Posted 88 days ago
First off, Cobb's article was very good in establishing the current dual-party's history in the United States. Less than a century ago, the Southern Democratcs, or "Dixicrats" were the predominantly White party with overtly racist policies. Republicans, orginally the party of Lincoln and some of the most ardent supporters for civil rights, both for Black Americans and women, strategically moved into the South and picked up a different rhetoric to appeal to White, Southern voters.
Cobb makes it clear that this is a simplification; the Republican Party also housed McCarthyism at the same time it was pursuing civil rights. So it's not a dramatic a change as we sometimes like to think. There is clearly this growing tendency towards the right following the world wars in the Republican Party. Of course the Party did try to pick up more Southern voters, but I think it's also a possibility that Southern voters started identifying more with this form of Right-wing politics rather than JFK or LBJ for example.
But then this morphed into Goldwater, an obvious rascist, and the "Gingrich Revolution" and the "Tea Party." Cobb notices this trend and gives the following analysis:
In addition, the G.O.P.’s steady drift toward the right, from conservative to reactionary politics; its dependence on older, white voters; its reliance on right-wing media; its support for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans; and its increasing disdain for democratic institutions and norms all portend increasing division and a diminishing pool of voters.
This is somewhat true, I think. It definitely targets older, White voters, but that block is also much bigger than a simple percentage of the population seems to indicate. White families have way more wealth than any other demographic, and that translates directly into political power in America. The commonly referred to "minority rule" is absolutely a possibility, especially as it is made more difficult to vote across traditionally conservative states critical for the Electoral College.
There are two things here that I have a problem with from center-Left-leaning commentators: there is a belief that the Electoral College is "undemocratic." I think that's crazy; it's completely democratic, it's trying to give more rural areas of the country, which produce ALL of the food and resources for us, to have a say in the structure of the country. Saying that all votes should be counted equally ignores the simple fact that politics will become city-driven. There are just vastly more people in cities and they care about vastly different policies. It's crucial that rural areas have power, because they produce everything that we need to live and prosper.
The other is that somehow while the Democratic Party is "stable," the Republican party is crumbling. I voted Democrat in the 2020 election, but I know full well that many of the Democrats are ex-insurance company CEOs and Wall Street execs. It's absolutely crazy that Leftist policies have to be grouped in this coalition.
So I don't think that the Republican Party will fall apart as Cobb indicates. I think that the Left should push really, really hard until they lose power, and then will try to break apart the Democratic Party as well until we can change the current Party structure to have more than simply two enormous, national Parties. Our wants and desires as citizens are much more fine grained than a single bucket that can have Sanders and Bloomberg competing against each other for the candidacy (the same as Trump and Mitt Romney).
It's certainly an interesting anlysis, and a fun history to read, but I think the chance of the Republican Party dying is near 0%. White America is powerful and will find ways to perserve itself and its desires for years to come. I think our job is to make sure to fight voter suppression and try to build more grassroots, local parties that don't adhere to the identity politics of the national Parties (Trump vs. Biden). But to think that the Republican Party is going away anytime soon is crazy to me.