Monday, February 1, 2016

Berning Blue Collar Conservatives?

Democrats for Trump?

Conservatives are righteously angry at the GOP for collapsing into a squishy establishmentarian farce. The SEIU gang boss worries that over half her workforce could vote for Trump.  A standard howl from the outraged is that we need a third party. My stock response (with apologies to General George S. Patton) is:
You don't win elections by going third-party; You win elections by making the other poor, dumb bastards go third-party.
If we are to break the Demican-Republicrat stranglehold on our nation, we need a deliciously diverse panoply of parties. People of all stripes are ready, but no matter how much the true believers despise the perfidy of the party panjandrums, they know abandoning ship for a "pure" third-party candidate would hand the election to the other side, so many of us are stuck in an unhappy place.

If we could make some kind of pact to all jump at once, here are three parties I could see springing up or becoming revitalized:

* Green Party
* Libertarian Party
* True Conservative Party

Collectively they might cadge around 36% of the electorate, but that alone prevents either the Dems or Repubs from gaining an outright majority on the national level, and hopefully they would spawn even more splinters like...

* Workers Party
* Constitutionalist Party
* Progressives
* America First!

How about advocacy group parties?

* La Raza
* Black Lives Matter
* White Rights-Blue Collars
* American Indian Movement
* Sons of the Confederacy
* Evangelicals

What would such a political environment do to presidential elections?

Thanks to the wisdom of the Electoral College, we would never end up with a shyster like Daniel Ortega taking the presidency of Nicaragua with 32% of the vote. You must take at least half of the Electoral College votes to be president.
If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote. The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most Electoral votes. Each Senator would cast one vote for Vice President. If the House of Representatives fails to elect a President by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President Elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House. (Federal Archives)
With no single party big enough to seize a majority, coalitions would have to form.

"Aha!" The skeptic retorts. "But they would eventually coalesce into two opposing blocks, so we're back to the two-party circus!”

Real-world experience in multi-party democratic republics shows that the parties do not form solid, permanent blocks; instead, they they shift and switch depending on the issues of the day, so yeah, blue collar conservatives under extreme economic pressure could form a coalition with Berning Sandernistas, and sophisticated liberals concerned with civil liberties but tired and embarrassed by the activist flamethrowers and cultural trench warfare could escape to the Libertarian Party.

The Result?

Working class folk could return to the Democrat Party as the GOP returns to the bosom of Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce and abandons any pretense of helping working people or even liking them.

Would the Democrat party truly embrace the anti-big biz workers and risk losing all that Silicon Valley cash? Probably not, but honest anti-corporate liberals could escape to the Green Party.

On the surface, one could speculate that not much would change...

The Dems and the Repubs would probably remain the largest flagships and would garner the most lobbyist lucre and corporate cash, but they would still have to answer to their sloughed-off dissidents if they wanted to win elections, and they would have to compromise and throw support behind smaller party candidates, and they would have to deal with usually-dissimilar smaller parties ganging together for an election cycle around a common interest.

I think this would result in a healthier body politic...

...since deal-making and coalition reforming would happen every two years and would be focused on what the nation is facing at the time. Continually shifting alliances would mean few permanent friends or enemies, and thereby inject more reality and compromise into the equation and draining the discourse of the more poisonous vitriol and demonization. The “crazies” you flame today may be your crucial margin of victory tomorrow! 

We would get more honest debate and less hyper-partisanship since the parties would be reforging alliances around ideas and issues of the day rather than our current gray, humorless lock-step trudging to the polls with Soviet-style propaganda blaring in our ears.

Related:  The Last Gasp of Political Parties?

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