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Political Realignment

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I just went through a book on electoral realignment. The book isn't as interesting as I thought it would be, but it is thought-provoking. My thoughts deviate a little bit from the author, but here are what my thoughts are:

  • US history has more than just realignment elections, we have realignment periods which ultimately result, at some point, in a definitive realignment national election. 
  • At some point during the realignment period, voters seeking decisive change and at a breaking point, surge to the polls. 
  • Strong 3rd parties are part of the realignment period and precede by an election or two, the definitive realignment election. 
  • Party identification probably decreases during some point in the realignment period. 
  • A realignment period will see a shift, which will show up as a seemingly abrupt change during a realignment election. Major changes in government policy and changes in the focus of national issues occurs. 
  • Major policy innovation results in a strong, unified party or parties. 

My first point isn't original to me, but the idea of a realignment period is often not considered. To me, it make sense, so I support that view. The later part of my first point is original to me. Points 2, 3, and 4, are completely borrowed from the book I read. Point 5 is highly modified by me, but is allied with point 6, which comes from the book I just read. 

My question for you is this: Do you think we are currently in a realignment period? If so, what is the evidence? Was 2016 a realigning election? If not, will 2020 be the realigning election? If neither, and if you think we are in a realignment period, when do you expect the realigning election to occur? What are your overall predictions?

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5 minutes ago, vcczar said:

I just went through a book on electoral realignment. The book isn't as interesting as I thought it would be, but it is thought-provoking. My thoughts deviate a little bit from the author, but here are what my thoughts are:

  • US history has more than just realignment elections, we have realignment periods which ultimately result, at some point, in a definitive realignment national election. 
  • At some point during the realignment period, voters seeking decisive change and at a breaking point, surge to the polls. 
  • Strong 3rd parties are part of the realignment period and precede by an election or two, the definitive realignment election. 
  • Party identification probably decreases during some point in the realignment period. 
  • A realignment period will see a shift, which will show up as a seemingly abrupt change during a realignment election. Major changes in government policy and changes in the focus of national issues occurs. 
  • Major policy innovation results in a strong, unified party or parties. 

My first point isn't original to me, but the idea of a realignment period is often not considered. To me, it make sense, so I support that view. The later part of my first point is original to me. Points 2, 3, and 4, are completely borrowed from the book I read. Point 5 is highly modified by me, but is allied with point 6, which comes from the book I just read. 

My question for you is this: Do you think we are currently in a realignment period? If so, what is the evidence? Was 2016 a realigning election? If not, will 2020 be the realigning election? If neither, and if you think we are in a realignment period, when do you expect the realigning election to occur? What are your overall predictions?

2016 might have been the start of the realignment period, though if not 2020 could be and likely would be for sure if Amash or Gabbard would run third party. I'd imagine we won't see the outcome of the realignment until 2028 though. 

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1 minute ago, SilentLiberty said:

2016 might have been the start of the realignment period, though if not 2020 could be and likely would be for sure if Amash or Gabbard would run third party. I'd imagine we won't see the outcome of the realignment until 2028 though. 

Yeah, I'm thinking it happens if Trump is defeated in 2020. It will start a massive innovative policy change for GOP to figure out how to be viable and appeal to Trump's base. The base might be unpredictable since it's more like a cult of Trump. If the cult leader is defeated, and doesn't run for a non-consecutive term, I think some of them will be rudderless. I think they're more attracted to Trump's personality than they are to anything he really stands for, since he doesn't really stand for much of anything. 

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2 minutes ago, vcczar said:

Yeah, I'm thinking it happens if Trump is defeated in 2020. It will start a massive innovative policy change for GOP to figure out how to be viable and appeal to Trump's base. The base might be unpredictable since it's more like a cult of Trump. If the cult leader is defeated, and doesn't run for a non-consecutive term, I think some of them will be rudderless. I think they're more attracted to Trump's personality than they are to anything he really stands for, since he doesn't really stand for much of anything. 

It'll happen even if it Trump wins. If he wins then it is more dependent on who the Dems nominate against him. Too far left and the party will shift toward center, too far center and the party will shift towards the left. Will be interesting to see.

 

In regards to Trump and the Republicans. If Don Jr gets out clean I'd expect him to attempt to run as the heir to the MAGA's regardless of when his father's presidency ends. So Don Jr could, imo, run in 2024 or 2028 depending on how the 2020 election cycle goes and who the Dems might run in 2024.

