Before the advent of representative democracy there was a clear line between the rulers and the ruled. Although this is still the case it is harder to discern. The issue is, that back then “we” fought “them” or negotiated with “them.” Whereas now this is not the case. This is evidenced when someone in the government gives a speech. There is always a central theme when they speak about the USA in general and that theme is unity. “We all need to come together.” Besides having the obvious effect of lumping the majority of people who are getting the worst of it with the minority of people who are giving them the worst of it, it also has the effect of hiding the government right before our eyes. Let me elaborate.
We are not able to clearly discern were the government even is in the equation. Because what is implied is that we are, or control, the government. If we are the government then clearly we cannot be fighting ourselves. This is very important because this has its own effect. That is, when w are unable to discern the government (i.e. we think we are the government) then we do not seek to change the government but merely alter it. Again, we think of it as ourselves; and we would not normally think of switching ourselves out for someone else but merely changing the habits associated with ourselves that we do not like.
When it was obvious that we had no control over the government and that it was something other than ourselves then we could easily (or at least more so) show the line in the sand that separated us and them. Indeed, in its vanity normally the government would even show us the line itself. Now though it does all it can to keep people from seeing this.
Something else that is related to this is the very issue of representiveness. The division between the ruled and the rulers has shifted to a fight between the ruled only. The rulers are now obscured behind their “representative” status. If they are merely representatives then we do not disagree with them but with whom they represent.