View RSS Feed

Memories of the 28th Century

The Weirdness of U.S. Politics

Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.
Itís been a few years since I first noticed the two-part system in the U.S. falling apart. The process is continuing. The Democrats destroyed their party over the last twenty years by making the party a place for the intellectual leftists, the academics, and the ones who have been supporting international communism for decades. That made the Democrat Party less comfortable for organized labor. The party establishment loved Clinton, Gore, and Obama; all three are intellectual leftists.

Franklin D. Roosevelt forged a coalition that included banking and oil industries, the Democratic state party organizations, city machines, labor unions, blue collar workers, minorities (racial, ethnic and religious), farmers, white Southerners, poor people, and intellectuals. The white Southerners were leftovers from when the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln, so all Blacks voted Republicans, and nearly all white Southerners took the other side. In 1968 Wallace split the Southern white vote, and within a few years the Southern whites had all gone to the Republicans. The bankers and oil industries also left around the same time. But the Dems held on to most of the rest of the New Deal Coalition for a while, but the blue collar workers werenít comfortable with the intellectuals. The unions were connected with the intellectuals at the top, but the rank and file were not as loyal to the party. The farmers tended to vote more on financial issues, and sometimes the Republicans favored them.

The Clintonís brought the remaining part of the coalition together, but the workers were less reliable, and they went to the Republicans in 2000 and 2004. Obama, due to his skin color, attracted many Black and minority voters to actually vote. Turnout among those groups had been low in most elections, but large numbers of Blacks voted from Obama in 2008, and surprisingly a fair number voted for him in 2012 also. It is uncertain whether they will vote in 2016. They arenít likely to attract back great numbers from labor, and Hillary will attract a number of women who would vote for any woman. At this point only a few of the segments of the New Deal Coalition are still with the Dems, and some pieces might be drawn away, but thatís what this post is about.

If we look at the Republican Party in a similar way, we would find independent business people, farmers, tradespeople, manufacturers, professionals, intellectuals, Black people, and some religious people making up the base of the party after WW II. The actions of Nixon damaged the coalition, and the Civil Rights actions of the 1960ís got most Blacks to switch from the party of Lincoln. From around this time the Republican Party was losing professionals and intellectuals, but it was starting to get more workers who saw their advantage was with the management, rather than with organized labor. In the 1980ís Reagan attracted more working stiffs and social conservatives. The Republicans had started to become socially conservative in the early 20th century and as opposition to FDR, but from the time of Goldwater on it was firmly conservative. The two parties had swapped social conservatism.

It was in the 1970ís when the religious wing of the party was added. There was a split in the religions people between the socially active and the socially conservative. That was an odd split that may come to an end at some point.

The militarism of the Republicans was largely an offshoot of social conservatism and of the influence of Eisenhower. Eisenhower was offered the Democrat Presidential nomination, but turned it down, because he had always been a Republican, but he was not doctrinaire about that.

So at this point the Dems have become the Republicans of 1854, and the Reps have become the Dems of the late 19th century. Itís maddening; I have to keep reading the news to tell who is wanting to do what. At this point we have a few ideologies that have their pieces of a political party. The militarist, jingoist, people are calling themselves Republicans, and it looks like they back Trump. The pro-business part of the Republican Party of old doesnít have a candidate, or it didnít until Bloomberg declared that he wanted to run as an independent. He probably would attract many professionals and business people, because he really is a successful businessman.

Among the Democrats, Bernie and Hillary are fighting for the remainder of the Democrat Party, mostly just doctrinaire socialists; one of them will get the nomination, but it doesnít make much difference which. The rest of the Dems will be backing Trump.

It looks likely that Gary Johnson will try to head the Libertarian ticket again. Who knows, he may scrape up move of the old time Reps and Dems, most of whom were classical liberals. But it surely looks like a three or four part election, and, if all goes well, it will end up in the House of Representatives.

If I become an active candidate, I'll try to get the use of "Sunshine" royalty free from Jonathan Edwards. It would be the best campaign song in decades.

This is a somewhat disorganized post, because that is what has been happening to U.S. politics. In the past I suggested that it might turn out like the 1860 Presidential election in which there were four major candidates, and the most noted candidate from a regular party didn't win. Read the wikipedia article about it, and you will understand why I relate it to these days.,_1860