Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Third Party Outlines

Could there be a third party in America?

It is within the realm of the possible given the state of the existing party structures and part of my writings have been concentrating on what the proportions are that would allow this to happen, and some of the instruments.

As I've outlined on this site, any third party will need to step away from the hierarchical model of the current two parties. This site is dedicated to the great oxymoronical concept of The Jacksonian Party as it is a party of just one man, one individual and who seeks no other party allegiance.  Why I did this should be clear: it is something that my exercise of liberty allows me to do and it gives me a direct format for putting my thoughts together.  To even think of forming a party that is different, one needs to put forward a different schema for it to come about.  It does no good, whatsoever, to recreate the exact, same party structure of other parties as we have all been witness to what happens to those structures in the way of corruption and influence over time.

If you bemoan how a party 'elite' take control of a party, then do NOT make a party with a hierarchical structure that concentrates decision making upwards and into fewer hands.  To make something different, decision making must be pushed downwards and into MANY hands so that those who are the party make the decision.  A non-hierarchical structure then makes putting a party 'agenda' to the wayside and requires a party PLATFORM that all who run as part of the party agree to.  Creating a party agenda platform, that uses the platform of the basis of adhering to the party's principles and then requires that individual adhere to that when in power, then makes that PRIMARY for those who run. This requires, then, something no other party has: an ETHICS platform that all who run as part of the party will hold themselves to, also.

To get away from having money in the hands of the few, the concept of a treasury for the party must be ABOLISHED so that there is no till to raid, no strong box to crowbar open and no bank account to be raided for petty, partisan concerns.  If you don't like the influence of money on party politics, then get the damned money OUT of any new party and KEEP IT OUT.

That then means that local politics, local concerns and local individuals who seek office become the BACKBONE of the party and they will demonstrate their ability to run and gather such funds and support as necessary from those inside the party, but will not have money funneled THROUGH the party.  And each election, then, starts out with the blank bank account: an individual gets rid of the money left over by giving it away, or seeks help in ending such debts from party members.  To not do this invites the exact, same party corruption issues that plague every other centralized party on the planet.  You want something different, then DO something different and see how it works out.


If that is the party structure, decentralized, having no central money holdings or other elite power system, then who is it you seek to attract to it?

Politics is not a zero sum game between the  two parties, no matter what they say or how they imply it.  We are now in the era of Slacker America, not just socially but politically as well.  The two parties have done such a 'good job' in getting votes, that fully 49% of the electorate did NOT turn out for the last Presidential election.  When you multiply 51% turnout by a 52% win you get a hair over 26% of the eligible voting population voting for the 'winner'.  And about 25% or so for the 'loser'.  This is not a vibrant nor strong representative democracy, it is one in twilight as those elected are now more part of a Zero Party State than a two party one.

In this world of representative democracy, those are *both* losers if you can get 51% of those uninterested in voting to SHOW UP AND VOTE FOR YOU.  Of course that will also make it the highest turn-out election in the modern age, but the two parties have been pushing the percent turning up downwards since 1964 when it last hit in the ballpark of near 70%.  Yes there were some disaffected, then, with the two party system, and yet our current winning percentages by that of the voting population come close to that of the Civil War, which tells you a lot about where the Nation is headed.

To put this into perspective, Weimar Germany, a Nation that had multiple parties showing up, had elections in 1932 that had an 80% turnout rate and the largest voting percentage for any party was 33% for the NSDAP which, in our perspective, got 26% of the vote from those eligible. That was the German Worker's Party or Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.  Yes, the Nazis.  Minoritarian government didn't work out too well for Germany, and yet we are there RIGHT NOW, with the same voting percentage and 'popular support' in a TWO PARTY system.

So a third party, just based on those who don't vote, is a problem as it doesn't, on its own, shift winning percentages, although it WOULD get more citizens involved with the Nation and deciding our common fate.  That would be all to the good.

It would begin to erode and finally break the two party stranglehold on power in this Nation, and that would be very good.

Because it is decentralized, there is no elite group to be bought off, and as any agenda that cites smaller, accountable and fiscally sane government is not something the other parties can now DO in any  way, shape or form, they cannot co-opt the message.  Their fiscal, moral and ethical stewardship of the Nation is bringing to the fore a need for a new, third party because they are grossly negligent at the very kindest and horrifically power hungry at the very unkindest, and no part of that spectrum is what anyone could call 'good'.

