Both political parties are looking to the sky at the bright shiny objects hurtling towards them. And like the dinosaurs of ancient earth, they are looking at their doom.
They just don’t know it.
This year has been a political year like no other in recent memory. Supporters of “Bolshevik Bernie” Sanders are outraged that the Democrat Party rigged the primary elections so Hillary Clinton could beat a 74-year-old socialist. The fact that Clinton needed rigged elections to beat him is a damning indictment of her and the Democrat Party.
Despite Sanders’ pro forma endorsement of Clinton, many of his supporters are leaving the Democrat Party. They are angry, frustrated and they are 21st Century voters.
On the Republican side, it is even worse. The Tea Party sprang into existence in 2009 because Republicans had totally abandoned conservatism. The GOP would not stand up to Barack Obama and the Democrats, so someone had to. The Tea Party was a symptom of a larger fight within the Republican Party. For years, the establishment wing of the party had sought to quell conservatives. Former House Speaker John Boehner was not shy about his retribution against conservatives who rebelled against Mr. Boehner’s complete abdication of conservative values.
Now, it is Donald Trump and his henchmen, gleefully running conservatives out of the party. And it isn’t just conservatives. Movement conservatives are leaving. Tea Party conservatives are leaving. Social conservatives are leaving. Moderates are leaving.
In short, the GOP is in a complete state of collapse.
The party’s messaging on Donald Trump isn’t that he is a great candidate. It is he is better than Hillary Clinton and for the sake of “party unity,” Republicans must hold their noses, come together and vote for a man who hates the values conservatives hold.
America’s political parties are an anachronistic throw back. They go back to the days of the industrial revolution, where you could only have two or at best three major competitors in a particular industry. Back a century ago, a consumer was lucky if they had any choice at all.
Political consumers have little choice today. Today’s parties are the political equivalent Henry Ford telling people they could have a Model T in any color they wanted as long as it was black. Today’s political consumer can have their choice of candidates, as long as they are a Republican (or Democrat).
America is in the 21st century. We could call this the Starbucks era of America. You can go into the eponymous coffee chain and not simply order coffee, but get your “Fat free, soy vanilla latte, with a triple shot of espresso, extra sweetener and hold the whipped cream.”
In America, everything is individualized. We individualize our food, our cars, our computers and our homes.
Why hasn’t this happened to our political parties?
The answer is, we are seeing the giant meteor about to slam into the political world.
Both parties have traditionally had factions that seek control of the party. Many times this was done through the platform. Party platforms allegedly state the party’s position on certain issues. The truth is, while platforms had value 100 years ago, today the only people who care about them are the political junkies who are the activists on certain issues. The American people don’t care and the candidates ignore the platform.
2016 is the last national election where we see two major political parties. 2018 may be a transition election year, but by 2020 we will see a completely new political landscape.
Conservatives that are leaving the Republican Party are not coming back. Many of them struggle to find a candidate to support this year. But those conservatives are also now seeking a new home. Several groups are meeting across the nation to discuss the launching of one or more new political parties. These would end up being the individualized political parties. There will probably be a pro-life political party. There will be a fiscally conservative political party. Perhaps, a real Libertarian Party might emerge.
On the left, the same is probably happening.
The result for conservatives will be huge. Instead of being marginalized inside the Republican Party, these new, smaller parties will be needed to form a coalition to gain a majority in the House and the Senate. Instead of Republicans giving lip service to conservative ideas, there will be a genuine conservative movement in Washington.
America has two of the oldest, continuously operating political parties in the world. They may survive 2016, but this will be the last year they operate with the dominance they have for the last 150 years.
And that will be good for America.