How realistic is it a new successful major party could actually come into existence? With any new product, the first question, is there a market for it? While on the surface overwhelmingly Republicans appear to be Trump supporters. The Wall Street Journal /NBC polling put Trump’s approval rating among Republicans is 80% to 15% disapproval. Looks as if Republicans and Trump are synonymous. However, the poll dug deeper to show only 54% favor Trump over party while 40% favor party over Trump. While Trunpists are clearly a majority of in the party, a sizable put party above Trump. Conversely, The Liberal dominated Democrats are near unanimous is their opposition to Trump 91% to 7%. Yet while those Democrats considering themselves liberals has grown to 51%, 47% consider themselves moderate/conservative. Serious minorities in both parties are less than enthusiastic Trumpists or liberals even though they’re not dominant in either party. This means the candidates put forth by the dominant wings of their respective parties may not reflect their views and desires. Given the extreme wings control of primaries they aren’t likely to get such candidates reflecting them any time in the future.
So what, you might say. They’re just minorities and minorities don’t win. Remember we’ve just mentioned Democrats and Republicans, but according to the latest Gallup Poll, Republicans make up only 24% of the population while the Democrats are marginally better at 29%. Fully 45% are independents. These are people refusing to identify with either party let alone with their extreme wings. Taken together with the party minorities it appears there is major part of the voting public not fully served by the candidates of the two major parties. This is a market worth pursuing.
Another group that may feel their desires are blocked are politicians and would be politicians not seeing themselves spouting lines of either Trump or the liberals. These guys and gals just might think neither has the right answers and they may not want to be identified with bad ideas and positions. Where do these energetic and ambitious guys and gals go to have a political career? Surely they’ll want a path forward.
The fact is polls show majorities favoring getting our fiscal house in order (Gallup found fully 77% worried a fair or great amount about the national debt), reasonable immigration (according to Gallup 62% favor maintaining or increasing present immigration levels), a compromise on abortion (According to Gallup 50% fall in the “legal only under certain circumstances” column), Free Trade agreements (Pew Research finds 56% concur free trade agreements ” have been a “good thing” for the country as a whole) and a plan to stabilize our entitlements (Gallup found 77%. felt the cost of programs will create major economic problems) Polls on mental health and violence appear to exist only in the context of gun violence. The fact the mentally ill often use implements other than guns to harm others apparently has escaped pollsters. Still in the shadow of the Parkland School shootings an ABC/Washington Post poll found “77 percent, said better mental health monitoring and treatment would have averted it.” Some might cite other polls that differ a few percent but this shows where the ignored majorities might be found. These voters won’t go unnoticed by the up and comers. In any case, these problems if not addressed will only grow larger and force action. Politicians would rather be in position to blame others than be blamed.
Business and others in the donor class while containing some firebrands actually lean heavily towards desiring fair,efficient and predictable government. Most found none of this with either Obama or Trump. After all, it’s hard to form long-term plans while you get tax cuts on one hand but also have a trade war on the other or regulations that stifle actions. Again we have an important group adrift between our two major parties.
The groups seemingly the focus of both parties reside in areas of intractable poor economic performance. Whether in urban ghettos or faded rural regions they are stuck with poor schools, lack of opportunity and in some high crime mainly due to drugs. Two questions remain to be answered, what can be done there and why are people unable to move to places with better prospects? So long as these questions remain unanswered there is a wide opening to new ideas.
The failure of our major parties to address major problems has hardly gone unnoticed. Jake Tapper a leading light on CNN voiced his concern in an interview with Reason Magazine this way,
“Do I have a politics?”I do think that a certain degree of compassion is important, but I don’t know that big government is always [the answer]. That’s another kind
of conventional-wisdom kind of way of looking at problems in Washington. Whether it’s Bush, or Obama, or frankly Trump, which is more government, better, and here we have a problem, more government instead of taking the government we have now and reorganizing it, changing it so as to focus on the new problems of 2018.
While few new parties have ever succeeded, it is our contention there has never been a time in our history when so much of our electorate has been ignored by our major parties. There has never been a time when the two major parties refused to tackle so many major issues. Remember the single failure of Whigs was never coming up with a solution on slavery. The Whigs were replaced by the Republicans. This is why we think the future just might belong to the “Future Party.” In our next post we’ll tackle the nuts and bolts of forming a successful new party.