The Death of the Jackass and the Elephant
With the upcoming inauguration of President Elect Donald Trump (it is still surreal at times saying and writing that- The Donald will be President of the United States) on January 20th, I keep coming back to a thought I had during the whole election season. Namely, that we are witnessing the death knell of both the Democrat and Republican parties as they are currently organized. And the most interesting part is they’re doing it to themselves.
For two political entities that are constantly trying to remind the American public how different they are, the Democrat and Republican leaders and rank and file members of the government behave in eerily similar ways; if from two opposite ends of the spectrum. Both sides still seem to think that the far ends of their parties- the far left for the Dems and the far right for the GOP- speak for the majority of Americans who identify as either democrat or republican. I would contend that the election of Donald Trump shows just how wrong thinking that is.
Trump didn’t really appeal to the far right, ultra conservative side of the Republican party- he’s way too malleable on the hot-button social issues for them. There’s obviously no love lost between our president to be and the far left, uber-liberal wing of the Democrat party- Trump’s perceived stance on women, gays and minorities make him anathema to the far left. So if he didn’t appeal to the sections of either party that set the platform for those political parties, how did he win?
He won for the simple, most obvious reason: the majority of voters do not identify with either the far left or the far right. Both of those sides push hardcore social and/or moral issues as the base of their platform. Trump ran his campaign on a fairly simple platform: create jobs, remove restrictions on American companies’ ability to create jobs, and protect American jobs at home and abroad. He also campaigned on Obamacare, border security and other issues, but jobs jobs jobs were what he pushed. And guess what? That’s what people wanted to hear!
The majority of Americans are much more interested in having their government provide them with the circumstances to be successful individually than they are with issues like race relations, abortion, gay rights, etc. That’s not to say Americans do not care about those issues, but in the end most people recognize that those social and moral issues cannot, generally speaking, be legislated into non-existence. The government itself can only do so much, and a government that stays out of peoples’ wallets and bedrooms is the government that people want right now; which the election of Donald Trump signifies.
So why are the major political parties dying because of this? Consider that with all the data pointing to Trump winning because he concentrated on a simple idea- that job creation will win us the day- the Democrat party continues to contend that the ONLY reasons they lost the election is because of Russian hacking of the DNC, James Comey, and the less than stellar campaigning of Hillary Clinton. They refuse to acknowledge that far leftist, super-progressive platform they base their party on does not resonate with most Americans, and does not reflect their overall values or interests.
And the Republicans? The leadership of the GOP seems to be taking the Trump victory as some kind of mandate for their party platform. They are currently working to defund Planned Parenthood. Now personally, I may agree with that, but scanning the political landscape, has that really been that big an issue during the campaign season? I know it was debated, and that Trump supports defunding it, but is it that high on his list of priorities? I feel he has bigger fish he wants to fry come January 21st. But the Republican Party leadership wants to push a traditionally conservative social issue to the forefront, when the voters seemed pretty clear that they want the government to concentrate on jobs and the economy. Again, there’s a disconnect between what the election of Trump meant, and how the major political parties are taking it.
So as we move closer to January 20th, does this really mean the end of the traditional two-party system in America? I think it very well may. And if does, what does the United States political party landscape look like moving forward? That’s anyone’s guess, but if President Elect Trump has anything to say about it, it’ll be YUGE!!!
* The views expressed in this article are that of the writer. They do not reflect the views of the editor or the staff.*