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1 hour ago, SilentLiberty said:

It'll happen even if it Trump wins. If he wins then it is more dependent on who the Dems nominate against him. Too far left and the party will shift toward center, too far center and the party will shift towards the left. Will be interesting to see.

 

In regards to Trump and the Republicans. If Don Jr gets out clean I'd expect him to attempt to run as the heir to the MAGA's regardless of when his father's presidency ends. So Don Jr could, imo, run in 2024 or 2028 depending on how the 2020 election cycle goes and who the Dems might run in 2024.

Don Jr completely lacks Trump's force of personality (I won't call it charisma). I doubt he'll inspire any sort of leadership among the base. 

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6 minutes ago, vcczar said:

Don Jr completely lacks Trump's force of personality (I won't call it charisma). I doubt he'll inspire any sort of leadership among the base. 

Apparently he's been the most effective Trump family member(that's not Pres. Trump himself) in campaigning for Republicans nationwide. So I wouldn't write it off completely. 

I don't agree in that he lacks the charisma/force of personality completely, however he is not his father and I think if someone else is running in the MAGA lane(almost guaranteed someone else will) then there is a good chance he'd lose the primaries.

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I think if realignment is going to occur it will be mostly from some shift among Republicans. The infighting between Sanders/Warren/Gabbard wings and the Biden/Clinton/Obama wings is not really that significant. They pretty much agree on most things, it's more about focus and priority. 

The Republican tribes are much more varied, and it is unclear which way it's going to break. I'd argue that moderate Republicanism would be a winning scenario if they find a way to make it at least somewhat populist. Republican governors in Blue states have among the highest--if not the highest--approval ratings. If the part mirrored them, they'd probably win over moderates from the Democrats. They just need to think of a way to not be too isolating to populists conservatives. I should also note, that by saying moderate, I'm not saying to return to a moderate Republicanism of the past, but something new--- Socially tolerant Republicans (Charlie Baker, Larry Hogan, Phil Scott, Susana Martinez, Nikky Haley) meet a toned down version of Trumpism, basically the more popular Trump policies, but reframed to be less offensive and reformed to be more effective. The big losers in this would be the Cruz wing (social conservatives) and the Graham wing (war hawks). Democrats would have to either respond by contesting for the middle, veering left and hoping that they can normalize far-left views on a large scale, or (and I doubt this happens) make a play for the ignored war hawks and/or social conservatives. The reason why I choose to isolate the Cruz and Graham wings from a hypothetical realignment is that these are the parts of the party that are dying. Neocons are fading fast, at least for now. Religion in America has been declining with each new generation, which hurts social conservatives in the long game. The new social conservatives will be relatively social conservative compared to a newer leftward center in the social spectrum, I think. 

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6 minutes ago, vcczar said:

Cruz wing (social conservatives)

I think you misplace Cruz's focus and leadership. It's not of religious conservatives. It's Conservatarians. 

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1 hour ago, Reagan04 said:

It's Conservatarians. 

Can you please define this Americanism for me? And that's a sincere question in good faith seeking actual knowledge, not a snide, sarcastic, and caustic barb, actually. And yes, Americanism (or any <demonym>ism) is a proper term for a word of parlance usually endemic to specific group in usage.

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2 minutes ago, Patine said:

Can you please define this Americanism for me? And that's a sincere question in good faith seeking actual knowledge, not a snide, sarcastic, and caustic barb, actually. And yes, Americanism (or any <demonym>ism) is a proper term for a word of parlance usually endemic to specific group in usage.

No worries, and yeah I'm familiar with demonymisms.

So Conservatarianism is similar to Fusionist Conservatism. It takes the right-wing economics of libertarianism and tempers them with the social values of conservatism. Now, I think it's also important to note that Conservatarians generally break from mainstream conservatives on issues like immigration and privacy rights. A Conservatarian is likely to be Pro-Life, but not necessarily for religious reasons. A Conservatarian will invariably take issue to over taxation and suspicion of general taxation. A Conservatarian will break from Neocons when we're sinking trillions of dollars into endless wars. These are just some of the characteristics that define the ideology. I think that Conservatarianism is really a good definition for American conservatism as opposed to European or even Canadian conservatism which are both far less libertarian-leaning than the American Right.

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19 minutes ago, Reagan04 said:

I think that Conservatarianism is really a good definition for American conservatism as opposed to European or even Canadian conservatism which are both far less libertarian-leaning than the American Right.

