The conventional understanding of the designation,” Political Party,” is that of an organization of members, generally sharing similar ideologies, that exists primarily to support candidates in elections. In democratic countries, competition has historically existed between liberal and conservative parties.
American electoral politics has essentially, been dominated by two major parties; the Democrats, philosophically, constituting the center-left, and the Republicans, the center-right. Since the middle of the 20th Century, more specifically, the Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, the Democratic members of Congress, took up the progressive cudgels of the cause of civil rights and remained dominant, in the Northern States. Congressional Democrats who had traditionally, been proponents of segregation (the “Dixiecrats”) withdrew, to become members of the Republican Party, which party has had its traditional home base in the Southern states.
Historically, the philosophical differences between the two political parties have been on such major issues as, taxes, the proper role of government, entitlements, gun control, abortion, immigration, health care, and environmental policy. In general, the Democratic Party has consistently, emphasized equality and social responsibility, while the Republican Party, has championed business, economic liberalism and opposition to governmental regulation.
There had always been a measure of polarization between citizens, on issues encompassing religious versus secular matters, national versus globalist policies, traditionalism versus modernism, and rural versus metropolitan. It would appear, however, that of late, political and social cleavages have become so deep as to override commonalities and have become divisibly, entrenched and self-perpetuating. In most cases, it appears, divisiveness and rancor have become the byproducts of divergent views on issues, themselves rather than party identification.
Such implacable differences are not necessarily ideological, but, fundamentally, appear to be based upon social and national differences. It is frightening and intellectually disturbing, to observe that such perpetually, deep cleavages in belief, appear to afford less importance to truth, and decisive weight given to the message (“group think”) of their “tribe.” The predictable and necessary result is the development of societal rancor and divisiveness, making difficult or impossible, tolerance, compromise and even social interaction. This unhealthy pathology, has tragically, metastasized, to a great number of our society and, as well, to our legislative and judicial branches of government.
Notably more discernable, since the disastrous one-term as President, of Donald J. Trump, is the pathological phenomenon that factual truth has lost relevance, comparable, to the immutable ideology of one’s committed group. What has, empirically, developed is a veritable holy war between the truth and personal, or party, interests. This societal and political competition was the essential catalyst for the January 6, revolutionary violence.
It is existentially, necessary that mainstream America be cognizant of this ongoing, perilous, decline and atavistic, metamorphosis, by voting and acting, in accordance with the well-founded expectations of its founders and thereby, causing the reinstatement of our traditional, systemic values and, thereby, reprise our former standing, as the global avatar of fairness and enlightenment.