Friday, March 2, 2012

The Future of the GOP and Democrats

Do the GOP and Democratic Parties have a future?

By Mike Krauss
Bucks County Courier Times

Let’s have some fun, get out the crystal ball and predict the future of the Republican and Democratic parties.

The GOP is easy. It doesn’t have a future.

This is not because its leading candidates for president are (in order) hopelessly artificial, a religious fanatic and a swollen vanity — although that doesn’t help, of course.

The death of the GOP can be read not in a crystal ball, but in the tea leaves, or more precisely the demographics. Demographics are destiny, and the GOP has for decades been the party of the old, white America. And it is going.

Now, as I am one of those — an older, white American, descendent from the German and English speakers who first settled most of the original American colonies — you might think I find this cause for alarm, but I don’t.

The population and birth rates of American racial and ethnic groups have hit critical mass. The former white, mostly north European mainstream will become but one of many tributaries that feed the current, shift the mainstream and cut a new channel in history.

Get over it.

And more, the new America is younger and able to swim in the deeper end of the gene pool, and finds differences of race, religion, culture and social custom less of a threat than many of the older Americans — the GOP base — wading in the shallow end.

This if itself should not have been the death of the GOP. But unlike political parties with a future, the GOP never made an outreach to the future, never made any accommodation with reality. Instead, beginning with Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” and the exodus of southern whites from the Democratic and into the Republican Party, the GOP has bet on the past.

Nixon was a shrewd politician. But his short-term electoral strategy sealed the fate of the GOP. George Bush tried to make the outreach to the fastest growing population of the United States — Hispanics — but he was beaten back.

Now the party is in its death throes. Interestingly, the GOP has decided not so much to circle the wagons for one last stand, but rather to go out guns blazing in one last suicidal, Picket’s Charge.

So the GOP in Congress opposes any compromise, makes no deals, doubles down on its shrinking base and produces a leading candidate for president who surely knows better, plus the afore mentioned fanatic and a puffed up ego.

Mr. Obama is easily the luckiest man to ever run for president. Which brings us to the Democrats.

Clearly, this is a party with a future, if only by default. But wait, what do I see in the crystal ball?

Mr. Obama has built his presidency on the alliance made by Bill Clinton with Wall Street and the 1 percent, and because his party in Congress is as dominated by Wall Street and the established interests of the 1 percent as is the GOP, the Democrats are losing the younger voters that flocked to the Obama banner in 2008.

You’ll find them at Occupy meetings and Ron Paul rallies, because they have no jobs, may never own a home as their parents did, and see the U.S. still chasing after war all over the world as ever more Americans move down the ladder of social mobility. They know they’ve been had.

The Democrats have a civil war on their hands. The party may have a short future.

Professional Democrats like the organizers of MoveOn are trying desperately to move Obama away from his sponsors and paper over the divide, but I don’t see it happening. Although I must caution, as any carnival fortune teller can tell you, the future is murky.

The GOP, in its last charge, is hitting first at the Democrats’ supply lines, trying by any and all means to disenfranchise as many young and non-white voters as possible, and also a lot of senior citizens. (That last makes sense if you want to gut Social Security and Medicare, as the GOP does.)

So the party further narrows its base from older, to older and well-to-do whites. The GOP will fail, Mr. Obama will be re-elected, and nothing will change.

No, wait. I see something.

There is something unclear. I see people who have taken a beating. A lot of them. Is there someone in your past called “middle class?” They are almost all white. And they are angry.

But, it doesn’t matter. I see another market crash again sometime shortly after the November election, all hell will break loose and the elections of 2014 will see the emergence of a new political party in the United States.

Or not.

As I said, it’s murky.

That’ll be two bucks, and thank you.

1 comment:

  1. I wish I could agree with the end result that Mike sees as the light at the end of the long dark tunnel... but I don't. Americans in our "former" middle class may have become angry, but their anger is not at this moment leading enough of us to action.

    Apathy is the true and profound disease throughout the moderate side of both political parties... actually all three... including independents. And apathy is a terminal disease.

    As I look out among even the most solid democrats at the congressional campaign meet and greet events I attend there are those drawn in by the national dialogue on television, and there are those that watch no television political commentary or news.

    Americans in our middle class are working 65 hours a week just to keep their homes. Young Americans just out of college are struggling with debt at levels never before seen... they have lost their American dream before it even begins.

    The void is in entrepreneurism, and new sustainable ideas for our local communities. The halls of congress are full of lobbyists paid $500 per hour just to stalk our representatives. Midnight poker games lobbyists against legislators are an every opportunity for lobbyists to slip thousands into the hands of legislators providing a convenient detour around the records of and the FEC.

    Our President has appointed not one "Micro-Economist" or Main Street expert to the councils of ...Domestic Policy, Economic Policy, Entrepreneurism, Small Business... (I could go on and on). And the SBA should really remove the "S" from it's name due to the fact that less than 1% of it's loans get into the hands of small family businesses with less than 20 employees.

    More than a 3rd party, we need primary elections where voters can cross over party lines and vote for a candidate in any party. That will marginalize both parties and put them in a position to find only the best candidates to run.

    In Maryland it takes only one signature, and a check for $100 to get your name on the ballot. I wouldn't have run if it was more difficult... but I believe that the party should have some role in the primary process. At least to vet the actual credentials and to promote the candidates to the entire voting public... instead they stand back and just watch to see who can raise the most moolah.

    We need better candidates, we need fewer lobbyists. Some corporations are spending more on lobbying activities than on advertising, marketing or research and development.
    It's time to wean corporations and huge special interest groups off of the teat of Congress. I propose a huge corporate tax on lobbying activities.

    It's time that the middle class and main street had a seat at the table!

    Help me get elected... at


    Wendy Rosen
    Candidate for Congress MD-1