Recent polls have shown that members of political parties include some 56% of voters; 30% being Democrats, 26% Republicans; 43% are now self-described Independents. Per the Washington Times, this is a record number of unaffiliated. It provides much to consider, seems to us.
For one thing, America’s traditional political parties must be worried with the folks rejecting membership now outnumbering each of them. Faithful voters are the life of political parties in a very literal sense. Too many party goers outside and not looking in is a grievous warning of coming insignificance. Political death, consigned to a museum next to the Whigs. No voters, no donors. Dead.
Then too, who are these vote-with-their-feet escapees? Are they the stuff of which new parties are made? Or are they politically turned off, unwilling to participate? Are they folk who see the Democrats as insufficiently progressive or folk disgusted by the rejection of the Constitutionalist Tea Party voters? Are they the stuff of a third party or too disparate to form such a vehicle? Politicians must be wondering.
God-fearing, classical Liberal Americans are a dying breed but abortion remains a contention between roughly, the two halves of the country. Immigration and gay marriage find majorities disagreeing with the politicians whom, regularly reelected, barge ahead anyway. A confusing and fluid-seeming situation, contained within a pattern of chancy financial management by the current leaders. Mismanagement is a better term; a Damoclean sword over political heads. America’s political parties are playing musical chairs with American voters supplying the music.
The pols seem scared, constructing military apparatus and resources to deal with armed insurrection that might occur. Yet they continue to ride spending deficits to propitiate various political clients, knowing that such horses will at some point, throw them. They don’t know what else to do; Greece shows what happens if reality is imposed. The new Greek government threatens the European Union and the Greeks haven’t even become excited yet.
Polls also show voter disaffection with government in general and with Congress in particular. Only 15% of Americans approve of Congress just now. The President meanwhile has flown from a nadir of 38% up into the 50% range on wings of ruling by decree on immigration policy. What does all this mean for the United States?
It suggests to us that American government is firmly established with both feet set in mid air and expecting a high wind from an unguessable direction. Interesting, in the Chinese sense …When you have only two political parties and both appear to be losing their grip, it has to be unsettling.
The E.U. seems rather unsettled as well. Even Britain recently endured a Scottish vote on independence. Indeed, the center does not seem to be holding, as the poet predicted. Nor the edges, for that matter; Argentina’s President is now said to be claiming that her prosecutor recently got dead just to make her look bad.
The E.U. was always more of a hope than a reality, we think but if British unity and American stability are in question, what next? Canada must finally split and teetering American football must be replaced at long last by soccer. The world, as a songwriter put it, is upside down. But even cheap wine is good, these days …