Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Political Party We Need

It was getting a little hard to defend some parts of the Republican Party's agenda and actions, so I am not entirely heartbroken over the election. And the rest of the world should note how quickly and smoothly the US can change its political standing. The system does work. I think a strong case can even be made for Allen to not challenge the Virginia result. The chance of overturning it would seem to be low, while the benefits of taking the high road seem large.

What I long for is a political party that would be conservative on economics (especially spending and regulation), and on national defense, but liberal on many social issues, particularly those concerning individual rights and privacy. If the Democrats could claim that ground, they would get a lot of Republican support. Or, I could imagine a part of the Republican Party discarding some of the more religious, social conservatives for a more Libertarian leaning party. The problem there is that we would have three parties, with the two on the right sure to lose to the one on the left. Could a three party system be sustained in the US today? Maybe.

I worry that the Democrats will go too far to satisfy those furthest to the left on spending, regulation, and general "government is the answer to all questions" issues. If they resist that, relying more on Bill Clinton's views on the role of government in the economy, they could be a real powerhouse.


Geoff said...

I don't know if the U.S. is able to sustain three parties either but in the two party system both parties want to straddle the middle and still satisfy their base which just isn't working.

If the Democrats had failed to win control of the House or Sentate this week that might have resulted in some sort of split of the party because if they can't win in this situation then they can't win ever. But in general the GOP seems like the better candidate for a break up because the so-called big tent is resulting in policy which doesn't satisfy any of the factions in the party.

But all the factions in both parties are addicted to power so no one seems willing to break out and spend some time building a new party.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I have to agree with Geoff in that there is little willingness to break out into a third party.

Look at the Lieberman situation. The Democrats shunned him, so he ran as an independent. However, everyone knows and expected him to remain in the Democratic fold even though he seems to fit the more libertarian model (at least when it comes to national defense, I will humbly leave any economic knowledge in your capable hands).

Much the same can be said about others in the Democratic Party, Evan Bayh is a strong candidate for a third party leader, along with the likes of John McCain. They are both moderates who are both strong on national defense and strong on states rights, and social independence.

However, they both sit on opposite sides of the fence, which is a shame as I feel they would make a great team for 2008.

So while there are individuals out there who are, in reality, more of a third party (libertarian, green, socialist, what have you), they will not run on those platforms because they know they won't be elected without the major fundraising abilities and support of the DNC and/or RNC.

So back to Joe L. he won as an independent, but when you look at the split he shows up as a democrat. He had the ability to break the mold, but chose not too, and will continue to support the democrats.