Federalists. Democratic-Republicans. Whigs. What do these three have in common? They were all at one point major parties in this country, and I believe that the Republicans, a party that came to the forefront in the lead-up to the Civil War, will be joining that list soon. Now, when one looks at those dead parties, it’s important to understand that the ideologies they stood for did not die with them. Partisan politics and ideological politics are not static or tied to each other, and the push and pull of these two forces usually leads to the splitting of old coalitions and the creation of new ones.
Both major parties seem to have two separate wings: The Republicans having a large base of Donald Trump fanatics as well as lifelong conservatives that refuse to vote for him and the Democrats having the moderate Joe Biden fans as well as the progressives. Let’s see what each is currently up to.
Trump’s base is currently demanding recounts and screaming about fraud into a vacuum that only they seem to care about, and I think this serves them right. Politics should be an arena where the issues that are debated do not infringe on certain peoples’ right to live. The fact that our presidential election was essentially a referendum on whether Black lives matter, if herd immunity is a good idea or if some Nazis can be “good people” is a disgrace. None of that is politics, those are all basic human decency issues. So please excuse me as I disclude this group from the rest of this political article.
Now we come to the part of the Republican party that didn’t support Trump: The Lincoln Project-ers, the Never-Trumpers, whatever you want to call them. These are Republicans who seem themselves as close to the middle, who largely support many liberal social policies, but continue to refer to themselves as Republican. As I’ve said in a previous article, this makes no logical sense. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, and there’s really not many reasons other than pride that these people couldn’t classify themselves as moderate Democrats. If the only reason they’re still Republican is because they need the support of the far-right side of their party to get elected, they really aren’t as moral as they say they are. However, with this Presidential election we saw many of these people support Biden, and that’s where we can segway into the Democrat part of the spectrum.
Anyone that looks at the Democratic party and sees one homogenous group is not looking hard enough. The party has become a coalition of many groups who have compromised in order to actually get something done. If the idea of compromising to get things done sounds like a dream to you, let me tell you that that’s what politics is supposed to be! I know it’s crazy in this environment, where a majority in one congressional chamber means you can stop all progress for at least two years, but the push and pull of thesis and antithesis to make synthesis is actually what the goal is. So here’s my proposition: All “Republicans” who are seeing their party devoured by bigots and aren’t approving of it should continue to support the moderate Democrats, as they did with Biden. If this continues, it could extend into the down-ballot races, and eventually the Democratic party will emerge with people like Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar at the helm, alongside those of the Lincoln Project and those in support of it. This will form the right side of the spectrum, and the left will be open for the progressives.
Speaking of down-ballot races, while Democrats as a whole lost a few seats in the house, all of these seats were held by moderates. Progressives are gaining ground with every new election cycle, whether it’s Bernie’s 2016 revolution or AOC’s run in 2018, and the support for them is impressive.
In conclusion, I’m not saying this is a perfect solution. I’m not saying this is going to bring us to an even split where every election will be a true test of which candidate is better. All I’m saying is that we need a political model that focuses solely on political issues and moving this country forward. There ought to be no place for hate or bigotry in government, and with this system, which may very well already be taking shape, healthy compromise and discussion can return, replacing compromises that brought heavy social, political and economic costs to the American people.