A third party that has popular support by bringing in the non-voting plurality would begin to shave off support of sections of the prior two major parties.  Each of the two parties is now rife with factionalism: a system of spoils and jockeying for adherents amongst party members based on various promises and often on pay-offs.

The Republican Party has three major factions, each with two major sub-parts in them.  In both Neocon and FiCon (fiscal conservatives) these sub-factions are quiescent.  It is in the SoCon or Socially Conservative area that there is a brewing schism and a fight for others in the party.  The Religious Conservatives have been the major part of the Republican SoCon base and continues to be that, even though that is eroding as the concepts of 'Compassionate Conservatism' or 'Progressive' ideas now put religion into a support role OF elected officials.  This has come to the point where they are no longer treated as a 'guiding light' in the Republican Party.

The other SoCons are those that are 'Traditionalists'.  These are the small government as a 'moral good' for the Nation and who see the benefits of federalism and limited government as a great plus for all religions by keeping government OUT of religion.  While there is some cross-over between the two, the 'Traditionalists' are now starting to see an overly corrupt party that is dedicated to Big Government, Big Spending, Big Regulation, and Big Business as an inoperable system.  If the Religious SoCons can make peace with intrusive government, the Traditionalist SoCons cannot.  As the Traditionalists also support Traditional fiscal policy (sound footing for government, staying out of the affairs of business) and defense of the Nation (a NeoCon venue) as a pure positive, they are the ones most likely to either upend the Republican party or LEAVE IT, dragging some other SoCons, FiCons and NeoCons with them.  While that may only be a small portion of the party, say 20% in total, that is 6% of the Nation directly and would add to any Third Party that would adopt principles of Traditionalist venues. 

Thus at 50% of those not voting yielding a bit over 25% you then add the 6% that the Traditionalist backers have to get: 31%.

That takes us to the Democratic Party which has seen two major groups show up in the past two years.

The first are those that feel Hillary Clinton got gamed out of the Nomination by those in the upper echelons of the party who helped set up rules where getting the most votes did not mean a 'win'.  Primaries in Texas and Nevada, to name two, were set up in a way to hand over a lion's share to the #2 position which was Barack Obama.  This caused a rift when 'Party Unity' was called for and the backers of Hillary Clinton found themselves on the short end of the stick.  Thus the PUMA group was created, which speaks more to the factional divisiveness inside the party than anything else.  While estimates vary, even those who are fiercely partisan put them at 10% of the party (2.6% of the population overall).  It is unknown if that group will cohere or not, but another factional portion of the Party, the so-called 'Blue Dog Democrats' being fiscally more conservative, have re-appeared in the post-Clinton era.  Their numbers are a bit firmer at 25-35 House members as a core group, and a bit more for hangers-on.  Taking their limited size into account, and that many are in districts that can 'flip' to fiscally conservative Republicans, we have a number of districts that can be said to be generally non-aligned.  There are equivalents on the Republican side, although they have 'flipped' for the most part over the last two election cycles in the House.  If you give it that set of seats, call it 40, as a potential support bloc you can get anywhere from 3-10% of the voting age population as part of that (taking out amounts for non-voters, extreme partisans, etc.).

Pulling off the 'Blue Dogs' by pointing out that they have now enabled the dirty mongrels to get ahold of their party and that a THIRD Party is not aligned to either existing party, may pull off some of those voters and districts.  What that does is start to eat into the 'flipping' seats and solidify them outside the realm of two party politics.  If the PUMAs have any reason to be disgusted with the Democratic Party and their treatment in it, as well as 'Blue Dogs' not having their issues addressed, that can be as much as a low of 3% and a high of 13% of the voting age population of the US.

From that you see:

Base: 50% of the non-voting plurality - 25% of the voting age population

Republican peel-aways: Traditionalists and their federalists adherents - 6% of the voting age population

Democratic peel-aways: 'Blue Dogs' and disaffected PUMAs - 3 to 13% of the voting age population

Net is between 34% to 44% of the voting age population

Do note this still LEAVES 24% of the population unwilling to vote.

Due to the peel-aways and such, this makes the Third Party the largest in the US without doing deep harm to the other two parties, by the fact that it extends democracy to those feeling disenfranchised.


Now, lets say you get far less than 50% of that non-voting group, say 10% or 5% of the voting age population

That doesn't change the other numbers of 6% and 3-13%, yielding a new party of between 14% and 24% of the voting age population, which WOULD harm the other two parties by dropping their allegiance numbers in a very slightly expanded pool... one just under the 2004 turnout levels.

