One of the things that really amazes me is that the pundits like to point out how the Republicans have picked issues that alienate the average voter. While that is true, there are two things you have to ponder. First, why will the election still be close, and second, even if they weren’t trying to bring back the Salem Witch Trials, they have no new ideas on which to challenge President Obama. How could you vote for someone who promises to bring you back to the policies that don’t work and have led to the mess we are now in?
Well to the first question on the Salem Witch Trials, and maybe bleeding over into the no new ideas is the obvious conclusion that they just hate, and I mean hate, President Obama. That one for me is hard to fathom because whether you agree with his politics or not, he is a likeable man. But then when you look at most really conservative voters you start to see maybe that racism is not dead. It is covered up with the claim that he is a socialist, but the facts simply don’t bear that out. Of course, the obvious conclusion is that facts have nothing to do with this and it is a visceral hate thing. It is sad in this day and age, this still goes on in a fairly large segment of our population. But the light at the end of the tunnel is that these people are rapidly becoming irrelevant. Look around you at our youth who are more biracial, tolerate, and less “white”. Maybe these fat old white people are having their last gasp at holding on to something they never had.
The other issue to me is more troubling. We will simply outgrow the Salem Witch Trails thing as our demographics change, but the idea that you can ignore facts and data to support an ideological point of view is truly frightening. My hero, Paul Krugman, wrote an interesting blog this morning (This Tribal Nation) about how the more well educated conservative voters are, the more like they are to deny facts and data. Now that is truly frightening. Global warming, evolution, flow down, austerity, the data is overwhelming about these items (its happening, it happened, it doesn’t happen, and depresses economies), yet they are in denial about it. So we have this whole Party that denies the failure of their economic policies and yet they still have a chance at the polls. You have to wonder how we evolved at all. Oh, sorry conservatives, evolution doesn’t exist, except of course for the mountains of evidence that proves the concept.
So why do I call this blog the two party system. Because we need one and we haven’t got one any more. You have a Democratic Party that is mainly center right with a Progressive wing, and a Republican Party that no longer makes sense. The idea of a two party system is that one party can be led astray by their own hubris and the other party is there to offer new ideas and offer the voters choice. Except what we have is a Democratic Party that mostly panders to center right, that is Republican ideas of the 1980s and 1990s,, and a Republican Party that babbles nonsense and tries to recreate a Mom and Pop economy (and religious life) that didn’t even exist in the 1890s they want to drag us back to.
If we were to have a functioning two party system, it would go something like this: The Republican Party would be seen for what it is, a party of political hacks who sell their souls to corporate interest while trying to drag the rest of us back to serfdom, and it would become a fringe element. Actually it already is, but this is their last hurrah before demographics makes their ideas irrelevant. The Democratic Party would split into two parties, the center right portion that represents conservative economic interests and still panders to corporate interests, but cares about the middle class, and the Progressives who really do have new ideas (really old Keynesian ones that still work) about investing in our future, and finding new ways to help the middle class instead of thinking austerity cures all ills.
I guess my point here is fairly simple. We haven’t recognized it yet, but the Republican Party is brain dead and needs to be taken off life support. The Democratic Party really is too big a tent and more accurately reflects the rational political spectrum at this point. It is amazing to me that the chattering classes haven’t figured this out yet. They still pretend they are having rational discussions when they interview Republicans, and still try to paint Democrats as some monolithic socialist party. Let’s face it, if you were from another planet and you listened to the political dialogue today, you would have to wonder if there is some disease that has destroyed the rational part of most of the nation’s brains. One thing for sure, if the Republicans do manage some sort of win in November, it will be their end. Their policies will finally be shown to bring about total failure.