In the Republican Party it would be safe to say today that many are upset that the Tea Party has had so much control over the GOP and has led it down the path to near-destruction. Last Friday’s cave by House Speaker John Boehner to Democrats came only after members of his own party, in the name of Senate Minority leader, Mitch McConnell, said are you out of your freaking mind? The Dems are of course gloating over their victory, but they have problems of their own.
For years now the left has settled for mere compromises when fighting the right over certain legislation, and the Republicans have gotten pretty much what they wanted. We have entered an era where religion dominates certain national issues such as abortion and gay rights. The former, although still legal but looking iffy, is attacked daily by religious conservatives. And gay rights have only recently been able to make any headway in the U.S.
Other losses are how big business has entrenched itself firmly, with the solid help of the GOP, as steadfastly favored over consumer rights. The wealthy enjoy unfair tax cuts thanks to George W. Bush, and Republicans are making it clear that they will not stand for an increase on the rich. So what do the Democrats do? They easily relented on this issue to pay for the payroll tax cuts and earlier this year in the attempt to balance the budget.
This has come from the top down and many progressives are now looking for someone to stand up and say enough is enough. But if it doesn’t start with President Obama, there is no way to enlist Democrats in the House or Senate. The leader of the party must show the strength to organize the rest to support him and demand the legislation. So far this hasn’t happened and I believe the voting public has decided both political parties have failed. That is further confirmed with Congress at an abysmal 11 percent approval rating.
According to USA Today, 2.5 million voters have left the Republican and Democratic parties since the 2008 elections. Republicans dropped in 21 of the 28 states that register by party, Democrats 25, but Independents increased their total in 18. By the numbers, the Independents gained 325,000, Democrats lost 800,000, Republicans 350,000. The Dems are still out front with 42 million voters, with only 30 million Republicans. There are 24 million Independents, which proves to be a colossal challenge for both parties in 2012.
|Adlai Stevenson-Last Statesman
The study says there are many reasons that account for the demise of the parties. Families move or people die, some are purged from voter rolls when they have been inactive for some time. But my guess, and one that is shared by many political writers today is the fact that a great deal of the population is just fed up with the shenanigans in Washington and an incompetent bunch of congressional leaders that think only of holding on to their seat in Congress. Here is an appropriate quote from Thomas Jefferson:
“A politician looks forward only to the next election. A statesman looks forward to the next generation.”
Unfortunately, there are no statesmen left.
Read more here.