I think most answers were concerned with 'who' or ' who/when' was responsible fro this plethora of actor in public office (and as expectd many pointed out Reagan....but my question was more in the institutional "how' than in the 'cultural' how...I do understand that the two intersect of course at some points but how the political elite/class (I know that the word 'elite' is abbored in the States) sets the institutions for the continuation of its existence... so what are the institutional elements making this possible...is in fact the real question I'm concerned with because they represent the structure of operation...
In a certain way this is off topic so if it is too much (oof topic) then let's drop it...
Your question seems to me a little like, "why does a crummy book become an international best seller and sells to the movies, and my great book doesn't even get published?"
To run for public office in the US any individual needs to be able to finance their campaign with their own funds or with other people's funds. I'd say the old adage stands: Anyone who produces theater with their own money is a fool.
It's much easier for public figures to gain support both emotional and financial for their bid than it is for ordinary people. The public looks to good work when choosing a leader. Majority rule is a tricky thing because in any school room the majority is C students and that's who a US politician has to play to if they want to win and election. The average thinker does not put a lot of effort into thinking. Name recognition goes a long way. Strong talk goes further than successful financial planning in a previous job which may not even register with "the majority." Historically, the United States is notorious for aggressive, unscrupulous politicians who press a bogus agenda gaining fame and wealth along the way. Nearly all are deposed because they underestimate the power of their opponents. Its a system of checks and balances that more or less works, but it's a roller coaster ride for the public.
22 C students pray to pass their algebra test, 5 D-F students don't care if they pass the test, 3 A-B students know how to pass the test. So you have an awful lot of constituents who identify with a candidate who encourages turning to supernatural means in times of emergency rather than to ratiocination. Add to all this that leadership roles are usually sought by narcissists and you see the full scope of the problem.
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