In our last post, Future Party 5, we mentioned Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul bending over for President Trump. Some thought I was being much too harsh especially when it came to Sen. Paul. Now that any interested party can access his interviews and statements since the Helsinki Summit, they might think we weren’t severe enough. How the supposedly libertarian leaning Senator became a top Trump defender is a case study in a politician putting survival over principle. After all, what is more central to libertarianism than free markets and trade. The man he now finds he must regularly defend is a fan of neither. Both Paul and Graham represent heavily pro- Trump states and the specter of an over-the-top Trumpster running against them in the next primary causing them to either lose in the primary or being weakened and financially drained enough to be toast in the general election has made them go places far out from their perceived character.
Of course, this political movement under duress isn’t just confined to Republicans. The present trials of long time Democrat California Senator Diane Feinstein are illustrative. She has to run for her seat in the general election against a far left opponent she handily beat in the primary who actually has the party endorsement and designation on the ballot. We know this sounds odd but that’s the way they do things in the Golden State. The top two primary candidates regardless of party face off in the general. As the Republicans in statewide races are as extinct as the Dodo Bird,that means the top two Democrats. Already we’re seeing Feinstein rapidly moving further left than she ever has been. As we have pointed out in the past, primaries sound good in theory but have been increasingly disastrous in practice. One can argue whether primaries are to blame for our divided nation, but there is no doubt it empowers the extremes in both parties. California just has found a way to make them even worse.
We warned of this in our posts before and after the last election. In 2017 The Year the World Ends and AND THEN THE REPUBLICANS we gave our thoughts how things would go. We thought the break in the Republicans would come over Russia and Putin but it would come earlier when President Trump would face increased congressional sanctions on Russia. We contemplated Trump would veto them but he signed on only to drag his feet putting them in action. A move keeping the peace for over a year but Trump’s vision of Russia-American relations as opposed to the views congress are now front and center. Congressional Republicans made hardly a peep when early on Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Trans Pacific Partnership. By not pushing back then, they encouraged Tump’s mercantilist mentality. This also helped keep the peace while taxes were cut, judges confirmed and regulations eased. They may have not liked each other but a lot things Republicans have wanted for a long time were actually accomplished in the Trump presidency.
Unfortunately, its time to pay the piper. Republicans leaders at all levels today are contending with the image of an American President sharing the stage in Helsinki with Russian President Putin and appearing to all the world to be the Russian Dictator’s vassal. This capped a span of time President Trump ran around the world from Singapore to Europe with no visible accomplishment other than other than antagonizing our and even humiliating our allies while enhancing the world’s perception of our enemies. Add a growing trade war supported by few of the party’s leaders and maybe more telling its economists. Now we have not only tariffs on friend and foes alike, we have the President telling everyone this will all work out. No one will get hurt. How will he prevent adverse fallout from the trade war? Bail out anyone wounded in the combat. For instance farmers bleeding from counter tariffs will get receive a 11 billion bandage of taxpayer money. They’re just the first. Others are already lining up for bailouts. Is this what Republicans are all about? They must see themselves faced with the choice of retaining or gaining office and principle. They may find shucking one’s principles may not be the road to a political future. Voters often like leaders with some character. Politicians such as Paul and Graham may find they made a poor bargain.
Even before the 2016 election we pointed out in our post TWEEDLEDUM AND TWEEDLEDEE how little choice we were getting. Nothing has changed. Given the Republican dilemma cited above, one would think the Democrats would rally about counter policies. Instead, resistance noise, and condescension towards Trump voters and little else is all the Democrats seem to have come up with. For instance, what Democratic leader would stump for the U.S. getting back with the Trans Pacific Partnership? They are no more interested in our global leadership nudging the world to be better place for all people than Trump. Their only “new” ideas seem to be out of the Democratic Socialist handbook. Lots of free stuff. Apparently they’ll see Trump’s billions to bail out the victims of his trade policies and raise him trillions for free college, free medical and jobs at a living wage for all.
Can anyone look at what our two major parties are doing right now and not yearn for a better choice. Not another “third-party” but a new major party. One that will consign one or both of our present major to the special place in our history occupied by the Federalists and the Whigs.