*Ed. note: This is really not as much of a point; counterpoint series as it two political junkies - one basically conservative-libertarian (me), the other kind of liberal/progressive-libertarian (Ellis) - giving their thoughts, ideas & analysis on a myriad of issues. We're hoping to do this weekly (but, come on, right? It's me & Da...maybe more like every other week...monthly?) & are very much looking forward to it! Some future subjects: police reform, gun control, Covid relief, social media policing, getting rid cash bail on victimless crimes, legalization of drugs, legalization of prostitution, legalization of polygamy (why not?) etc. So stay tuned!
P.S. McCart & Millsaps. Sounds like a law firm...
The Future of the GOP
The rumors of the GOP's imminent demise, to paraphrase Twain (maybe somewhat), are probably greatly exaggerated.
For starters, it's going to turn 167 in a couple of months, so it's been around a bit; also, there's so much power & money accumulated w/in its national committee, state parties & local affiliates that I don't think it's going anywhere, anytime soon.
Ellis, as you well know, America has always pretty much been a 2-party system & that likely will not be changing in the near future. In the past, one party would sometimes get replaced by another. We saw it w/ both the Federalists & the Whigs.
Many, myself included, have felt it would be beneficial to move to a tripartisan political system vs the current bipartisan one.
I've been an off & on official member of the Libertarian Party & have identified as one since I was a teenager in the early 90s. Founded in the early 70s, the party has never gotten the type of traction to create a major paradigm shift in the American electorate, but it did see its highest POTUS vote total (by a margin of 300%) five years ago & last year's candidate - Jo Jorgenson - surprised many by hitting almost 2 million votes in such a charged environment.
I truly think we might witness one of the most interesting time periods as it relates to political parties & coalitions here in the next few years.
Firstly, I do think Donald Trump & others start the Patriots' Party, or whatever they end up calling it. I think it'll be a lot like the Reform Party that Perot started up back in the 90s. But will it absorb & overtake the Republican Party? No, I think not.
Also, I see a schism happening on the left side. I believe the true progressives & labor types will, especially if they witness a splintering on the other side, peel off from the Dems & either overtake a party (Greens?) or create a new one.
Naturally, the LP will still be around (we're like cockroaches -- we're not going anywhere).
So, come 2024, I could see perhaps four to five different candidates for POTUS all getting at least 2% of the vote & possibly three or four all hitting over 10% w/ the winner possibly in the high 30s or low 40s in terms of percentage of the popular vote. If this, or something even just remotely similar, were to occur, I think it'd look more like the election of 1912 than any presidential election we've seen in the last 60 years.
So, the short version:
The Party of Lincoln, Taft & Reagan survives but likely will be much different - and smaller - than the GOP we've known for the last century & a half.
Time will tell...
*Ed. note 2: two days after I wrote this piece it was reported that according to sources close to Trump, he has cooled on the idea of a 3rd party & will instead be concentrating his voice & resources on helping MAGA Republicans to primary "Rinos" & Never-Trumper GOPers.
A Counterpoint from Ellis "Da" Millsaps:
Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson used to pick up hitchhikers, back when people picked up hitchhikers. Through that practice he became acquainted with one Charles Manson who was not yet famous for anything.
At the time Wilson lived in a large rental house. Initially he and Manson hit it off. Manson had some musical talent and moved himself into Wilson's house. When Manson got crazier than Wilson could take, rather than risk trying to evict the madman, he moved out of his house and let the landlord deal with Manson.
I think that traditional Republicans should follow the Dennis Wilson plan; just move out and leave the GOP to Trump, the conspiracy theorists and white nationalists because the party with him in it will not again be grand.
They might be well served to start a new party, the Constitutional Republican Party. Could the Constitutionalists win elections? Maybe. Look at the example of Lisa Murkowski who was primaried and lost to a Tea Party challenger but held her senate seat over both the Republican and Democratic nominees as a write in candidate.
Trump has hinted at starting his own party, but why would he do the work of starting a new party when he already owns one. That would cut into his golf time.
The Constitutional party could expand its base by picking off voters who now have no place to go but to the Democrats and who could be drawn to a center right party purged of blatant racism: some African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, suburban women and the young. Their candidates would no longer have to fear a Trumpian primary challenge. (The worst elements would stay in the GOP where candidates would compete to see who could be the most dangerous.) Such a party could keep Democrat’s excesses in check.
What I'm suggesting here is not likely to happen this cycle but I think it would be a good thing for our country if it did. What I think will happen is a shrinking of the Republican Party until they make some major changes on social issues. ###