This circus is the decline of the GOP. It has met, shaken hands with, and surpassed Poe’s Law.
The media continuing to report on it is a travesty, but best left for another post.
The GOP has terrible approval ratings - 77% disapprove, +/- 3 points.
Americans Elect is attempting to step up and provide an alternative - but with little media coverage, I don’t know how successful it will be.
Each of the major shifts of political parties in American history corresponds to major historical events:
- The first party system (Federalists, Democratic-Republicans) came about after the initial rocky road of politics.
- The second party system (Jacksonian Democrats, Whigs) came about due primarily to fall of the Federalists after the War of 1812.
- The third party system saw the rise of the staunchly anti-slavery Republicans (who absorbed many of the economic policies of the Whigs), the Civil War and the Reconstruction.
- The fourth party system rose from the ashes of the panic of 1893, dominated by the Republican party. It was characterized, at the beginning, with reform. Then WW1 and the Great Depression happened, leading to…
- The fifth party system, beginning with the Democrats rise to power and the New Deal.
Some say the fifth party system ended in the 60s, when Republicans regained control over the presidency. Others say it ended with the Moral Majority in the early 1980s, realigning the Republicans into the neo-conservative face we see today. There’s no doubt that positions have shifted and realigned over the past 30 years.
But the rise of Republicans to power preceded and presided over the expansion of top-end wealth and the reduction of middle-and-bottom end wealth, as a share of the economy. It’s crumbling, now. The evidence is clear, with the idiotic corporatist shills put up for candidacy against the well-spoken Democrat financial shill we have in office.
It may not happen this election cycle. But it’s in the cards: either the GOP must completely realign their interests and coalitions, or face a slow and painful fade into obscurity. “The People” are too smart to, as a whole, buy into the manure the GOP candidates are shoveling. Yet they are also tired of the endless gifts our Banker-In-Chief hands to the banks and investment firms; they are tired of his half-assed proposals copied wholesale from the Republican agenda of two decades ago. The Democrats have shifted too far to the right.
Nixon used the ‘Silent Majority’ argument to rise to power. I’ll believe a viable third-party candidate when I see one, but I can’t see a viable opposition to Obama at this point.
Which is disheartening. I don’t want another four years of lip-service to decades old Republican agendas that Republicans shoot down simply to be partisan. Neither do I want a moron who does not understand economics and foreign policy to rise to the office of POTUS.
Of course, this is focusing on the Presidency. Because that’s what everyone pays attention to. But no President can get anything done, policy-wise, without a strong influence with congress. For a true third party - and replacement for either the fracturing Republican party, or a newcomer to the left of the now-right-wing Democratic party - to take hold over a presidency, they must have a showing within congress.
So, examine the third party candidates this coming election season. But not for the presidency.
Examine them for your House Representative. Examine them for your Senator. But enough is enough: kick the old parties out. Time for some new ones.