What should the Democratic and Republican parties be like? (other than morphing into each other)

This LA Times article ( http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-berlatsky-this-why-trump-won-20180723-story.html ) kind of put into words something I’ve felt for a while - namely, that the recommendation of Republicans is essentially that “Democrats need to become Republicans” and vice versa. ISTM that in the views of liberals, Republicans ought to be pro-choice, pro-SSM, pro-gun-control, pro-AA, etc…to the point that the GOP might as well become the Blues, and that in the view of conservatives, Democrats need to become pro-life, pro-gun, pro-traditional marriage, until…they aren’t the GOP anymore.
So, if there have to be a Republican Party and Democratic Party - and they both will always have the support of 45% of the American electorate, each, or so (that’s the condition) - and they should both diverge significantly on the issues - then what should their party platforms/agendas look like?

I don’t understand the question. The jist seems to be that everyone assumes that they know what is correct and wishes other people believed the same way.

Personally I think what should happen is the Democrats become the right wing of American politics and the Republicans cease to exist after abandoning the many negative things that have crept into their platform over the last 40 years.

In a two party system there should ideally be plenty of ideological diversity within the two parties. But assuming you’re referring to what the dominant factions should be, it should look a little something like this:

Democrats are the party of government and the little guy.

Republicans are the party of competence, budget restraint, and the affluent(those making over $75K a year, not the super rich).

The Democrats have recently become an unwieldy coalition of poor minorities and rich culturally liberal white people. They are also the party of rationalism and responsibility, their socialist wing excepted. That’s not sustainable.

The Republicans have recently become an unwieldy coalition of rich businessmen and white blue collar workers. They are anti government rather than limited government, except when they want to use government for their purposes. They are irresponsible, running up huge deficits. they are anti-science. This is also not sustainable.

I do believe that Trump heralds a major reshuffling of the coalitions. Trump isn’t the cause of this, just the sign that it’s here. I think the red and blue states of today will look much different than the red and blue states of 2050, in the same way that the red and blue states of 1960 looked nothing like the red and blue states of 2000.

The Republican Party is in the process of imploding in an uncontrolled demolition. What remains of the Republicans will be the party of bigots, those who want a Christian theocracy, the ultra wealthy, and the usual hayseeds, rednecks, and hillbillies.

The Democratic Party will be the party of Truth, Justice, and The American Way, standing for reasoned discourse, rational decisions, and fiscal restraint while fighting to win secure liberty for all that have been traditionally repressed by Republicans.

The way it should work is that there should be a liberal party coming up with new ideas, and trying to make things better, and a conservative party championing the old ideas, and trying to prevent things from getting worse. Some of the new ideas the liberals come up with will turn out to be good ideas, and they’ll eventually become the good old ideas that the next generation of conservatives will defend, and some of the new ideas the liberals come up with will turn out to be bad ideas, and the conservatives will point out why they’re bad and prevent them from being implemented.

What we have instead right now is the conservatives coming up with all sorts of crazy new ideas, and the liberals trying to prevent things from getting worse, and neither is very good at that, so the country is going to Hell in a handbasket.

I suppose one might say that the ideas that conservatives want to implement are to get back to what they think the past used to be like, while forgetting all the bad stuff that is best left in the past.

Some of it wasn’t even that bad, but in romanticising, for example, Ronald Reagan, they’ve built up a mythology around him that doesn’t reflect his actual tax policies.

Nice try, but in the real world if the GOP implodes, the reasonable conservatives join the Democrats and the Democratic Party moves to the right. Which you might have just said but I’m not sure.:smiley:

Ronald Reagan’s Presidency could be an extremely valuable model if conservatives would take an honest look at what actually worked and didn’t work during his time in office. Bill Clinton’s is instructive as well, because he furthered a lot of conservative goals in his eight years, with prodding from Newt, who is a lot smarter and more moderate than people give him credit for(when prodded by Clinton).

How do you feel states and coalitions will change?

Here is my impression of what is coming:

Whites high in authoritarianism and who fear cultural displacement become more and more right wing. The GOP becomes less and less a libertarian party and more of a protofascist white nationalist party.

The US becomes more multicultural and multi-racial, with those people being dems.

Liberals grow as a % of the democratic coalition.

Whites low in authoritarianism with good incomes (college educated whites in the suburbs) become disillusioned because they don’t like either the white nationalist, authoritarian party on the right or the PC obsessed, socialist party on the left.

I’m not sure what the end result is or how states will realign because of this. The big realignment will be that urban and rural areas will be more hostile to each other.

But as far as individual states, not sure. Even now, the transitioning of states from red to blue (like Virginia, North carolina, Texas, etc) seems to be due to the growth in multiracial voters and growth in urban areas.

The transitioning from blue to red (like the midwest or northeast) is due to the democrats hemorrhaging support from whites w/o a college degree.

Also keep in mind that white silent generation and white boomers are more conservative than white millennials on average. So who knows how that will affect politics in the coming decades. Maybe millennials will move to the right, or generation Z will. I’m not sure.

The parties should be like buggy whips, relics of the past.

Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve always said that the Republicans should stand against the Kansas-Nebraska Act and oppose the expansion of slavery, and the Democrats should stand for the Jeffersonian conception of an agrarian society.

But that’s just me.

You’re already seeing that actually. Among my friends who I actually discuss politics with, we all fall into this category. Once upon a time we were all either fairly lukewarm republicans or democrats, but hadn’t drunk the kool-aid of the parties’ bases. Now things have become more of a choice between hemlock or arsenic; we don’t want either, and we know both are poisonous, but we feel like we have to vote and make a choice.

And… I’d be really hesitant to make assumptions about how the Hispanic population will vote in the future. In my experience, once you get out of the immigrants or the first generation or so after them, they vote surprisingly conservative, especially if they are in the middle class.

