Sunday, July 03, 2022

Rumors of the GOP's Death are Greatly Exaggerated

Back in 1997, the late and lamented RW Bradford of Liberty magazine edited and published an interesting volume of essays, including some by authors you may have heard of:

 The Last Democrat: Why Bill Clinton Will Be The Last Democrat Americans Elect President

Not an affiliate link, btw.

That instantly came to mind when I saw the headline at the Washington Examiner today:

Liz Cheney warns GOP 'can't survive' if Trump becomes 2024 nominee

All good (and bad) things must come to an end, of course, but chances are that the Republican Party will cease to exist at the same time as, and for the same reason as, the Democratic Party. That reason being the final collapse of United States itself.

The Republicans lost five presidential elections in a row once (1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, and 1948) without dying off.

They also they went from 1955 to 1994 without ever controlling the US House of Representatives, and from 1955 to 1979 without ever controlling the Senate, without dying off.

One reason for that is that neither the Democrats nor Republicans are really parties.

We've lived in a de facto one-party state since the late 19th century when the government seized control of voting with "ballot access" laws so as to effectually exclude any would-be competitors to the two then-dominant parties.

Since then, the two "parties" have converged into one actual party of two factions. Both jealously guard the single party's prerogatives while going through occasional cycles of re-balancing their comparative power while divvying up the spoils.

The fiction that the US is a multi-party democracy rather than a single-party regime is a useful fiction, so the two factions of the single party will maintain that fiction. But it's still a fiction.

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