The Unattainable Permanent Majority
Political Party machinations in 2013
Both the Democrat and the Republican parties are under the mistaken opinion that if they obfuscate their respective party platforms enough, they will attain an unattainable permanent majority.
The fact that both parties are actively generalizing their party platforms creates a great deal of confusion. For instance, many Democrats thought the 2012 Presidential race was much tighter than it turned out to be. They were pleasantly surprised by the mandate President Obama received.
Pundits were equally surprised. Since the election they have been busily explaining their lack of ability to accurately predict the results. According to them, the Republicans “lost” the Latino vote. Some Republicans are apparently following the advice of the pundits. They are making a new found effort towards immigration reform in an attempt to make up “lost ground.”
Note: At the time this was originally written, everybody thought the Republicans would have to become more sympathetic towards immigration, but the 2016 election seems to have proven that assumption wrong.
Pertinent Historical Background: The Japanese describe the difference between the illusion of reality and reality itself. Honne is their word to describe a person’s true feelings and beliefs. Tatemae is the public face that a person (or party) presents to the world, which often times conflicts with their Honne.
Disclosure: The information in the paragraph above was stol…I mean borrowed from a study of cheating in the world of Sumo wrestling. The study was conducted by Steven D. Levitt and creatively written about by Stephen J. Dubner in a book called Freakonomics.
Both parties are presenting Tatemae (a public face) to the world. Both parties want to present a unified front which they can never do because no such massive unanimity of opinion can ever exist.
Aside: This web site is dedicated to sweeping away the illusions and to helping people discover their true shared interests, their shared Honne. It is a site designed to help you discover people who share most, or all, of your true opinions. In numbers there is strength! This site is designed to help people find and create an extended family.
Recently WinLoseorDraw visited a Democratic stronghold on the internet, the Daily Kos. The Kos was founded by Markos Moulitsas and goes by the last three letters of his first name. Apparently the Kos has been listening to the pundits, too. On June 22 Joe Markowitz, in a post entitled “Optimism,” reported that Markos had said that the Democratic party might be on the way to achieving “something that might approach permanent majority status in politics.” Mr. Markowitz wisely cautions Democrats to temper their optimism. He urges a historical assessment .
Mr. Markowitz sites persuasive historical examples to illustrate the shifting landscape of politics. He correctly identifies two roadblocks to Democratic Dominion: the shifting loyalties of the working class, and the effects of cataclysmic events, such as war. Yes, some newly affluent individuals may shift their allegances as they move up the social ladder. Yes, some people might prefer to have a more bellicose and hawkish presence in the White House during times of war. However, Mr. Markowitz missed, in WinLoseorDraw’s humble opinion, the most potent threat to Democratic Dominion. “It’s the economy…,” ladies and gentlemen.
Republicans, for many years, have been characterizing Democrats as “Tax and Spend Liberals.” Their strategy, although divisive, is working.
Anecdotal observation: Several of the more vocal of the working class and middle class guys on WinLoseorDraw’s old, guy softball team are vociferously anti-Democratic and vociferously anti-President Obama. They seem to be incorrectly associate the entire Democratic Party with the concept of “a free lunch for all.”
Capsule analysis: The continuouly changing connotations of political terms makes it nearly impossible for the average person to figure out their true allies and their true opponents. None of the Democrats WinLoseorDraw knows want to throw money away, not their own nor yours, yet they are characterized as “Tax and Spend Liberals.” None of the Republicans WinLoseorDraw knows harbor any fantasies about creating a permanent and subservient under class, yet that is how they are often perceived.
Traditionally, dating back to at least the mid-1700’s, the term Liberal stood for the concept of Sovereign Individuals with the right to stand against the mis-steps of an autocratic State. Today, politicians on the Right routinely call for less government. The Republicans are becoming the new (for lack of a better word) Liberals, or at least that is what their rhetoric tends to suggest. All the while they use the term “Liberal” as a pejorative to characterize or, more accurately, mis-characterize the Democratic wing.
Unless the Democrats can find a way to take the lead in Belt Tightening, it won’t be them who realize “something approaching permanent majority status.”