This is about what happened to the Whigs and why the Democrats and Republicans need to worry.
I did not watch the President’s address last night on immigration change. I don’t need to. I already know the political debate and recognize that neither party is willing to credit the other with a SINGLE good idea. The President’s address and the Republican response are both predictable and not worthy of our attention.
Pay attention to what is happening. A new political party is being birthed.
All right, it has been many years since a third political party won a national election. Sure there have been third party movements, Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party, Ross Perot, George Wallace, Ralph Nader and John Anderson come to mind. These party movements were all based upon a single personality.
You have to go all the way back to the election that ushered Abraham Lincoln into office to witness a real change in American politics. The Whig party disappeared and the Republican Party was born. Slavery was the catalyst that created the change because there were deeply rooted beliefs on both sides of the issue and neither existing party seemed capable of solving it. The Democratic Party survived this change but the Whigs went away and the Republican Party grew out of that mass desertion. I think we are at that precipice again.
History looks to be repeating itself today. Neither political party has a brand that says it will (as opposed to can) fix things.
The Democratic Party, as a bundle of dispirit coalitions, can’t seem to run anything— even when it is in power.
The Republicans seem great at mucking up the ability of government to work and simply govern, but there is something arrogant about their belief that all they need to do is try to stop everything from happening as a glimpse into what Americans want.
We actually want a government that works. At this point, I quote Will Rogers who said after FDR got elected “Well, if the White House suddenly catches fire and burns to the ground, we’ll say at least he got something started.”
A political party is just a name unless it has a brand. The brand of both parties is so broken I don’t know where to start. And I am a brand man.
There are two other groups at play today. The Libertarians and the Independents. The Libertarians are already a party, per se, but all the Independents need to be a viable and separate party is just a glimpse of organization and (voila!)… a new and majority political party will be born. An Independent Party that runs its own slate of candidates and holds a national convention.
I never thought I would live to see this. All of my long ago political science classes taught me of the futility of third party movements. But the Republicans seem to know how to gum up any progress, embracing fringe groups like the Tea Party, and the Democrats seem to be terribly good at posturing with splintered agendas and a national view that is as watered down as being nice to others.
Don’t think either party could go away? History teaches otherwise. Slavery is no longer a political issue but the ability to govern, what I always thought was a table stake to political power, seems to be a rarity.