Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Sixth Party System

A number of communications in response to yesterday's post about American politics. Yes, I accept that the Senate, in particular, will continue to contain enough Republicans to make that party look like a reasonably viable national force. The question, then, is which of the two Democratic Parties, competing in the bitterest of terms within that body, will partly subsume and partly be subsumed by the rump of the GOP.

Will it be the economically populist and even social democratic, morally and socially conservative, largely black one (the Republicans having been historically the party of the blacks) which is also sufficiently "white ethnic" to speak and act for the ancient indigenous Christians of the Holy Land and the wider Middle East, but which otherwise represents Republicans' own historical norm of more or less isolationist foreign policy together with a strong pursuit of global nuclear disarmament?

Or will it be the economically neoliberal, socially liberal one with a largely Hispanic electorate but with its direction set from the liberal Jewish salons of Hollywood and New York, giving it a strong and active commitment to the secular Zionist project of old and to a wider liberal interventionism throughout the world?

These will be the two main formations in American politics before very long at all. America does not really do third parties. So, the remnant Republicans can find a home in one of them, or they can find a home in the other. Which is it to be? And why?

In the meantime, might not a party on the first model be set up for ballot line purposes in New York State?


  1. Very unlikely.

    For a start, the Democrats are actually surprisingly united these days compared to the days of the Dixiecrats, where they swept the South but largely with right wing candidates. They have almost all decamped to the republicans, although a dwindling number of 'blue dog' Democrats remain. More drop out every election, though

    During that time there were also 'country club' East Coast Republicans, moderate or even liberal. Now almost extinct, those who remain are derided as RINO's (Republican In Name Only).

    What now exists is a largely right-wing, socially and economically, Republican party, and a Democratic party which would probably be seen as pretty much New Labour in UK terms. They are actually more coherent blocs than they have been for many years. The Republicans are far more divided because while they share right wing economics, they hold very different views about issues such as personal liberty and foreign policy. There is certainly a divide between the evangelical-dominated Christian Right, with their concern for conservative social issues and the hardline neo-liberals whose priorities are economic only.

  2. Very badly, isn't he? Worse than that for Merseymike, conservative Dems never stopped being important in numerous localities and at many a state level. The Christian Right is neutralized, noone above a certain level in the GOP pays it any genuine attention. Your analysis is exactly correct. What is more, the Republican Party has always been a haven for disaffected Democrats. Successive influxes of them have defined that party's character ever since 1860.