A Reflective Christian

All for God’s Kingdom

Could this be the beginnings of a third political party in America?

In polls by both Gallup and Rasmussen, there are indications that affiliations with the Democratic party is reducing, but it isn’t being followed by an increase in Republican affiliation by the same percentage. Unaffiliateds are apparently getting larger as a group, although I do not know how this compares with the the past years. Furthermore, Rasmussen reports that Republican voters feel Republician politicians are “out of touch” with their political base. Listening to conservative talk radio on the occasions that I do, there is ire towards the Republican party also.

The Republican party is getting into a difficult situation, IMO, with its continued to survival. On the one hand, it has its conservative base hat it relies upon. However, on the other hand, I would take a guess to say that the political spectrum in American is broadening and towards the left, as American culture is beginning to be defined less and less as being opposed to Communism/Socialism once the Cold War ended (although, socialism is not the same as communism, but that doesn’t affect how the public understands them).

Does the Republican party become the centrist party of American politics? If so, it risks alienating its more conservative base. Does it move towards it’s conservative, Regean-esque principles (although, maybe reducing spending, something Regean didn’t do)? If so, it may leave the people who are more centrist voting for the Democratic party. At least, under the former option, there is a higher chance that conservatives vote for Republicans under the “lesser of evils” idea.

There is little option for the Republican becoming a big-tent party. Conservatives tend to be more systematic in their thought, and any major contradiction with it causes problems with offering up support, except when its base is rallied in a fight against “the enemy”, the Democrats. Liberals, on the other hand, are more pragmatic, which is what allows them to be a broad party in recent history.

However, the Democratic party, while it is in a position of power at the moment, has its own problems to face. It too has to face with the fact that the political spectrum in America is broader than it has been in recent history, and even pragmatists have their limits. There is even the beginning of fractures within the Democratic party, as there is a sense of unease with the current medical care reform even within the Democratic party. Furthermore, their own support is eroding, as evidenced in party affiliation and the presidential approval rating. To go continue to go further to the left will alienate the centrist portion. To move towards America’s center will ensure its dominance in America politics in the short term, but will lead to further problems as the political diversity in America continues to broaden further.

Not to mention, the Democratic party risk a future division based upon the fact that there is a chance there can be a split between the different types of “liberals.” In my own experience, people who classify themselves as conservatives generally have conservative ideas in social, fiscal, and governmental policy. However, people who call themselves liberals may be fiscally and governmentally liberal, but social conservative. In my opinion, there are three categories that define American politics right now and they are related to social issues (homosexuality, abortion, immigration, etc.), fiscal issues (how much should the government tax and spend), and governmental issues (how much control should the government exercise). As it is, current the current powers in the Democrat party are operated as more liberal in all three directions, and if that continues, it will chafe other Democrats.

Long story short, the political diversity in America is growing in such a way that it can no longer conceivably have only two prominent parties in future. A “big-tent party” is becoming less and less doable, and so there will be a large portion of the American public that will be so disatisfied with the two current options that will lend their support to other options. Unless there becomes some issue that American as a whole defines itself against in order to produce a smaller political spectrum, a third party is a great likelihood in my opinion. But unlike in American history where the rise of a third party signaled the demise of one of the other two parties, in this context, all three will continue to exist (for better or worse).


September 2, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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