Political Supremacy and Party Evolution
The Democratic Party of the United States must be avoiding mirrors, for the most part. Not only have Republicans won five of the last seven Presidential elections, the majority control of Congress is growing and continues to threaten higher numbers. Worse, there is no single face or name which seems to accurately represent the ideals and philosophy of the Democratic Party. No one seems to represent the next FDR or JFK, not even a new Bill Clinton. Yes, Hillary is a major face, but even top Democrats concede she lacks the charismatic touch that Bill had. Yes, Barack Obama is a gifted speaker, but his ideas are pedestrian, already stale and passe.
This is not a coincidence. The Democratic Party once held near-total control of government in the United States, but no more. The Republican Party spent most of the Twentieth Century fighting to catch up in power, and so they had to compete with the ideals of Reform and Accountability. This is what propelled Reagan into the White House, and made the Contract With America the vehicle for Congressional control. And what’s worse, Republicans have in some portion continued to support that initiative. Not nearly all, but enough to make a difference. The real nightmare of the second Bush Administration for Democrats, is that Dubya has instilled some of his character and ideals into people working for him, so that the next generation will reflect him in many places and duties. When Reagan did that, his legacy was not only assured, it led directly to the spirit which drove Dubya’s election to the White House. Democrats understand that many things which Reagan could not do in his two terms, he made possible for Bush. And so they fear, correctly, that Bush is laying the groundwork for still more permanent success by the GOP. That’s gotta hurt.
The 2000 Census revealed bad news as well for Democrats. First off, the South continues to gain population, meaning more Republican Electoral Votes. But also, companies are more often setting up headquarters and major plants in the South, because of tax conditions, meaning the South is growing richer, as well. Demographics are hurting Democrats as well, with Republicans picking up greater support than before from women, the young, and blacks. Pew showed the Republicans as a party are even with the Democrats in identification, and self-identified Conservatives continue to enjoy much broader support than self-identified Liberals. This means that in the coming years, there will be more of a natural identification for Republican candidates than for Democrats, even in states traditionally strong for Democrats. It is no exaggeration to say that the Republican strategic position, nationally, is sounder than the Democrat position.
The Democrats have done themselves no favors, by embracing policies and positions which run contrary to the national mind. They oppose reforming the derilect Social Security program, they oppose serious efforts to intercept terrorists and discover their intentions, and they attack Republicans at every chance, regardless of how absurd the charge or how petty they appear by following such a regimen. Especially when the facts show Democrats to be as guilty or more of charges they throw at Republicans.
A good example of what is really going on in Democrat minds, can be deduced from comments made during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. Five major Democrats on the Judiciary Committee made statements claiming that Alito was unsuitable, because in their opinion he would grant too much power and discretion to the President. Think about that. If the Democrats were able to expect control of Congress, they would be able to act against the President as they have in the past. And if the Democrats were comfortable with their chances to take the White House in 2008, since Bush cannot run again and Cheney has shown no desire to do so, and no clear and charismatic front-runner has yet appeared on the Right, they should be happy, not worried, that a SCOTUS judge would accomodate a President. This suggests that for all the talk in public, Democrats are not seriously expecting to come into power. A hard look at the evidence suggests optimism would be unrealistic for the Left.
So, what to do with a clear control of the government? One thing that has to be done, is to consolidate power. In the past, when a party has appeared to be in power but was fragmented in its focus, it failed to accomplish its promised results, and fell from power. This requires the GOP to grow, to increase its pace to follow through on the Contract With America, especially the spirit of reform. This is because there is good news and bad for the Republican situation.
The first piece is good news. The Republicans not only control the American government, but have been increasing their control over time. And as I said, the landscape appears favorable to continued growth. Part of this is due to the New Media, especially the Blogosphere, which counters spin and MSM bias.
The second piece is bad news, or at least a warning. If the GOP becomes a ‘go along’ party as the Democrats did, they will surely suffer the same loss of confidence. And the blogs are far more independent and loyal to an ideal, than to the Party. If a Republican screws up, the blogs will not hesitate to pursue justice, because their readers will accept no less. If the Party starts to forget what brought it into control, the blogs will tear away at the hypocrites and fakers, to save the core of the Party. For the most part, the only currency of blogs is Credibility, and that comes from authentic identity, and no imitation. The other media sources are either waiting for a chance to tear down Republicans, or else will follow the lead of the blogs, because that is the direction of New Media.
The third piece is good news. The Democratic Party is in denial, but at some point they will have to face the fact that their party cannot continue as it is now. The present course inevitably means losing more and more seats in Congress, and becoming less and less relevant to the issues the people care about. Between now and the time the Democrats understand this point, they will be penalizing themselves in every national election. Imagine the party of Andrew Jackson; the modern version is nothing like it. Imagine the party of Grover Cleveland; again the modern Democrat is a mockery of the reform-minded Cleveland. Imagine the party of FDR, which understood the Nazi threat and met it head-on, and compare that to the shrill liars who cannot even come to accept victory against a despotic thug in Iraq.
The fourth piece is a warning, however - sooner or later there will be an effective counterweight to the Republican Party. Whether that pary is a renewed Democratic Party or some new national perspective (say, a Libertarian-Constitutionalist mix) , the Republicans can only maintain the upper hand by staying true to their stated ideals, to constantly renewing their commitment to reform and accountability in government, and to cleaning house regularly.
To Come - Part 3, Military Supremacy and Social Evolution