them some Billy Jeff, over the stiff patrician H.W., and when Billy decided to send jobs to Mexico they were just jake with all that, so long as it was someone else's job that was being outsourced.
And when Billy Jeff, in a moment of characteristic weakness, decided to expel his political capital across an intern's tonsils, they made hot-damn shore to provide as much cover as he might need from them, even as his Treasury Secretary sniffed out the real money and set up shop. Ideological consistency is frequently compromised for expediency. The main thing is that we talked about what priggish hypocrites the Republitards were, rather than how Billy Jeff's henchmen were setting themselves up to reap huge profits by cornholing us. And then there's the whole repealing Glass-Steagall thing, which set the stage for the economic skullfuckery we currently endure.
So now we're about to anoint Our First Female Preznit, three full years before the "election," sponsored by [pick from about two dozen corporations that "donate" to "both" parties]. And that redounds to the folks who, as we've noted, are routinely gulled into voting directly against their rational self-interest.
The Citizens United ruling didn't help, but it's also no excuse, not in an era where information not only wants to be free, but practically strives for such freedom. There's no goddamned excuse short of laziness for not knowing any fucking thing out there, most especially the manifold vicissitudes of your garden-variety political miscreants.
So maybe the proles get precisely what they deserve; when they unceremoniously kick Anthony "Carlos Danger" Weiner to the curb -- a guy who, regardless of his ridonkulous indiscretions, would actually have fought for working-class dawgs at some point -- but re-elect David Vitter, Mark Sanford, and Scott DesJarlais, well, fuck 'em. Maybe people are getting what they deserve.
This sounds heartless, but as long as the most vulnerable populations fail to step up and empower themselves, why should I shed a tear? If you're not going to vote, and at least engage in the pretense of democracy, what can I do to alleviate that? If you live in a district that (wrongly, but still) requires ID to cast a vote, and you can't scrabble the twenty bucks together to get a fucking ID, what are the rest of us supposed to do? Not to mention the cold hard fact that, as far as populations of conservative voters go, they've always been there, and tend to propagate faster than people with triple-digit IQs would prefer.
Even midterm elections are only every two years; are people waiting around till a week before election day and then lamenting that their difficult situation fucks up their voting opportunities? What would disempower the bastards more, whining about the unfairness of it all, or acquiring those basic documents the rest of us just magically have?
Anyhoo, if you're looking to select the events or patterns that had the most impact on the decimation of the American electorate, you could do worse than the Rubinization of the economy, Citizens United, and the general idiocy of the voting public, in that general order. All of it is contingent on the willingness of the public to stop tuning in to royal baby/Kardashian nonsense, and read a fucking book once in a while.