In either of these, a successful inclusion of disaffected Republican and Democratic individuals would yield a Republican Party below its current standings (now 32-33% dropping to 26-27%) and a Democratic Party changed either slightly or greatly depending on disaffection levels (now 35% approx. dropping to 32% to 23%)

Thus in a Robust Scenario of 50% disaffected the new political atmosphere would be:

3rd Party - 34-44%

Democratic Party - 23-32%

Republican Party - 26-27%

On the Lean Scenario of 10% disaffected for a new political party, the atmosphere would be:

Democratic Party - 23-32%

Republican Party - 26-27%

3rd Party - 14-24%

That last is telling as it is almost EXACTLY what Ross Perot did: peel off parts from the existing two parties and have almost NO outreach to the politically disaffected.  His Reform Party didn't last because of party brand loyalty and lack of vigor inside the party, due to it having a hierarchical structure with Ross Perotism as its nebulous basis.

Both of these scenarios place 'independents' in their role of following overall voting proportions, as is currently the case.  Independents don't vote as a group, currently, and more closely follow overall party affiliation on a proportional basis, so that would continue to be the case with a 3rd Party.  Independents would be attracted just as equally in that direction as the overall percentage of the population is.  No one can craft an 'independent' based platform without trying to address the already existing 'leanings' of independents.

With that said, at 34-44% on the Robust Scenario, the 'independents' become a key group as any major swing away from either of the other two parties will tend to drop their numbers out of proportion to a 3rd Party.  This is less seen in the Lean Scenario, although an outreach to 'independents' could fruitfully shift a percentage of voting away from the existing two parties.  Thus any 3rd Party will want to hit the INDEPENDENT mailing rolls from districts: the people who vote and claim to be unaligned.  A successful non-partisan outreach and involvement concept could change even the Lean Scenario as 'independents' are not considered a vital part of either of the two parties and expected to vote by general adherence to the parties within districts. 

And if there is a disaffection that is large in the Democratic Party, a feeling of long term abuse by the Elite of the Party, then the maximum for the 3rd Party and minimum of the Democratic Party makes the Democratic Party ripe for strong disaffection.  If Part Unity really is not deep or even wanted within the Democratic Party and there is a bloc of voters wanting to just vote for minimal fiscal concerns and throw social concerns to the States and local governments, and get the Elites out of the picture, then that is something that will be a sea change in US politics as the factional fights have brought extreme disunity and favoritism.  The answer to that is not more favoritism, but for equal government that is not involved in the things it has gotten into in the social realm.


From this the analysis can be made that the hard outreach to the politically disaffected is the place to go for any future of a 3rd Party in America.

Trying to divide up an existing pie doesn't work so well.

Expanding the pie to bring in those feeling excluded by the two party system yields positive results.

And while both of the current parties are weak, neither will evaporate overnight, and will still be major parts of the landscape.  It is the LANDSCAPE that will have expanded to make them smaller.


Beach Girl said...

Yes, and as a 3rd party we need to be prepared to "win" some seats and to not back down at only winning a few at first. A viable 3rd party has to have the guts to stick with it and not be a "single" issue party or a spoiler as happened with Ross Perot.

I wrote on this a few days ago in a much more general way after reading the Homeland Security assessment and after seeing the tea parties - attendance crossed all spectrums of ideology. The American people are hungry for honest leadership and statesmanship that wants them to participate.

We speak of ethics in the Congress, yet Senators such as Di Fi from CA, just to name one, is in actuality a lobbyist with voting power on the contracts her husbands companies get. And speaking of the Chinese technology connection...

Now, this will sound trivial but we are in a PR war against the "established media", against the jihadists, et al.

The name of our 3rd party has to be something people who cannot read can identify with. I know I'm silly but our educational system has dumbed down our children so far that their reading scores and other scores put us at 19th among so-called industrialized nations.

A 3rd party is the way for us to go and it doesn't have to mean all things to all people but it must, I think, focus on our U.S. Constitution, our individual freedoms and responsibilities to each other as a result of those freedoms, and somehow, it has to put "wedge" issues that divide us as a people off the table and put the things that unite us in front of us. I am writing a piece now on how the parties have both worked very hard to create issues that under a media lens divide us but individually as neighbors we seldom have any problems with.

If this is too long, just delete at will. I won't be offended.

A Jacksonian said...

Beach Girl - I do agree!

The 'flip seats' that are weakly aligned to either party in the House form a substantial minority: 30-50 seats. That is enough to deny either party Majority Status and to yank that away by helping the other party get its Majority vote. Do that a couple of times and the other parties realize they have a problem.

