How well would either the Republican or Democratic Parties have to govern, in order to have a perpetual dynasty; winning every single U.S. presidential election from now on, indefinitely, never losing again?
Voters have a tendency to want change and throw a party out of the White House after that party has been in office for around 8 or 12 years. If we look at** specific metrics,** how well do you think the Republicans or Democrats would have to perform to hold the presidency forever?
Say, 5% GDP growth, every year, with unemployment never rising above 3%, a crime rate that’s about half or one-third of where it currently is (as of the year 2016,) and an environment that’s getting better and cleaner every year?
The USA can face a dangerous world situation; that’s not a problem for popularity; in fact, a political party might arguably see its strength and popularity *enhanced *by the fact that it is standing up tall against dangerous and fearsome foreign threats.
In the US a party that takes the Presidency brings with it the seeds of its own destruction. The process make take 2-3-4 election cycles but eventually the voters will tire of that party and bring in the other.
The thing is, these may be goals that you value, but they may not be things that all voters value. So, let’s say this president achieves these goals, but to do this maybe it means that taxes need to go up. Maybe those increased taxes aren’t a big deal to you, but they are going to be a big deal to some people. There’s going to be any number of things that are universally considered good things but are impossible to maximize all at the same time. If we could provide more government services AND have lower taxes, maybe, but it’s always going to be a balance of what services people want and what they’re willing to pay for.
Also consider that even if crime rate suddenly dropped to half or a third of what it is now, unless it continues to drop or reaches a point where it’s negligible, the question won’t be “look at how this party dropped the crime rate by 2/3” it will change to “why has progress stagnated”. Consider, crime has dropped significantly over the last few decades, but yet crime is still a major issue. Or, we could improve the environment, maybe dropping pollution by some significant percentage, but some might argue that is too aggressive and effecting the economy and employment negatively, others might argue it’s not aggressive enough.
And besides all of that, there’s always going to be contentious issues that the people can’t agree what the right answer is in the short term. Look at gay marriage, for example, regardless of one’s opinion about whether it’s good or bad, it still is a very contentious issue and there are people out there who will NOT vote for a candidate who has the “wrong” opinion on that issue, even if they might think he’s otherwise great. Guns are another similar issue, where people will vote for a candidate they disagree with on many other issues if they share their views on gun rights/control. And these are going to be the last issues of this kind. What happens if a new issue arises that’s very divisive and, even if the then current party in power is doing great but has issue gaining a consensus on that? It could end up ousting an otherwise well received party.
Finally, it’s not going to stay that way regardless. Even if one party goes in and does extremely well and even if that makes the other party completely collapse, there’s going to be another group of people with other ideas about how to do all those things even better and they’d organize and create a new counter-party. More likely, as has happened in the past, if a party is out of power long enough they tend to start making adjustments to their platform and message to attract more of the electorate. This is the nature of competition.
For an analogy, it’s not unlike how for decades Microsoft rules the market but when Apple had a few well-received ideas and Microsoft failed to adapt to the changing paradigm fast enough, they lost massive market share. However, now Microsoft is adapting and slowly regaining some market share but it doesn’t seem like they’ll ever regain all of it. And, of course, while that was going in, Google came in and took the largest current chunk of the market. This isn’t a perfect analogy, but I think it goes to show that no matter how dominant a company or, in this case party, seems, it only takes a few missteps for a massive swing.
So, I don’t think we’ll ever see a single party in power unless we’re taken over by some totalitarian regime or there’s such a fundamental shift in our culture that it would render both parties, as they exist in their current forms, unfit. The party that will ultimately be the most successful is going to be the one that best adapts to these changes in the future and responds to the needs and desires of the people as a result.
I agree with Blaster Master. It’s not a question of how well they’d have to govern; it’s a question of how you’d get a majority of the country to consistently agree on everything. If you can’t accomplish that second goal, then there are going to be two parties–maybe not the Democrats and Republicans, but two parties. At least.
And as long as our presidential system has such a huge reliance on personal charisma, at some point the out-of-power party will run a candidate with more charisma than the in-power party, and win.
