Thursday, February 22, 2007

 

Today's American Political System: Time to return to States Rights

The Democrat's electoral success in the post Vietnam era has been more the result of Republican failures than public acquiescence to the Democrat's message. The Democrats are a party based on group identification, a coalition of special interests who are tied together by a common desire for power with which to benefit their different constiuencies. This began to unravel in the 1970's when the counter culture of the youth movement clashed with the solid middle class values of Union members. The declining membership of the Unions all but guaranteed that the Democratic conservatives would switch to the Republican party and this is most evident in the Southern states becoming a Republican bastion. This also all but guaranteed that the Democrats would become a minority party and this puts them in a very bad position.

They are dependent on groups with sometimes clashing interests staying loyal to the party because they get things done. No power means nothing gets done. The American political system does not reward moving outside of the two party system so these interest groups understand they are stuck. However, our Federalist system does allow great disparities within the party. If you can't get your legislation passed nationally then try locally. Again, unfortunately for the Democrats, they have done everything during their years in power to erode states rights making winner take all national elections all the more important.

One of the reasons that I am not concerned about the Democratic takeover of congress in because it was done, brilliantly, by appealing to middle class voters who were turned off by a spendthrift Republican congress, numerous scandals, and relentlessly negative war coverage. If I am right about voters motivation then the next election should return the Senate to the Republicans if not the House. Also, what this should do is disabuse the Democrats of the notion that they are a majority party that only needed to find a formula for defeating the Republican attack machine.

It is my fervent hope that with electorate so divided and new and, perhaps, long lasting coalitions based on geographic proximity will return governance to the states. That New York liberals will decide that they do not want to be governed by southern Republicans and will vote to devolve power. This will require the defeat of the congressional Democrats and a Republican party to return to its small government roots. That time will be upon us after the end of the next election. If conservatives want to strengthen states rights they need to reach out to the left side of the blogosphere because a shift in power this momentous requires bipartisan support. We should also realize that big government Republicans will resist releasing power because they have caught the Washington disease.

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