The least populace States are the ones most suited to a 'back to basics' party: Montana, North & South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho. That is 10 Senate seats over 6 years and that is enough to start doing the same in the Senate that a good minority in the House will do.

By putting forth that government is here to protect the Nation, do that job *first* and get out of the things it does horrifically (Dept. of Agriculture, Energy, Education all come to mind) and then putting a 'we have got to remove entitlements and offer lump sums back to those that were coerced into these systems', and pound on fiscal restraint and sending questions of morals and society back to the States... that does have resonance.

Protect the Nation, go after her enemies, support our friends and allies, and get rid of the burdens of regulations and 'help' that government can deny you at whim. That takes leadership at the local scale, not the National... but it will change the National to re-orient to the local and get this 'Progressive' concept out of our lives. We should not be spendthrift for our wants and needs today so as to impoverish our children and their children.

That is our responsibility, in our lives. Instead we live for today, and the shackles we make for our children are horrific. We are, as a Nation, no longer doing 'right' but only 'good'... and that is handed to government and no greater evil can be imagined. The storm has been brewing since Theodore Roosevelt... and now the winds of it will tear the place apart, unless we seek shelter in letting our fellow man decide what is best for himself and his family, and help through the gift of charity, not the shackles and whip of government.

Peregrine John said...

Something to beware of is the attempts by both major parties to paint the 3rd party as a new form of their opponents, the better to maintain their own people. We saw this with the Tea Parties, primarily with the Democrats tying themselves in knots to show that the events were Republican-led. I imagine that the outrage was more pronounced there because the Tea Parties were anti-statist, and the Democrats are somewhat more statist than Republicans. Regardless, it's a mere shadow of what will happen to a Jacksonian party (and I do think that sort of name will work, dumbed-down America or not). The propaganda machines, well-established and battle-hardened, will come roaring out like a pack of starved wolves.

A Jacksonian said...

John - Americans haven't truly come to understand the 'barrier to entry' problem that has been set up across the States by the two parties. The parties have rigged it so that it is nearly impossible to get something of a third party going.

While the Democrats (and some Republicans of the 'Progressive' sort) will continue to criticize Tea Parties, their ability to get an outlet that is A)trustworthy, and B)gets viewers/listerners, is limited. The MSM, by sucking at the bottom of the tank for a partisan candidate has aimed the last of its power squarely at its reputation. We see this in the steep viewership decline of television news channels (save Fox which continues to get partisan criticism from the Left), a movement away from newspapers (Rocky Mountain News and Seattle P-I now into doornail territory) with the prime markets of NY and DC nearly ready to bring down their old top dogs the Times and the Post and replace them with the Post and the Times, respectively. DC actually has a third paper going, which speaks ill of the ability of the Post to retain readers, and, finally, the rabid Leftist sites (DKos, HuffPo, DU and others) turning people off with their continuous screaming, finger-pointing and inability to construct a coherent sentence that doesn't attack someone.

A new third party (no matter its name, the demographics will be close to the Tea Party movement) will be made up of those fleeing the Democratic Party due to its lack of sanity, those fleeing the Republican Party due to its inability to honor anything it has put forth on the small-government and fiscal-reduction venues, and those of the middle class who have been drifting from voting because no one speaks for them any more. Small business owners will also start to fall into that category as they remember the increasing burden of government under the Bushes.

With something like 1 in 4 people KNOWING someone who went to a Tea Party, the ability to make it as 'just a gimmick by the other side' will go nowhere as word of mouth kills negative advertising (or positive advertising come to that). If you want a popular item (be it a political party, movie or soda) you need word-of-mouth and people who know lots of people. We call those well connected nodes in local communities - and they are the hardest people to convince of anything as people trust them. They are *not* trendsetting teens, but well established middle aged adults who have inroads to their parent's generation, their generation and the children's generation.

Those are the people the two parties have now alienated. And when THOSE people find the roadblocks to getting a third party going, their slight shift from 'independent' or ex-old party to third-party supporter will shift that entire network with them. That is what scares the two parties: they show up with their children, their friends and invite other friends to come with them.

What this reminds me of is an updated version of the old European Parties that centered on holidays and get-togethers to talk for an hour or so on political issues, and then continued on with the holiday, itself. There will be a cross-pollination via online contacts, making this a new hybrid system of old-style (real old style) and net-aware.

