Monday, January 19, 2004

Chiefs and Priests: For the second year in a row, the Atlantic Monthly has put together a series of articles on the State of the Union. However, you shouldn't expect that what they talk about will be anything the President or the Democrats are talking about. Most of the writers are from the New America Foundation, which is best described as a Gen-X think-tank. One that I found most intriguing is by New America head Ted Halested. Halstead tries to describe the current state of the political parties and how they end up not serving the public interest, but their own constituencies. It's a depressing read until the last paragraph. Halstead notes that American politcal parties, unlike their European counterparts are:

are mere vessels; the principles, agendas, and coalitions they contain can vary dramatically from decade to decade. It is just a matter of time, history suggests, until both parties are reinvented. Let us hope they will improve.

I think that is why I remain in the GOP even though it has become such a right-wing party. Think about it; 50 years ago, the Republicans were a more moderate party, the party of New Englanders and Midwesterners. However, when southerners who left the increasingly pro-civil rights Democrats in the 60s, the hijakced the GOP and used it as a new base. I think if moderates were creative enough and looking for a place to call home, they can easily take the party back. The parties have always flip-flopped over the years. The Dems were considered the party of fundamentalists 100 years ago. In the 1920s, the Republicans produced socialists like William LaFollette of Wisconsin. I have to believe that those who are in charge of the parties today will lose power and hopefully a new era of moderation will take place....if moderates get involved again.


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