There were lots of news events over the last weekend including the Access Hollywood tape revealing the private Trumpster. Then there was the 2nd debate demonstrating the scorched earth policy Trump has adopted for the final weeks of the campaign. Then more Wikileaks email dumps from the Clinton campaign courtesy of Vladimir Putin and friends. The recent Republican defections from Trump, included John McCain. I’m not sure if bailing out on Trump will have much affect on McCain’s success, but follow-up polling will tell the tale. Today, Arizona begins to vote!
One of the interesting web sites I’ve visited during the campaign is called fivethirtyeight. The web site name comes from the total number of legislators in the US Congress. It has a distinct focus on opinion polls and analysis of voter demographics. It is my “go to” site for thinking about how factors like race, religion and income play into our presidential politics. One of the interesting questions to ponder as the headlines talk about a Republican Party meltdown is “How will the current two major parties change by the next presidential election?”
I can imagine a far right party for those of the Strom Thurmond/George Wallace/David Duke persuasion, that may have some libertarians and the NRA…who knows who else. If Trump decides to stay in politics, he may find a home. This party will be fairly radical in its views on race and immigration, and will likely be more isolationist. Let’s call it the Freedom Party. Then there will be a chastened Republican Party which will be more moderate than the old conservative Republican party. I imagine this party will welcome some moderates and more conservative folks, including those constituencies fearful of xenophobia but tough on immigration, in favor of balanced budgets, a less generous social safety net, more militant foreign policy, low taxes and free enterprise. This party will probably be the home of evangelical Christians.
The Democratic Party as we know it may splinter, with a new progressive party that will be more socialist in leaning. We can call this the Progressive Party. This party will embrace more radical solutions for economic equality, education, climate change and health care, and much more control of the American economic engine. This party may include the former Green party. The formation of the Progressive Party will create a more traditional Democratic Party, a party that will be the home for moderates and liberals who favor a more comprehensive social safety net, more moderate immigration policies, more vigorous policies to address climate change, gradual reformation of health care policy, less militant and more cooperative foreign policy, and inclusivity in the broadest sense. This party will endorse some redistribution of wealth while still embracing a sustainable strain of capitalism.
For me, the big news is still the fact that a hostile foreign power has played such a great role in our election. We better make absolutely certain we’re prepared for this kind of intrusion in the future!