Political parties can no longer harness their bases

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Political parties can no longer harness their bases

Postby Rvaughn » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:46 pm

Columnist Jonah Goldberg offers an interesting take on political parties in:
Jonah Goldberg: Political parties can no longer harness their bases
Here are a few excerpts:
It is perhaps the central irony of our politics today: We live in an incredibly polarized and partisan moment, but our political parties have never been weaker.

As odd as it sounds, political parties in democracies have an important anti-democratic function. Traditionally, the parties shaped the choices put to voters. Long before voters decided anything in the primary or general elections, party bosses worked to groom good candidates, weed out bad ones, organize interests and frame issues.

When wielded by people who aren’t supposed to be in the politics business, that power corrupts. This is why every Academy Awards ceremony is peppered with asinine political jeremiads, and why late-night comedy hosts serve as de facto Democratic Party organizers.

It’s why people like Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, act like social-gospel ward heelers. It’s why the cable news networks spend so much of their time rallying voters in one direction or another. And it’s why countless pundits and allegedly objective reporters serve as unofficial political consultants.

It’s also why Donald Trump could leverage his celebrity to seize the GOP nomination, and why someone like Oprah Winfrey could be next.
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Re: Political parties can no longer harness their bases

Postby Haruo » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:23 am

Lot of realistic assessment there.
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Re: Political parties can no longer harness their bases

Postby Sandy » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:40 pm

From my personal perspective, being a core partisan has never made sense. You get locked into a package of issues that require lock-step conformity. Try to find a candidate that favors strict gun responsibility, believes health care is a basic human right and that a single-payer, government owned and operated health care system is the best option for good care and low costs, is against abortion on demand, believes America is a refuge from terror, oppression and poverty to the third world, favors an open trade policy, wants to reduce defense spending and replace it with diplomacy, is interested in subsidizing all non-fossil fuel sources and believes in tuition-free junior college.
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Re: Political parties can no longer harness their bases

Postby KeithE » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:09 pm

Sandy wrote:From my personal perspective, being a core partisan has never made sense. You get locked into a package of issues that require lock-step conformity. Try to find a candidate that favors strict gun responsibility, believes health care is a basic human right and that a single-payer, government owned and operated health care system is the best option for good care and low costs, is against abortion on demand, believes America is a refuge from terror, oppression and poverty to the third world, favors an open trade policy, wants to reduce defense spending and replace it with diplomacy, is interested in subsidizing all non-fossil fuel sources and believes in tuition-free junior college.


Pretty close to my political views although we have plenty of terror, oppression and poverty in our country as well (though no where near say Honduras or Guatemala but much less than the Scandinavian countries).

I’d also say joining a creedal-type denomination is very similar - you are asked to buy the whole package.

More lightheartedness / tolerance is needed across the board.

I find it heartening that the "political parties can no longer harness their bases”.
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Re: Political parties can no longer harness their bases

Postby Dave Roberts » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:03 am

I have been registered as independent since 1973. Nobody in partisan politics likes folks like me.
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Re: Political parties can no longer harness their bases

Postby Sandy » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:05 pm

When I lived in Texas, you didn't have to register by party, you just chose your primary and went to vote. When I moved to Pennsylvania, you had to register by party, so I registered "independent," and then found out I couldn't vote in the primary, so I switched to Democrat. It's the same in Illinois. I understand the idea behind trying to prevent crossover voters from affecting primary outcomes but I honestly think the practice of requiring partisan registration contributes to the polarization. I also think that the straight ticket box should be eliminated from all ballots. The states that don't allow those happen to be states where independents have been elected to statewide elections.
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Re: Political parties can no longer harness their bases

Postby Haruo » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:58 pm

Really? A straight ticket box? Incredible!

(I really didn't know such a thing existed. I thought everybody had to check each race.)
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Re: Political parties can no longer harness their bases

Postby JE Pettibone » Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:10 pm

Sandy wrote:When I lived in Texas, you didn't have to register by party, you just chose your primary and went to vote. When I moved to Pennsylvania, you had to register by party, so I registered "independent," and then found out I couldn't vote in the primary, so I switched to Democrat. It's the same in Illinois. I understand the idea behind trying to prevent crossover voters from affecting primary outcomes but I honestly think the practice of requiring partisan registration contributes to the polarization. I also think that the straight ticket box should be eliminated from all ballots. The states that don't allow those happen to be states where independents have been elected to statewide elections.


Ed: Sandy do you have a list of of states that have a straight ticket box on their ballot? I am not sure about Florida but I do think I saw such on my ballot. I have never in 64 years of voting, voted a straight ticket but I have no problem with states that allow it.
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Re: Political parties can no longer harness their bases

Postby KeithE » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:00 pm

JE Pettibone wrote:
Sandy wrote:When I lived in Texas, you didn't have to register by party, you just chose your primary and went to vote. When I moved to Pennsylvania, you had to register by party, so I registered "independent," and then found out I couldn't vote in the primary, so I switched to Democrat. It's the same in Illinois. I understand the idea behind trying to prevent crossover voters from affecting primary outcomes but I honestly think the practice of requiring partisan registration contributes to the polarization. I also think that the straight ticket box should be eliminated from all ballots. The states that don't allow those happen to be states where independents have been elected to statewide elections.


Ed: Sandy do you have a list of of states that have a straight ticket box on their ballot? I am not sure about Florida but I do think I saw such on my ballot. I have never in 64 years of voting, voted a straight ticket but I have no problem with states that allow it.


8 states have it with Texas planning to end it in Sept 2020.

Alabama
Indiana
Kentucky
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Texas: Repeal of straight-ticket voting scheduled to take effect September 1, 2020.
Utah

All of these are red states (possible exception is PA) and the powers to be want to keep it that way. I do have a problem with straight ticket voting - it encourages non-thinking, ill-informed voting.
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Re: Political parties can no longer harness their bases

Postby Sandy » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:34 pm

I don't really see the straight ticket box as a partisan issue. The legislature in Pennsylvania passed a repeal in 2014, and that was a bi-partisan bill in a majority Republican legislature with a Republican governor. He vetoed it. Now, under a Democratic governor who was just re-elected in a landslide, along with a Democratic majority in the state legislature, we will see if they reintroduce it.

I think having a straight ticket box on the ballot promotes partisanship and runs counter to the principles of a Republic. I think voters should have to look at each office on the ballot, the judges and the propositions.
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