Except for Neo-Conservatism, I would assume would be a qualifier here, which was also an American ideological innovation, often pegged as having it's genesis in the Nixon Era, if I recall reading. Would that be correct?

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4 minutes ago, Patine said:

Except for Neo-Conservatism, I would assume would be a qualifier here, which was also an American ideological innovation, often pegged as having it's genesis in the Nixon Era, if I recall reading. Would that be correct?

Yes, there are of course offshoots and interventionism kinda presents itself as a z axis on the traditional economy-society axes which is popular and I know you despise. However, when we think of what makes someone like Maxime Bernier different from Canadian conservatives and more alike to American conservatives, Conservatarianism comes into play much more so than neoconservatism. Simply because in Europe many conservatives are very much interventionists as well.

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19 hours ago, vcczar said:

I just went through a book on electoral realignment. The book isn't as interesting as I thought it would be, but it is thought-provoking. My thoughts deviate a little bit from the author, but here are what my thoughts are:

  • US history has more than just realignment elections, we have realignment periods which ultimately result, at some point, in a definitive realignment national election. 
  • At some point during the realignment period, voters seeking decisive change and at a breaking point, surge to the polls. 
  • Strong 3rd parties are part of the realignment period and precede by an election or two, the definitive realignment election. 
  • Party identification probably decreases during some point in the realignment period. 
  • A realignment period will see a shift, which will show up as a seemingly abrupt change during a realignment election. Major changes in government policy and changes in the focus of national issues occurs. 
  • Major policy innovation results in a strong, unified party or parties. 

My first point isn't original to me, but the idea of a realignment period is often not considered. To me, it make sense, so I support that view. The later part of my first point is original to me. Points 2, 3, and 4, are completely borrowed from the book I read. Point 5 is highly modified by me, but is allied with point 6, which comes from the book I just read. 

My question for you is this: Do you think we are currently in a realignment period? If so, what is the evidence? Was 2016 a realigning election? If not, will 2020 be the realigning election? If neither, and if you think we are in a realignment period, when do you expect the realigning election to occur? What are your overall predictions?

Can I make the argument that the 2008 was the start of the ongoing realignment. I agree the two parties are changing, but I feel 2008 was the starting point. The first nonwhite candidate won the nomination of a major party(while in a tight primary race with a woman), a signal of the Democratic Party's drift away from centrist policies and more towards liberal/progressive policies. The financial crash forced both parties to reexamine the American economy from different angles. Democrats  began drifting more to the left on economic issues, viewing the issues of the American economy stemmed from the wealth gap; and Republicans began moving further to the right and adopting more populist messaging(first the Tea Party, and with Trump). Traditional Democratic strongholds after 2008 began drifting to the Republican Party(the upper midwest as the prime example), and yet began gaining voters in the traditional republican strongholds of the suburbs in the sun belt(Georgia, Florida, Texas, Arizona). 

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For there to be any real realignment would require the larger parties to have consistent philosophies.  Neither of them do.  A North Carolina Democrat will likely have very different positions on most issues than an Oregon Democrat.  Other than abortion, there's no area where disagreeing with the party platform is disqualifying for either party.

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9 minutes ago, pilight said:

For there to be any real realignment would require the larger parties to have consistent philosophies.  Neither of them do.  A North Carolina Democrat will likely have very different positions on most issues than an Oregon Democrat.  Other than abortion, there's no area where disagreeing with the party platform is disqualifying for either party.

This idea is historically inaccurate when you consider historical realignment eras. I'll give one example since I don't have time right now to go down the list. But 1932 was a realigning election. Just about every scholar that thinks about realigning elections considers this one as such. However, it was, like almost all the realigning elections---and maybe all of them--was a coalition of philosophies, many of the inconsistent. In 1932, you'd probably find even less in common between a Mississippi Democrat and a Massachusetts Democrat and a Montana Democrat. Their common glue wasn't a specific issue, but rather something more intangible: That the Democrats can and will use government for the benefit of the common people. That said, the party was completely split--more so than today---on Civil Rights, on taxation, and even on how much government is too much government. In fact, the coalition would almost appear to be more inconsistent than the divide between most GOP Senators and most Dem Senators today or at least comparable. Therefore, at least historically speaking, your statement is wrong. However, one could argue that the times have changed and so the requirements have changed. That is the argument that must be made first before your statement can carry any weight. 

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15 years ago, the Republican party could be thought to consist of several parties.

