Question of the Day

Gary Hart thinks that political parties as we know them are going the way of the dodo, and that we are entering a new political age, wherein traditional political parties will become obsolete, to be replaced with an entirely new political paradigm.

I’m not convinced. I see that in our collective future, but I certainly don’t think we’re on the cusp of that future the way Hart does. And perhaps it’s because of the difference in the way we view Americans. Hart sees:
a nation of independent, socially tolerant, fiscally cautious, environmentally concerned, well-informed, globally-conscious citizens.
Really? He hasn’t been hanging out in my neighborhood.

Now, I’m not denigrating small-town red-staters; I happen to be one. You don’t have to be sophisticated to be a good person. But generally speaking, I wouldn’t describe my neighbors as independent, socially tolerant, fiscally cautious, environmentally concerned, well-informed, or globally conscious. The truth of the matter is that even people who aren’t dogma-spewing, bigoted, paycheck-to-paycheck, anti-social program and pro-defense spending, non-recycling, ill-informed, xenophobic, ignorant jerks still tend to have rather limited and poorly informed views of the world. Most Americans are not the cosmopolitans that Hart describes (and that includes plenty of big blue city folks, too). If we were, Welcome to the Neighborhood wouldn’t be airing on network television.

I think that there is indeed lots of disillusionment among Americans regarding the two prominent parties, but if I had to make a wager, I’d say we’ll see a significant third party emergence before we’ll see the end of the party system altogether.

What do you think?

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