The latino vote has been consistently about 2:1 for the democrat since 1980.

Could it change? Yes. Whites w/o a college education have changed their voting habits dramatically in the last 20 years, going from breaking fairly even between the 2 parties to voting GOP by nearly 40 point margins.

Whites in the south went from strictly democrats to strictly republicans.

So latinos may change, but for the last ~40 years, latinos have been pretty consistent in voting dem 60-70% of the time.

Add in all the hostility towards brown skinned people and immigrants the right is currently feeling, and I don’t know if latinos will join the modern GOP.

This is what both parties need to become: The Party of Reality. The Republicans more so that the Democrats, these days, but both need work.
We need policies that are based on reality - the best data we can get, the best analyses we can make. Even within that, there’s room for debate on what to do, based on personal or political philosophy, or ethics*. But if we don’t have a common ground of facts to agree on, all the discussion in the world is pointless.

*Like tax policy. We really should have a grasp on what the effects are of raising or lowering taxes on the economy and government financing. And based on that, we can then argue about what the correct level of taxes should be, based on what it is we think the government should be doing. But we can’t have that serious discussion because fantasies like trickle down economics have muddied the water.

Fine, if everybody to the right of Newt Gingrich was relegated to some political wilderness fringe and the Democratic party (plus a few reasonable conservatives) became America’s right-wing choice balanced by a more leftist Progressive political party, I think you’d be much better off, or at least closer to every other liberal democracy in the world.

Of course immigrants are naturally conservative! There was a whole movement in the Republican party to court Hispanics and Muslims. They were a natural constituency, people who voted for family issues, social conservatism, small business friendly policies, low taxes, and so on.

Now, what happened to that picture? The problem is that a significant part of the Republican base fucking hates Hispanics and Muslims and Negroes, and a particular Republican presidential candidate noticed that, and realized he could win the primary by nakedly appealing to white nationalists.

Sure, in theory it would be easy for a party that stood for what the Republican party claimed it stood for to appeal to immigrants. But the mask slipped a bit, and it’s going to take another generation before non-white people are going to believe that the Republican party is going to serve their interests.

And the problem here is that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. If by appealing to the nativists the Republicans scare off the non-white vote for a generation, those votes are going to get written off. No need to appeal to those people if there’s no way they’ll vote for us anyway, so we might as well go all-in on the white nationalist vote.

Of course, a generation from now this could all be different. The Democratic Party was the party of the South since Reconstruction ended, then along came Civil Rights in the 1960s and the Democrats split in two, and the Republicans scooped up the South for a generation.

So it’s super-easy to imagine the Republican party re-inventing itself as the party of X, Y, and Z and not being the party of white nationalism and plutocracy any more. In other countries the likelihood is that a discredited party would just collapse and their constituents move to new startup parties. That’s what happened in the UK when Labor ate up the Liberals. It’s what happened in the US when the Republicans ate up the Whigs.

But more likely than the Republican party collapsing is that if it gets seriously damaged that just makes it easier for a reform-minded candidate to take over the party and remake it in a new image.

Hard to predict but your ideas are pretty good. One of the instabilities in the current coalitions is how it disadvantages Democrats electorally. Without white working class voters, Democrats have to win 53% of the vote or so to be sure of House majorities, and probably win by at least 3-4 points in the popular vote to be sure of EC victories in Presidential elections(although normally 1-2 points should do the trick. Clinton played the map exceptionally poorly, something Obama’s team would have never done). Senate and governors’ races are even tougher, because states can’t be ungerrymandered and Trump won 30 of them. Those 30 states may sour on Trump, but the factors that elected him aren’t going away. If the Democrats continue on their current course of being primarily an urban party, then the margins they need to win majorities will only rise over time, even without gerrymandering. Since reform is nearly impossible(constitutional amendments), Democrats have no choice but to appeal to white working class voters.

Democrats also have a problem with high income voters. It’s not a problem if they limit their ambitions, but with progressives wanting big new government programs, raising taxes on their wealthy culturally liberal supporters is necessary. Which means they’ll lose a lot of those wealthy liberal supporters. The upside is that big new programs cost them those wealthy urban voters but probably win them a lot of union voters and poorer white voters, so it balances the coalitions out a little bit as far as the system not excessively hurting Democrats. At this point the Democrats could stand to trade some of their urban supporters for rural supporters.

I’ve criticized Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for being a moron, but she had one insight I hadn’t considered: her generation is friendly so socialism because they’ve never actually seen a good economy and good job prospects. Now they are just starting to. I think they’ll be plenty conservative once they are making good money and have their own homes and families.

That’s because it’s heavily 1st generation. Latino immigration is in decline, which means the Latino population will become wealthier and whiter, due to intermarriage and most Latinos already identifying as white.

In fact, by 2050, the white population if you include white Hispanics is expected to be near 70%. If Latino immigration continues to decline, the vast majority will simply identify as white.

Given that most Latinos are white and just as likely to be hostile to brown skinned people as non-Hispanic whites, that doesn’t seem to pose many problems for the Trump coalition.

One way in which the GOP needs to change is get the fuck out of its bubble.

42% of Republicans believe that Russia didn’t try to influence the 2016 election. (Scroll down to the first table, bottom row, second column.)

Now that’s an established FACT at this point. (The only question is whether the Trump campaign collaborated with the Russians on this.) Yet nearly half of all Republicans believe it didn’t happen.

That’s far from the only area where the divergence between what Republicans believe and what is fact is a real obstacle to good public policy. But it’s the one that popped up in my feed this morning. It’ll be something different tomorrow.

If the GOP were lead by Barry Goldwater, Milton Friedman and John McCain types, it would be easier to see conflict as reasonable disagreement and more difficult to dismiss them as boorish bullies.