They were

  1. Neo-conservatives (Bill Kristol, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Dick Cheney to an extent). <<< significant influence on foreign policy
  2. Chamber of Commerce Republicans (Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney). <<< significant influence on tax, trade, immigration policy
  3. Religious conservatives (Mike Pence). <<< significant influence on abortion and some other social policies
  4. Paleo-conservatives (Pat Buchanan). <<< lacked influence, but popular in the grass-roots, later superseded by Tea Party
  5. Libertarians (Gary Johnson - he was a Republican when Governor, Justin Amash). <<< allied with Chamber of Commerce, but also lacked influence

Trump orchestrated a hostile takeover of the Republican party. In particular, he explicitly rejected neo-conservative views on foreign interventionism (repudiation of Iraq War) and Chamber of Commerce views on trade (free trade -> fair trade, globalism -> America first) and immigration (what's good for corporations -> what's good for lower- and middle-class Americans).

NeverTrumpers are almost all from the first two categories, although many Chamber of Commerce Republicans are happy with how the economy is working as of yet. Religious conservatives were brought on board by promises of Supreme Court Justices, and are generally happy with the results. Trump's views are largely consistent with paleo-conservative views. Libertarians don't really have anywhere to go, but you see some like Amash leaving to become independents and many of course voted Libertarian in 2016.

I don't know if this is a political realignment in the populace, but it was a significant realignment within the Republican party's power structure that was the result of years of misalignment between the interests of the Republican party elites and those of the middle-class members.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, admin_270 said:

15 years ago, the Republican party could be thought to consist of several parties.

They were

  1. Neo-conservatives (Bill Kristol, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Dick Cheney to an extent). <<< significant influence on foreign policy
  2. Chamber of Commerce Republicans (Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney). <<< significant influence on tax, trade, immigration policy
  3. Religious conservatives (Mike Pence). <<< significant influence on abortion and some other social policies
  4. Paleo-conservatives (Pat Buchanan). <<< lacked influence, but popular in the grass-roots, later superseded by Tea Party
  5. Libertarians (Gary Johnson - he was a Republican when Governor, Justin Amash). <<< allied with Chamber of Commerce, but also lacked influence

Trump orchestrated a hostile takeover of the Republican party. In particular, he explicitly rejected neo-conservative views on foreign interventionism (repudiation of Iraq War) and Chamber of Commerce views on trade (free trade -> fair trade, globalism -> America first) and immigration (what's good for corporations -> what's good for lower- and middle-class Americans).

NeverTrumpers are almost all from the first two categories, although many Chamber of Commerce Republicans are happy with how the economy is working as of yet. Religious conservatives were brought on board by promises of Supreme Court Justices, and are generally happy with the results. Trump's views are largely consistent with paleo-conservative views. Libertarians don't really have anywhere to go, but you see some like Amash leaving to become independents and many of course voted Libertarian in 2016.

I don't know if this is a political realignment in the populace, but it was a significant realignment within the Republican party's power structure that was the result of years of misalignment between the interests of the Republican party elites and those of the middle-class members.

 

 

 

Good observation/analysis. I think the realignment often has to occur via election shifts nationally. However, you may be accurately defining that we are in a new realignment period, that will result in a realignment election in the future. 

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1 minute ago, admin_270 said:

15 years ago, the Republican party could be thought to consist of several parties.

They were

  1. Neo-conservatives (Bill Kristol, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Dick Cheney to an extent). <<< significant influence on foreign policy
  2. Chamber of Commerce Republicans (Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney). <<< significant influence on tax, trade, immigration policy
  3. Religious conservatives (Mike Pence). <<< significant influence on abortion and some other social policies
  4. Paleo-conservatives (Pat Buchanan). <<< lacked influence, but popular in the grass-roots, later superseded by Tea Party
  5. Libertarians (Gary Johnson - he was a Republican when Governor, Justin Amash). <<< allied with Chamber of Commerce, but also lacked influence

Trump orchestrated a hostile takeover of the Republican party. In particular, he explicitly rejected neo-conservative views on foreign interventionism (repudiation of Iraq War) and Chamber of Commerce views on trade (free trade -> fair trade, globalism -> America first) and immigration (what's good for corporations -> what's good for lower- and middle-class Americans).

NeverTrumpers are almost all from the first two categories, although many Chamber of Commerce Republicans are happy with how the economy is working as of yet. Religious conservatives were brought on board by promises of Supreme Court Justices, and are generally happy with the results. Trump's views are largely consistent with paleo-conservative views. Libertarians don't really have anywhere to go, but you see some like Amash leaving to become independents and many of course voted Libertarian in 2016.

