Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Battle for the Soul of the Parties

This wasn't supposed to be these men's story. But the mavericks are angry, and they want both parties.

Joshua Tree, CA – Political Parties have souls, and right now, the souls of both parties are being fought for.

In every period of history, there is a fight for the direction of each party, which in turn leads to a fight for the soul of the nation. The ideas are hashed out at the top, among the elites, but their importance is often overrated, in that while they can chart the course of the ship, if enough people don’t like it, the elites will be forced to change course or risk a mutiny, loss of members, or even their own positions, if their own thinking, or at least their rhetoric, ever strays too far from the sincerely held beliefs of the rank and file.
The Republican Party has different component parts to it, all of who are conservative, but for different reasons. There are the Evangelicals, who believe that homosexuality should be outlawed, and thus vote for the candidate who purportedly hold their views. There is the business wing, who likes the Republican Party’s emphasis on deregulation. There is the establishment, the Bushes, the Romney’s, McCain, Alexander, who are a part of the old, fading, Cold War Republican Party. And of course, there is the TEA Party.
In 2010, fed up with elites of the Republican Party, angry at massive government spending, the TEA Party (Taxed Enough Already) wave began. They started by attacking the Democrats, and surging in on national anger at Obamacare to take congress by storm. (One of the TEA party senators voted in at that time Marco Rubio of Florida, is now running for president.)
But soon anger at the Democrats turned to anger at fellow Republicans, as the grassroots movement, aided with funds from big businessmen who don’t generally like taxes or regulations which make it harder to make a profit, realized that established Republicans like John McCain and Mitch McConnell were not on their side. Ever since then the TEA Party has been fighting a so far losing battle against the establishment, failing to get their candidates the GOP Nomination, TEA Party congresswoman Michelle Bachman even winning the Iowa Caucus last time around, but she began to stall and fade as Mitt Romney, the establishments best hope at a moderate conservative, of course eventually was the one who got the nod.
Democrats have for years laughed at the Republicans as being unable or even unwilling to get along with each other to get into power. The TEA Party fought the establishment, the establishment fought with the Evangelicals, the Evangelicals fought with everybody, and the business wing of the party complained that they just wanted a conservative in the White House so they could get back to making money.
Many thought, and indeed wanted it to be the story of Clinton vs. Bush. Instead this is shaping up to be a battle of
establishment, on both sides, vs. the ordinary voters of both parties.

The most recent show of anger from the Republicans can be seen in the strange affair of the rise of Donald Trump, along with that of Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and even failed business executive Carly Fiorina. The Republicans are sending a message to the elites: we don’t like moderates, we don’t like career politicians, we like outsiders.
But now the race to wings of the political system is not only being carried out by the Republicans, but the Democrats have joined the sprint. Bernie Sanders has cut Hillary Clinton’s lead in half and some believe he will keep rising. The situation with Hillary Clinton has become so desperate with her email scandals and an investigation from the FBI that rumors are flying of a possible Al Gore or Joe Biden or John Kerry run for the nomination.
As is easy to see from these names, it is shaping up to be a liberal version of the battle of establishment vs. grassroots, of the elites vs. the people that are fed up with not getting what they really want.
Republicans like myself are very concerned about the fact that are party, which is supposed to be the party of the conservatives, has often been hijacked by moderates or even outright leftists, who lie or prevaricate to get what they want. However, the rank and file of the Democratic Party are not happy either. They want to see outright socialism, are aren't getting it. So they are going after their own version of the TEA Party, in Sanders.
Many, myself included, still do not believe that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who thinks it is immoral to make a lot of money while himself making more than twice the national average, and who actually calls himself a socialist, (and doesn’t comb his hair), will really win the Democratic Nomination. However, he doesn’t have to win to create Liberal version of the TEA Party.
The TEA Party has not only pulled the Republicans Party away from the center back towards the right, without getting the nomination for their person, and the same is possible for the new, far-left movement of Sanders and Elisabeth Warren.
Moreover, if Sanders doesn’t win, the same thing could happen to the eventual nominee of the Democrats that happened to Romney in 2012. Millions of Evangelicals, who believe Mormonism is a cult, and members of the TEA Party, who had wanted Rick Santorum, stayed home. It is conceivable that the far-left, having had a taste of the “promised land” may not want to come back down to earth and vote for another establishment candidate in the general election.
The elites of both parties are in crises. Jeb Bush is foundering, and some are even calling him a dead duck. The next best hope, Chris Christi, is going nowhere. On the other side, Hillary Clinton is in trouble, and the only thing that could save the nomination for the elite is having either the gaff ridden vice-president, who has twice had to pull out of the Presidential Races in the past due to either plagiarizing, lying, or gaffing, or another, ancient name who is already ready for if not indeed already in political retirement coming out for one last battle.
This is the best chance the rank and file of the political parties have had in decades of getting the nomination for their candidate, for a real man of the people. But even if they don’t, if Hillary survives or if Jeb Bush somehow hangs on, there is still hope, both for real conservatives and wild, far-left socialists. The cat is out of the bag, the difference between those at the top and those with the real power, the voters, is finally on full display, and a full-fledged war for the soul of both parties is happening. The common voters could easily threaten to mutiny, and take over the two ships, if they don’t get what they want.
That would be something to get the attention of “wise old people” that have sat in power for so long.

Andrew C. Abbott

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