I’m afraid I must agree with the eight-armed sea creature this time.
Demographics change over time; if the Republicans ever figure out how to appeal to the (socially) conservative Black and Hispanic vote (which they have FUBAR’ed ever chance they have been handed to date, IMHO), then the demographics may suddenly work much better for the Republicans. And populations don’t stay static either; we’ve seen major population shifts before and there is no reason to think they won’t happen again.
Never say never; history has a way of laughing at those who say it.
It is possible for one party to do so well that it shuts the other party out forever. It is not, however, possible for one party to do so well that it stays in power forever. If one party manages to completely shut out the other, then within a few election cycles after that, the successful party will split into two new parties. And one of the two new parties might even take on the name of the previous unsuccessful party.
NOT the Republican party of 2016 but the Republican party of 2030 might be sufficiently different that they become viable again. And never underestimate the Democrat’s ability to shoot themselves in the foot.
I think that’s only partly true. If one party - be it the Republicans or Democrats - consistently has the economy in a bull market, the national debt shrinking year after year, crime low, taxes low, environment great, wins wars easily, science & technology rocketing ahead - that party may leach considerable numbers of voters away from the other party.
Regardless of how well things seem to be doing, you can always claim that things would be even better if you were in charge because you’d do X and Y that the guys in power won’t do and it would be better for everyone.
Two things would have to happen to ensure long term control of the White House by one party:
A reliable voting base that in normal times ensures a majority. The Democrats arguably had this from 1933-1968. The Republicans achieved ideological dominance from 1980-2008, but never had electoral dominance.
Good governing, no game changing screwups, and no major divisions among your base, no major economic meltdowns.
The Democrats are on their way to achieving #1, although it’s not guaranteed. But even if they do achieve #1, #2 will mean Republicans win the White House when they have a good enough candidate(such as when Ike was nominated), or that Democrats will self destruct or screw up in major ways.
The problem is that good governing is always relative. Suppose you have growth consitently between 5-7% and unemployment between 2-3%. Then those years that the growth is only 5% and unemployment rises to 3% are going to be seen as bad years and a time to throw the bums out and let someone else have a try.
There are a lot of factors. Good governing is a matter of perception, but a party can survive recessions if it’s perceived that they are doing their best to ameliorate it. Recessions used to not kill Presidencies. The first President to fall victim purely to a recession was Bush 41, IMO. And that’s because he was perceived to only care about foreign policy and he faced a candidate who brilliantly focused on the economy.
I think the keys to good governing are:
No major screwups, like the Iraq war or the Vietnam war or ignoring problems that lead to major recessions.
No major ethical scandals, or a pattern of minor scandals that lead the public to believe that your party has a culture of corruption surrounding it.
Not getting too far out in front of public opinion. Doing what the public wants makes the public happy, as a general rule. If you do what the public doesn’t want, then you’d better be right and the public should see you as right as soon as possible.
The government should at minimum be perceived to be working as expected, as in barely acceptable. A government that becomes a joke for its screwups, cost overruns, and general lack of concern for its customers eventually damages confidence in the party in power.
The party in power does not control the country’s economy. It doesn’t control manufacturing. It doesn’t control banking. It doesn’t control scientific breakthroughs. It doesn’t control medicine or disease. It doesn’t control social attitudes. It doesn’t control the weather or natural disasters. It doesn’t control any of these things in the 200 other countries in the world that are always doing things that some people don’t like.
The truth is that the party in power reacts to outside stimuli. It lags societal trends at all times. At best, it runs in front of the public and shouts, “let’s keep going.” Sometimes it can mitigate outside disasters well enough to get credit, but disasters are incompatible with your utopia.
The world doesn’t run in the way you describe. Therefore no party can retain power by doing the things you describe.
Even China’s party can’t control these things. Totalitarian regimes that do claim a Utopia are better at cooking the books than actually controlling economies. Even if such control over economics was possible, America’s voters would be the last in the world to trust the government to do it.