In the previous post I said:
"We apply the discourse of the past to a present that has moved on from past policy."
There's a whole book that explores this thesis (no, it's not my idea -- credit where credit is due) -- it's called Postmodernity USA and it's by Anthony Woodiwiss. I suppose it played a little too fast-and-loose with academic theories that were not accepted by Woodiwiss' department, so it never garnered the favor of professors and therefore slipped out of print. But it's a book with a lot of good ideas and you might be able to find it in a good university library.