I don't know if this is a political realignment in the populace, but it was a significant realignment within the Republican party's power structure that was the result of years of misalignment between the interests of the Republican party elites and those of the middle-class members.

 

 

 

As a moderate independent in the 2000-2012 era, I jokingly called myself a "Dick Cheney Democrat" -- largely agreeing with Neo-Conservative foreign policy, but finding Republican views on social issues to be horrifying.  

I see Trump as an extension of the Tea Party movement, and I trace the Tea Party movement back to Sarah Palin, so really this all comes down to John McCain making a Hail Mary move to try to inspire some juice into his 2008 campaign and it backfiring very very VERY badly.

I'm not sure what a Paleo-Conservative is.  I'm asking sincerely -- I've heard the name Pat Buchanan growing up, but was too young to really care.  I assumed he was a Religious Conservative guy.

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2 minutes ago, Actinguy said:

I'm not sure what a Paleo-Conservative is.  I'm asking sincerely -- I've heard the name Pat Buchanan growing up, but was too young to really care.  I assumed he was a Religious Conservative guy.

Came 2nd in the 1992 Republican primaries, almost beat H.W. Bush (incumbent President) in the New Hampshire primary.

Yes, Trump has a lot in common with the Tea Party, which in turn has a lot in common with paleo-conservatism.

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11 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

 

They were

  1. Neo-conservatives (Bill Kristol, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Dick Cheney to an extent). <<< significant influence on foreign policy
  2. Chamber of Commerce Republicans (Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney). <<< significant influence on tax, trade, immigration policy
  3. Religious conservatives (Mike Pence). <<< significant influence on abortion and some other social policies
  4. Paleo-conservatives (Pat Buchanan). <<< lacked influence, but popular in the grass-roots, later superseded by Tea Party
  5. Libertarians (Gary Johnson - he was a Republican when Governor, Justin Amash). <<< allied with Chamber of Commerce, but also lacked influence

 

 

 

 

Would you have a similar breakdown of how you viewed the Democrat party?  I'd be interested to read it.

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5 minutes ago, Actinguy said:

have a similar breakdown of how you viewed the Democrat party?  I'd be interested to read it.

I think VCCzar might be more of an expert on that than I am. Interested to hear his thoughts on it.

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10 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

Paleo-conservatism write-up in Wikipedia seems decent. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoconservatism

"stresses traditionalism, limited government, Christian ethics, regionalism and nationalism"

@Actinguy  While Buchanan and Robertson were kind of the grandfathers of this movement, it really wouldn't have been possible without the links (Goldwater and Reagan) who are more of a hybrid between Neocons, Chamber of Commerce Republicans (Which I would just call establishment GOP, even if they are a minority now) and Paleo-Conservatists. 

I'm a tad older than you. I remember Buchanan running. I remember my dad liking him just because he was religious. I remember not liking him because he was so angry and negative overall. I was too young to really understand the issues, so my opinions were based exclusively off personality at the time. 

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4 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

I think VCCzar might be more of an expert on that than I am. Interested to hear his thoughts on it.

 

13 minutes ago, Actinguy said:

Would you have a similar breakdown of how you viewed the Democrat party?  I'd be interested to read it.

I think there are fewer factions in the Democratic Party and that there is less tension. Any realignment is certainly occurring because of Republicans. I think the next step is, once Republicans make a decisive shift, the Democrats will react with a decisive shift of their own, and then we have the realignment election. Just my gut instinct. 

Here's the factions I see:

1. Liberal Establishment. This is the throw money at the problem but don't really change anything group. Progress occurs only when forced to because power is threatened. Perhaps focus on one major progressive reform to mollify the base. Power is gained through rhetoric rather than action. Focus on Civil Rights, Tax cuts for middle class, and establish Social Programs. Moderate Foreign Policy. Mostly urban and suburban. Not populist. Obama, Clinton, Biden, O'Rourke, Buttigieg, Harris, etc. go here. 

