Diagnosis for Democracy
Insights into the State of Our Union
A Blog by Rob Tenery, MD


A New 'Centrist' Party--- It Could Happen

By Rob Tenery, MD on January 11, 2016

Realistically, this country probably can’t continue to function with the two major political parties aligned in the way they are currently. Despite the Republican Party’s claims to the contrary, they are known as the party of the white males, big business and the religious right. On the other side, the Democrats have been able to pull in the underprivileged, unions, single females, blacks and Hispanics. Our republic is sustained only because those with higher incomes pay more to support those on the lower end of the scale and/or the government pays by creating more debt. The tipping point comes when the funds (taxes) from the private and business sector have maxed out and/or the country can’t meet its debt obligations by just printing more money.

Our two major political parties may be on the verge of going through some dramatic changes in an attempt to move this country out of its political logjam. The concerns of national importance that must be addressed are the federal debt obligations, ineffective control of our borders, the unachievable entitlement commitments and protection of Americans from bodily harm both here and abroad. President Obama’s administration seems to be an aberration of where this country should be headed. Once he is no longer in office, hopefully, this country can ‘get back on course'.

Where the electorate has gone astray is that more and more elections are decided by the social issues such as racial allegiance, gay rights, minimum wage and women’s right to choose because the voting public is more self-absorbed, and not looking or even understanding the importance of the bigger picture.

Unless Hillary Clinton wins the Presidency, the political posture of this country will move in the direction of conservatism for the next four years. (This could well be the last time that occurs since the entitlement dependent voters probably will dominate the elections after that) Additionally, Obama’s ability to wield power over the Congress and the Supreme Court is unprecedented in modern times, even though both houses of Congress are in the hands of the Republican Party. No matter who ascends to the White House after the next election that degree of control should be less.

The American voters are not only dissatisfied with their current representation in Washington, they are angry. This explains the reason for the popularity of Bernie Sanders by a surprising number of Democrats and Donald Trump on the Republican side.

As the country takes stock in the aftermath of seven, going on eight, years under progressive dominance in Washington, the time may be right for a political party shake-up. In addition to the voter dissatisfaction, the country is changing demographically and socially with a more diverse ethnic population that is older, more self-adsorbed with less independent thinking.

The most significant possibility for change could be a blending of the old-school moderates in Democratic Party, such as the likes of John Kennedy, with the RHINO Republicans, like Mitt Romney, into one party.  As strange as that sounds the thinking among those two allegiances are similar in many ways. The similarities between former President Bill Clinton, former Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman and current Republican Senator John McCain are much greater than their differences. The new possible alliance would become a Centrist Party. *

The progressive wing would still represent the liberal leanings of committed Democrats. But, without the almost blind support for Obama by the vast majority of the black population, the voice of the remaining progressives would be greatly diminished from what it has been for the last seven plus years.

To the right would be the Tea Party Republicans whose platform would then be the conservative mantra of balanced budgets, less government interference and a stronger military presence. Still further right are the Libertarians who would probably align with the far right wing of the Republican Party or remain separate.

Is forming a new political party plausible? Although there could be another individual who comes forward in the future, let’s use Donald Trump as an example of how this could occur. Suppose the professed conservative, Republican candidate, is elected to the Presidency; not because Trump is universally liked or fully supported by his party, but because he appeals to the rampant dissatisfaction with ‘Washington’. If Trump feels or is abandoned by the establishment of the Republican Party, or if once elected, disagrees with the Republican Party platform, then he has to make a choice--- stay as a maverick Republican, switch parties or go independent. 1,2If Trump chose to leave the Republican Party, there would be a significant contingency of voters that would go with him. Almost certainly, a new political party would form around him that would also attract candidates who would not automatically agree with all his positions and actions, but would align with him on principle.

The real question should be is there a need for a new blended political party. A party whose participants are not so mired in political positioning and focusing on getting reelected that this country can once again to move forward. There must be a middle ground where conservative minded Democrats and liberal minded Republicans could come together for the good of the country. A union, so to speak, that could look above the fray of social differences that seem to have taken control of the ‘ballot box’.

Could it happen after this next election? Only if the voting public begins to look beyond their own needs and quits listening to the pundits that virtually dictate their way of thinking!

References:

1. George Washington was elected as an independent and did not formally affiliate with any political party during his two terms. John Tyler was expelled from the Whig Party, and remained independent for the remainder of his Presidency. John Anderson, Ross Perot and Ralph Nader have all run for President as independent candidates.  Former Senator Joe Lieberman was the Democratic candidate for Vice-President in 2000 and then became an independent.

2. There is already an American Independent Party that is very God-centered and Constitutionally aligned. 





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