That is a potential killer for the two party system as it stands, which is why the Republicans CAN'T support Tea Parties: if they do it will drain Republican enthusiasm TO the Tea Parties (people who haven't participated before are there! they aren't rabid partisans! they MEAN what they SAY!). The Republicans will be very lucky to see the Traditionalists and their FiCon, NeoCon and other SoCon's go with them and leave an intensely Rockerfellian Progressive party behind that will not look at all different from Democrats up to around 1980. The Democratic Party is facing the middle class saying 'hell, no' to them... and every day, week and month the insanity continues, the more that will spread across factions in the Democratic Party as they start to realize that factional politics is going to kill all their factions down to a small, die-hard core of screamers.

This is already going on.

If the economic muddle continues to JUL 09, then the Feiler Faster Thesis will make that seem like 6 full YEARS of this since JAN 09.

Killing off all the big ideas, today, just might save the two parties... but it isn't happening. And as people see the D and R partisans trying to paint friends and neighbors as things they are NOT, then the real action starts.

Things get very messy after that.

Extremely messy.

As a Third Party is DENIED coming into existence due to existing laws.

People willing to talk politics and stand up against Big Government on JUL 04 will be pissed if they can't get a new party going by Labor Day due to restrictions in the States. Continue that to Thanksgiving and things are not going to be pleasant during the new Winter of Our Discontent.

Peregrine John said...

Well said. Not often do I find myself laughing and nodding, both and literally, along with this sort of observation. A friend of mine is developing a book along the lines of his observation that Left and Right are terms with less and less meaning, since they are both becoming more and more statist: To be between them is to split the difference of statism. Something's got to give, and as grim as it may become, I do hope your predictions come to pass.

Some other people have noticed this kind of phenomenon as well. Thank goodness. Might head off some of the nastiness at the pass.

A Jacksonian said...

John - My thanks!

We have one historical equivalent party-wise, and that is the passing of the Whig Party with the advent of the free-soilers to Republicans. That, however, was not a massive sea-change in outlook, although it was a final fading of a party have a coherent ideology.

What is happening today is the urban/rural divide that has been in this Nation since before its founding and nearly destroyed it after the Confederation was unable to pay off debts without putting draconian taxation in place to undercut the poorest areas and throw citizens in jail. Those hard feelings between urban and rural, between Sam Adams and the Shaysites, has always been present in America. Today the 'rural' and 'small town' belief areas go to the suburbs and the divide is the interstate bypasses. Live inside a bypass and you are typically urban, outside you have typically small town/rural ideals.

Obama, Bush, McCain... even the Clintons as they went to elite schools and did not stick in suburban or rural domains... they are ALL urban based candidates and adhere to the elitist culture of urban life. Ronald Reagan went between both worlds, Jimmy Carter was rural based but his ideals were urban in how to approach the world - apparently a good sized peanut farm is enough to keep you from knowing peanuts about government... then Ford, Nixon, Johnson (the long-time DC mover and shaker), JFK... all from urban ideals with Reagan walking in both and Eisenhower, the decent General doing his best to ensure that the racial divide would not split the Nation. You get to Truman who is very close to his rural roots with the buck stopping at his desk. We have been nearly 50 years without ANY President having a firm rural background and sticking to the ideals of rural and small town America.

Reagan comes close, but I do notice the Republican party threw out small town values of small government, accountable government, less intrusive government and less costly government. The party talked a good game, but decided those values didn't matter to the party. While this shift reflects the urbanizing trends of America between 1900-1950, the suburbia trend from 1950-present has NOT been reflected well, if at all. Both parties now sit firmly upon urban based ideals of Big Government doing things for you, which is a centralizing idea for city management but piss-poor for a Nation. Now that we step into an era of dis-intermediation and dis-aggregation, the two parties are fossilized at urban cores and can't cope.

Thus we start to see NOT the Whig replacement, but the disenfranchisement of the rural and small town citizenry from centralized government of 1783-87. The Shaysites went down to one courier unable to deliver his message in a snow storm. That will not happen again. And if the urban parties seek further entrenchment, then we can turn back to 1765-73. Both the falling of the Confederal system and the Revolutionary period started off as civil protest to have the mass of citizens heard by those distanced from them seeking to further distance government from the people.

Neither stayed civil.

