A lot is being made about Republican leaders who are beginning to endorse Hillary Clinton. The media are seeing it as “rats leaving a sinking ship,” but these are people who weren’t expected to support Donald Trump, anyway. The news seems powerful, since there have been no major Democrats going the other way. But look at the polls. When third-party candidates are included, and considering the error rate, Clinton and Trump are, basically, tied—even with Trump’s “foot-in-mouth disease.” How can that be?
Clinton notched 44 percent to Trump’s 40 percent in the Bloomberg Politics poll, which had Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson at 9 percent, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein tallied 4 percent. [Roughly tied, considering the error rate.]
The same poll last month had Clinton with a much larger lead, with the Democrat at 49 percent, Trump at 37 and Johnson at 9 percent.
It’s because people without titles are becoming “Trump Democrats,” in the way that there was no big announcement about the millions of “Reagan Democrats.” It’s another realignment, like the one that began in 1964. Republican leaders may not like it, but it’s not “their party,” anymore.
In the Depression era, Democrats represented a large swath of the American public.
Roosevelt set up his New Deal in 1933 and forged a coalition of labor unions, liberals, religious, ethnic and racial minorities (Catholics, Jews and Blacks), Southern whites, poor people and those on relief. . .
Journalist Sidney Lubell found in his survey of voters after the 1948 presidential election that Democrat Harry Truman, not Republican Thomas E. Dewey, seemed the safer, more conservative candidate to the “new middle class” that had developed over the previous 20 years. He wrote that “to an appreciable part of the electorate, the Democrats had replaced the Republicans as the party of prosperity” and quoted a man who, when asked why he did not vote Republican after moving to the suburbs, answered “I own a nice home, have a new car and am much better off than my parents were. I’ve been a Democrat all my life. Why should I change?”
Meanwhile, Republicans were no more than the mirror image of FDR’s coalition—“The Republicans were the party of the Northeast, of business, of the middle classes, and of white Protestants:” those who liked the way things were. But being just “the party of no” didn’t work well in an era when the American public really did want (and need) “hope and change” (excuse the expressions).
Wikipedia refers to the period of Democratic dominance, from 1932 to 1968, as the “Fifth Party System,” which began with the Great Depression.
Interestingly, the “Fourth Party System” of Republican dominance began after the “Panic of 1893.”
The “Sixth Party System” is the period of Republican dominance, arguably beginning in with Nixon, in 1968, culminating in the Reagan years.
So the question is, will the “Great Recession” lead to a new realignment—a “Seventh Party System”?
Clearly, “The Solid South” of white voters switched en masse from Democratic to Republican in the 1960s and 1970s. Religious people were active in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, but the “Religious Right” switched to the Republicans in the 1980s. The rest of the FDR coalition remains Democratic, except that while they still have the “union” vote, their blue collar workers have turned Republican increasingly since Reagan.
Breitbart is quoting a Rolling Stone article that talks about the changing party systems.
A horrifying article appeared in The New York Times last week, entitled “They Want Trump to Make the G.O.P. a Workers’ Party.”
In it, conservative intellectuals say they disavow Donald Trump, but also see in his rise a reason to shift their party’s focus.
The new Republicans would no longer be the party of “business and the privileged,” but the protector of a disenfranchised working class. . .
Basically, large numbers of working-class voters, particularly white working-class voters, long ago abandoned the Democratic Party in favor of the Republicans.
In their 2008 book, Grand New Party, Douthat and Salam argued that the Republicans needed to reshape themselves, and admitted “the policy elite of the Republican Party” is “out of touch with the majority of Republican voters.”
They also noted, in a recent Times editorial, “A Cure for Trumpism,” that the Republican Party has “increasingly depended on mostly white working-class support, even as its policy agenda was increasingly unresponsive to working-class voters’ problems.”
On another page, we pointed out that Hillary has mostly written off the white, working class voter.
As noted above, she’s more interested in recruiting Republicans.
The unprecedented desertion of the GOP nominee by leading members of his own party — and their embrace of Hillary Clinton — is partly organic, but for the most part it’s being midwifed by the Clinton campaign, which is beginning to reap the rewards of a behind-the-scenes recruitment effort that’s been months in the making.
That effort is expected to culminate in the unveiling of an official Republicans for Hillary group as early as Wednesday, by the campaign. . .
The campaign identified members of two distinct groups from outside of politics whose support could be especially helpful to Clinton — former GOP administration officials with national security bona fides who could speak to Trump as a global threat, and leading Republicans in the business community who could highlight the economic turmoil Trump would create as president.
As it turns out, “Republicans for Hillary” has already formed, according to the Daily Caller.
The group released a statement of endorsement for Clinton that said: “We are proud members of the party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, a party rooted in liberty and respect for the individual. We support policies of limited government, free-market economics, and a strong, global vision of foreign policy and national security.”
“Donald Trump betrays our values and beliefs. . .”
The group claims that “together, we will make our party again.” The statement said that the members of Republicans for Clinton plan to vote for down-ballot Republicans. Co-founder John Stubbs said in the statement that “voting for Clinton is a first step to rebuilding credibility.”
It’s all part of the realignment. We’re in the process of building the “Seventh Party System.” The only question is, which party will lead us for the next few decades? I have been saying for some time that we have pendulum swings. FDR dominated politics. Fifty years later, Reagan did. Reagan’s power began in 1964. The next crescendo is due in 2030—but should begin right about now.
But here’s another question for you. If the Republican Party really does become America’s “workers’ party,” and that leads to the end of “trickle down economics,” global trade ties, small government, foreign adventurism, corporate promotion, and other traditionally Republican issues—in favor of an anti-establishment swing that’s protectionist, nationalist, and populist, won’t it really be the Rino Party?
Or, if Trump loses badly, maybe the Republican Party will blame it on Trump, and clean house of the “worker party” ideas and proponents. If that happens, the GOP may be turning over political dominance to the Democrats, for a generation or two or three.