Monday, March 23, 2020

Breaking The Two Party Doom Loop

A classic case of false advertising. My title would  be "OMG Trump Got Elected! How to get us back to the single party Deep Totalitarian State we had FINALLY got!"

“Our expert respondents perceive a consistent, ongoing decline in the overall quality of American democracy from 2015.”

Indeed ... the Civil War could have been a sign of decline ... or maybe FDR court packing, a plethora of unelected alphabet unconstitutional bureaucratic agencies with their own judiciary, etc, etc.

Only one other time in American history has the party system resembled this arrangement: the 1860s, when the United States fought a civil war and then tried to recover from one.
Well, actually 1800 as well. The conflict has been the same from the start -- between those who desire a centralized ever more powerful federal government not burdened by the restrictions of following the written Constitution and the separation of powers vs those who believe in the liberty provided by following the written Constitution which specifies divided and LIMITED government.

"Control vs Chaos". America was founded as a "center right" country with that bias to the creativity of "chaos" ... the unknown, the free, the unpredictable, vs the "control" of monarchy, giant centralized bureaucracy, the "central committee", the "experts". We were founded to be more Han Solo than Darth Vader.

At least he is a little honest ...

As a lifelong Democrat, I tend to see the Republican Party as driven by radical extremists and primarily responsible for the escalating breakdown of democratic fairness.
I'm not going to spend a bunch of time giving the counter argument to all he has to say ... go look at my comments on goodreads if you want more of that.

What is the "doom"? It is limited government to this author, as it has been since the beginning of the "progressive" era. Why does he want "4-6" political parties? To weaken the impact of voters -- the same reason the Framers architected 3 branches of the government. They wanted it to be LIMITED! "Divide and Conquer" (in this case conquer the electorate). "A house divided cannot stand" (or at least not be as strong as it could be if it was united.

We were SO close!

At the height of the hidden four-party system, from the late 1960s to mid-1980s, American democracy was far more responsive and flexible than today, and landmark legislation flowed out of Washington, solving some big public problems.
A good counterpoint to this narrative is in the book "The Great Society" by Amity Shlaes which argues in a continuation of her excellent "The Forgotten Man" .

A lot of the book just repeats old leftist mythology ... "The Southern Strategy" or the execrable "Dog Whistle Politics".  Much of leftist orthodoxy is based on the loaded question, the classic, "Have you stopped beating your wife yet" is easily transformed to "Do you even know how racist you are?"

If you are a true believing leftist and want to "win", I highly recommend
"Rules For Radicals" -- it is more honest than this book and the methods it espouses have made a TON of "progress" in moving this country to the totalitarian state Drutman desires.

Would ranked choice voting and a handful of chaotic parties assist in that effort? Probably. However mass panic leading to marshal law as we may be experiencing as I write this may well achieve it without wasting time reading this fictionalized view of America history.

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