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POLITICAL PARTIES IN TRANSITION (PART I)

August 24, 2016

POLITICAL PARTIES IN TRANSITION (PART I)

I have been writing for years about (barring a miracle) the coming descent of the Republican Party into Whigdom unless they completely revamp their political objectives to suit the reality of the rapidly changing demographics of America. I have been predicting that party’s demise long before Trump burst upon the scene to make it official. He, of course, cannot get along with anybody, even the Republican National Committee, a group of people who are not getting along among themselves – or with Trump – which leads me to conclude that the Republican Party’s implosion will occur sooner rather than later unless they reinvent themselves into, say, Eisenhower Republicans, an unlikely event since they have sold body and soul to Wall Street and its “free market” gods – for libertarian hands-off by government in their activities to brutal capitalism for the rest of us – a set of greedy views Ike would never have tolerated. History has proven that any party which does not have a common governing philosophy will ultimately fail since that is the basis for having a political party in the first place.

Republicans in Ike’s Day (stretching to and including Nixon) were New Dealers in re corporate and banking regulation, and lowering taxes was not on any party’s 3agenda. Result under both Democratic and Republican presidents during the WW II – 1970s era? A booming economy and explosion of the middle class, an interstate highway system, and even a proposal by Nixon for a GAW (guaranteed annual wage) for replacement of the welfare system (which was, unfortunately, rejected by the Congress). The New Deal was the “deal” under which both parties operated, and why? Because regulating corporate and banking businesses and fairly taxing them worked for the benefit of all, not just the under-regulated and under-taxed few like today which has resulted in deficits, crumbling infrastructure etc.

The old axiom of the physicist that “For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction” seems to have a place in political science as well. The New Deal was thus bound to attract those (see Gingrich and Wall Street) who objected to such a nirvana period in American economic and political history for their own gain, political and/or pecuniary. After all, there was no money to be made by serving all the peoples’ interests. All (including corporate and banking interests) were called upon to share in the common interests of the many under New Deal idealism and there was a sense at the time that the New Deal was a forever thing since it was working so well.  Unfortunately, It came to a grinding halt in the 1970s with Powell’s infamous memo and stagnant wages ever since as corporations started their (successful to date) takeover of the America’s political and economic apparatus. “We, the people” became a Beltway insider joke among both parties’ elite.

I am more than half-way through “Listen, Liberal,” a newly-published book by Thomas Frank, the well-known author of “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” I have been uneasy for years at how Democrats as well as Republicans seem to have been complicit in the destruction of the New Deal, and Frank provides the research proof in his latest offering to demonstrate just such a sellout to the Koch-led rich and corporate class. He points out that Democrats and Republicans (especially during the two Clinton terms) have joined forces to curry the favor of Wall Street and its deep campaign contribution pockets.

The so-called “New Democrats” with their DLC and other supposed centers of power have written off the New Deal as an artifact of a factory economy which has morphed into an information economy on a globalized scale and must therefore be left behind with its horse and buggy status. I think that is a phony argument. The New Deal is much more than how we are providing goods and services to a globalized market; it is about how we will treat our domestic producers and consumers and how we are to spread the wealth provided by any economic system, factory or information or the one down the road that will someday replace the information economy.

I think the argument that right and wrong are somehow to be undone by inserting Wall Street’s interest ahead of those of the rest of us is a disservice to all of us, and ultimately, to Wall Street itself, since it is both (per Robert Reich) unsustainable either economically or politically. “New Democrats” and their fellow Republicans are going to have to come up with a better argument than the one they have made so far in order to persuade me that right and wrong are subservient to the interests of paper shufflers and monopolist banking and corporate interests.

I will write Part II after completing Frank’s book on what appears to be the necessity of calling a meeting to determine if Democrats are Democrats. My commentaries over the years that predict the demise of the Republican Party unless reformed may have some application to my own party, a party apparently in need of reform as well if we are to have a common governing philosophy. Stay tuned.      GERALD      E

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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