The Revolutionary War was horrific in death toll and those fleeing for other Crown Colonies. We imagine what would happen if the Shaysites got that one, first victory under their belts and the uprising spreading from 1786-87. The issues in both were: taxes and spending, and having no say for the majority in either due to how government worked to disenfranchise those outside of the areas of power. We nearly came apart when North Carolina refused to pay federal taxes... but their Home Son told them otherwise and he meant it. In America it is always about government, enfranchisement and taxes. Blood does flow because of that... and I don't like that concept and yet our historical analogies are showing up yet again.

d.eris said...

A Jacksonian, this is an excellent blog and post. While reading, I wondered whether you have been following the development of the Modern Whig Party. Their platform seems to answer perfectly to your analysis of who the potential supporters of a successful third party campaign are.

A Jacksonian said...

D. Eris - I have looked at the MWP and it does have many conjunctive strains of thought. Any third party that wants to seek a new area of expansion will need to move into that domain as the current political parties (and political movements) have left those fields fallow either through direct neglect or through keeping to such a tight row that their soil has been ground to dust.

That said I have come to distrust high level federal involvement in: energy, education, health care and banking (the old haunt of Jackson which I now have a much deeper understanding of seeing what has gone on recently). The upward thrust of shifting these out of the realm of the States and the people and to higher level governments has one that has not helped the Nation due to the concentration of power and corruption that comes with it. The concept of 'common sense' solutions is not one that gets vested in a party: they are local and State affairs and the only 'common sense' is to keep the national end harshly limited.

Beyond their idea for States Rights the MWP would need to robustly call for the removal of the 'Progressive' era Amendments for direct selection of Senators by the public and allowing a personal income tax. That and seeking to get greater representation for the House so as to increase the number of House members and decrease the concentration of power. The answer to problems in representative democracy when power is concentrated is GREATER representation not LESS representation. With a fixed size House that is the problem... and each of these requires Congress to act.

Currently the disaggregated, distributed Tea Parties have the FFT on their side and the current governing elite have that against them. And as this is on a downward spiral of government seeking ever more power for itself, the current elite would need to sharply alter their course in the next 6 months to stop this. They will not. Thus we are left either in the lead up to 1783-86 or around 1765-73, and using the FFT that puts us in very rough straights come fall. The MWP needs those things that centralized parties always need: marketing. Without that, they are a minority concept while the Tea Parties are majoritarian in outlook and have a viral FFT posture upwards and the elites a negative FFT posture downwards. Those two are in direct, absolute and contrary directions and that will not hold. And where it tears is the traditional fault line of America: Big Cities vs Small Town and Rural which encompasses suburbia.

We are on a very nasty course as America always disrupts over taxes. Will this be patriotic as in 1765-73? Or disruptive as 1783-86 leading to the Shaysites? If it is the latter, this time neo-Shaysites will not have communications problems... just the opposite. The time to lead, is now passing... soon it will be choosing sides. Right around 4 JUL, which is extremely appropriate.

d.eris said...

It will certainly be interesting to see how the tea party movement develops, I've been trying to cover the various sides of their internal debate (tea partisanship, if you will). The question there, imo, is whether the independents and third party activists can win out over the arguments put forward by the partisan Republicans among them. The former seem to have the numbers and 'common sense' on their side.

A Jacksonian said...

D. Eris - This is an interesting time!

About a year or so before the last election I couldn't see how the current two parties would survive it, no matter who 'won'. The divisive nature of the campaigns had made it apparent that a core faction had taken control of the Democratic Party and that the Republican Party did none of the things it said it would do. Republicans can't attract people because of how much they haven't done when in power... tax relief is one thing, but smaller government and less intrusive government have not only been put by the wayside, but actually gone against by those Republicans who have been elected. Now those 'Progressive' Republicans are no different than 'Moderate' Democrats, save on the issues they moralize over and want to regulate.

It is that move to regulate, expand bureaucracy, increase government, decrease liberty... that can't get many people outside of DC to their side... D or R. That ever growing cadre that expanded from near 30% in 1964 to 49% in 2008 that don't vote in Presidential election years - that is the largest faction in US politics and it sees no reason to vote. When they come out, in any percentage above 10% (5% of the overall electorate) the entire establishment can and will be shaken. A third party or even coherent voting bloc movement changes the two-party equation and makes it the third group that makes 'kings'. And anything over 20% of that non-voting group (10% overall) starts to kill one of the two existing parties. The anti-spend,anti-tax, anti-bureaucrat movement is starting... these ALWAYS start civil. Those in power make it uncivil and they pay for it... usually in blood. I don't want it to come to that, but seeing the tone deaf leadership of the two parties, I do see Iron Times ahead.