2. Progressives. This is the throw the money at the problem but also fix the problem via active and continual reform. Don't rest on laurels but aim to keep a step ahead on improving the lives of those not members of the 1%. Focusing on an issue at a time is dispensed in favor of trying to deal with as many of the problem issues as possible. Thus, a really energetic, whirlwind activity at the government level. Activist government and activist governing. Focus on income-gap inequality and labor, increasing taxes on the wealthy, expanding and reforming Social Programs. Passive Foreign Policy. Mostly urban or community-based rural societies, like Vermont, which is influenced by ol' New England Congregationalism and possibly Quebecois Roman Catholicism. Populist.  Warren, Gabbard, Sanders (when he's a Democrat), etc. go here. 

3. Moderate Democrats. Don't really change anything unless it's broken, then throw money at it. Progress occurs according to regional demand, but will request and accept federal intervention to deal with their regional problems. Favors tax reductions across the board, but will accept tax increases on the wealthy. Focus is on bipartisanship and maintaining economic and domestic stability. Economic issues take a major priority over things like Civil Rights, identity politics, etc., all of which might seem trifling/unimportant. Protect Social Programs. Typically favors stricter immigration. Foreign policy can be as aggressive as a standard Republican. Quasi-Populist. That is, likely to break with Democrats if state favors something more Republican, but unlikely to react to populist demands that is not eagerly desired within their respective states. Manchin, Sinema, and just a few others go here. 

I see only three Democratic groups. Conservative Democrats--those who would be more conservative than Manchin--no longer exist, at least at the national level. 

There are, of course, just as there are with Republicans, hybrids between these groups, but I wouldn't say they're a distinctive group in themselves. O'Rourke was a hybrid between group 3 and 1 as a US Rep. He campaigned for Senate as exclusively a group 1. He's campaigned as president as a hybrid of group 1 and 2, but his oddest campaign behavior has come through contrived efforts to appear as a group 2, which isn't natural to him. 

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10 minutes ago, vcczar said:

 

I think there are fewer factions in the Democratic Party and that there is less tension. Any realignment is certainly occurring because of Republicans. I think the next step is, once Republicans make a decisive shift, the Democrats will react with a decisive shift of their own, and then we have the realignment election. Just my gut instinct. 

Here's the factions I see:

1. Liberal Establishment. This is the throw money at the problem but don't really change anything group. Progress occurs only when forced to because power is threatened. Perhaps focus on one major progressive reform to mollify the base. Power is gained through rhetoric rather than action. Focus on Civil Rights, Tax cuts for middle class, and establish Social Programs. Moderate Foreign Policy. Mostly urban and suburban. Not populist. Obama, Clinton, Biden, O'Rourke, Buttigieg, Harris, etc. go here. 

2. Progressives. This is the throw the money at the problem but also fix the problem via active and continual reform. Don't rest on laurels but aim to keep a step ahead on improving the lives of those not members of the 1%. Focusing on an issue at a time is dispensed in favor of trying to deal with as many of the problem issues as possible. Thus, a really energetic, whirlwind activity at the government level. Activist government and activist governing. Focus on income-gap inequality and labor, increasing taxes on the wealthy, expanding and reforming Social Programs. Passive Foreign Policy. Mostly urban or community-based rural societies, like Vermont, which is influenced by ol' New England Congregationalism and possibly Quebecois Roman Catholicism. Populist.  Warren, Gabbard, Sanders (when he's a Democrat), etc. go here. 

3. Moderate Democrats. Don't really change anything unless it's broken, then throw money at it. Progress occurs according to regional demand, but will request and accept federal intervention to deal with their regional problems. Favors tax reductions across the board, but will accept tax increases on the wealthy. Focus is on bipartisanship and maintaining economic and domestic stability. Economic issues take a major priority over things like Civil Rights, identity politics, etc., all of which might seem trifling/unimportant. Protect Social Programs. Typically favors stricter immigration. Foreign policy can be as aggressive as a standard Republican. Quasi-Populist. That is, likely to break with Democrats if state favors something more Republican, but unlikely to react to populist demands that is not eagerly desired within their respective states. Manchin, Sinema, and just a few others go here. 

I see only three Democratic groups. Conservative Democrats--those who would be more conservative than Manchin--no longer exist, at least at the national level. 

There are, of course, just as there are with Republicans, hybrids between these groups, but I wouldn't say they're a distinctive group in themselves. O'Rourke was a hybrid between group 3 and 1 as a US Rep. He campaigned for Senate as exclusively a group 1. He's campaigned as president as a hybrid of group 1 and 2, but his oddest campaign behavior has come through contrived efforts to appear as a group 2, which isn't natural to him. 

Interesting...though I'll admit I think I see a very strong bias showing here.  ;c)



 

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