Here in the United States our Republican friends woke up in a jubilant mood today after handing the Democrats their asses in yesterday’s election. Congrats to them, but here are a few thoughts about the state of American politics as we move forward:
- If the Democrats have an ounce of sense, definitely not a given, they already have their campaign approach for 2016. Here it is: “The last three times the Republicans held both houses of Congress and the Presidency were the ’20s, a two year stretch in the ’50s and a couple of terms in the ’00s. Two of those three time periods ended in economic catastrophe for the country so it would be beneficial for the country if we didn’t give the folks in Red another chance to run is into the ditch.”
- It will be interesting to see how the Senate functions now that the Republicans no longer have Harry Reid to kick around. They were quite good at obstructing, but can they lead? We’ll soon find out.
- If you want a sneak peak into how the Republicans might behave in Washington the next couple of years just take a look at how the NC Republicans have behaved the last couple of years. Fissures in the party, particularly between social and business conservatives, will likely reveal themselves at some point next year.
- Last and biggest point – this election has only reinforced my belief that we truly could benefit from a legitimate third party in this country. By introducing a third major player to the political mix we’d finally have a mechanism to force our leaders into actual policy making. Why? Because if a third party has enough votes then either of the other parties has to negotiate with them to get anything done. You could argue that the same should happen in the two-party system, but as we’ve seen that’s not the case because the minority party can be intransigent since there’s no alternative for the majority, or the majority can steamroll the minority if they have the votes. With a third party the dynamic shifts; no party can take their position for granted and they are pretty much forced to negotiate to get their policies through.
Yep, I’m still a pie-eyed optimist.