Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Political Party Prediction

Prediction: The Democrat party is going to split.

By not giving official recognition to party politics in the Constitution, the natural result is for two major camps to emerge, each forced to collect as large a body of interest groups as possible into a mega-coalition. This scramble to capture the middle generally keeps both sides of roughly equal strength, and produces what appears to be only bland differences in practice between the parties -- a trait which many bemoan.

The upside is that it is thus the "majority of the middle" that gets represented, which really is as it ought to be -- most of the time.

And luckily, our system has built into it plenty of protections that temper this "tyranny of the majority", but the majority should be generally in charge, after all. Proportional-representation Parliamentary systems, on the other hand, allow minor extremist parties to sometimes wield disproportianate power by creating ruling coalitions, leading to a "tyranny of the minority" which is more toxic.

But looking at our nation's political history, it hasn't always been just Democrats and Republicans. Instead, what one finds that a kind of Darwinian evolution by recombination occurs.

What happens historically is that at times of national crisis or great change, such as around the Civil War, numerous competing parties emerge, which destroy the coalitions of the then-prevailing two major parties.

Anyone remember the Whigs, the Know-Nothings, the Free Soilers? Or the Bull Moose Progressives?

The new parties and interest groups then all jockey for position and, in a kind of game of political musical chairs, eventually settle down into two NEW major opposing parties. Sometimes the names of the old parties are maintained, but the interests they represent are forever changed.

Voices that once were in the background may come to the fore in the new coalition, and others sometimes get left out entirely and fade away.

And this is going to happen very soon to the current Democrats. Their New Deal generation is gone, along with the manufacturing jobs and their big unions.

I originally thought they might break up in 1992, when they appeared at first in disarray, unable to find a big name to oppose a then-popular Bush I, and facing a wildly popular independent, Ross Perot. It seemed to me then that if Perot were to make bold moves, he could have shattered the Democrats and seized the Presidency, forming a new, viable Reform party.

But inexperienced politically and thin-skinned, he dropped out of the race in the Summer, then rejoined belatedly in the Fall. This indecisiveness ruined his chances, though he still got 19% of the vote -- an amazing show for a half-hearted third-party candidacy!

(And good thing for us he lost! As I've always said, an efficient businesslike government -- which Perot promised -- is exactly what we DON'T need, because that just makes government better at taking your money and your Rights!)

So a charismatic Bill Clinton and a revived economy papered over deep problems within the Democrat party.

But now we find, on the Great Question of the Day -- Are we in a real War or not? -- that just over half the Democratic base believes strongly the answer is NO but the rest strongly think it is YES.

That's an untenable situation, and is why Kerry must take both sides. If he comes out definitively either way, he loses half his base.

For the Republicans, it's probably something like 80% think YES and the rest are isolationist "paleoconservatives" who grumble but have nowhere else to go.

So my wild predictions are as follows: Kerry candidacy implodes, Democrats are furious and seething; and amid recriminations and finger-pointing, the Dean wing splits off, and unites with the Greens and other anti-war, anti-capitalist, anti-globalist, anti-American elements, and forms a far-left party backed by Soros money. This party probably takes a new name.

The Democrat rump of the party is seized by elements that are more realist and pragmatic, and field Hillary in 2008 -- who, in an attempt to grab more of the center, runs with Republican-in-name-only John McCain! McCain's popularity among moderate Republicans pulls off some Republicans into the New Democrats, especially among the working-class populists and maybe even the isolationists.

The New Republicans counter with a Giuliani-Rice ticket!

These New Republicans will consist of "neoconservatives" and fugitive Reagan/Zell Miller Democrats.

The Deaniac-Naderites easily siphon off enough votes to sink Hillary-McCain, and leftist political violence rises as they fade, screaming, into oblivion.

And the role-reversal will be complete: the New Republicans will be much like old-style Liberals, and the New Democrats will be the big-government reactionaries!

You heard it here first!


Blogger Das said...

Interesting post. I have been feeling something like this for a long time and it was good to see it in black and white on your blog. I agree, if Kerry loses the Dem party as we know it will shatter. The Democratic party certainly doesn't want people like me around
Thanks and regards,

3:27 AM, October 17, 2004  

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