Sexist or not, there's this:Mal Shot First wrote:Was that a sexist comment?
I got a feeling of déjà vu while writing it, which makes me wonder if I've mentioned it in passing either in this thread or in the sister thread. I was considering expanding on it before I decided the post was long enough as it was. Something tells me that whatever you're going to write will be a more worthwhile read than whatever I might have written. My expansion was going to talk about some of the more famous historical switches Most of those switches, of course, have been from one Big Two party to another or from a Big Two party to a third party. (I was going to go from John Tyler to Theodore Roosevelt to George Wallace. I might have talked Rick Perry a bit.) I wasn't really planning to address the strategy and repercussions of an utter outsider assuming a Big Two party mantle. I think it's probably something worth talking at length about, though, so I look forward to reading whatever you eventually cook up.Mal Shot First wrote:I want to respond to this in some detail, but it's late and I need to go to bed, so I'll just say for now that I agree with this and I'm surprised that this hasn't happened sooner in a political system dominated by two parties. More on this to come soon, I hope.
I wouldn't know without reading up on things if a late-life switch from independent or third party to a Big Two party was even really a thing before this election. It does seem like something of a no-brainer now, but maybe it only seems that way in hindsight. If it's not something that was done very often in the past, I can imagine either that intraparty hostility toward the convert played into it or that the threat of it was enough to keep people from even trying. Beyond just the intraparty elitism and gnashing of teeth, I'm guessing converts from back when would have put up with plenty of charges of opportunism/being wolves dressed as sheep. I suppose potential converts might have also been halted by worries that a conversion would have been too great a compromise of their beliefs. Maybe it says something about the current political landscape that it's happening now and has proved to be at least moderately successful as a strategy.
Of course, both Trump and Sanders had to deal with their fair share of hostility, elitism, and charges of opportunism. I'm honestly unsure how moves such as theirs would have been received in elections past. Maybe it would have been successful thirty years ago, too. Then again, maybe party identity was stronger back then, and maybe that's why it didn't happen. (Was it stronger then, though? I'm not sure. Stronger or not, I think there was a time maybe a decade ago when both parties' stances on nearly every talking point was pretty rigid. I have this impression that there was more depth within the parties and that there were more intraparty disagreements on the finer points of policy back in the eighties. I know that both Bush and Reagan, for example, had very different ideas about economics back in the day and that they were clear and thorough when expressing their very different ideas--at least in comparison to the modern standard. It seemed to me as a kid that there was less of a party line to toe. It seemed like the Republicans could be more generally conservative and the Democrats could be more generally liberal. I could have a completely wrong impression. Again, I'm comparing my impression of the Big Two parties in the eighties to my impression of the Big Two parties a decade ago. Clearly, party identities today are a bit fractured [how else could Sanders gain the kind of traction he did with his unclear-at-times stance on Israel and his positions on gun control?], even if both parties do still have a lot of the same rigid talking points that they had a decade ago.)
(I realize that the parenthetical aside at the end of the previous paragraph lacks for clarity, leans pretty heavily on impressions from youth, and may be a bit contradictory in places, but I kind of want to keep it there. Maybe someone will feel there's something in it worth tearing down or talking more about.)
I do think the situation with Sanders and Trump has helped to illustrate for some how the two-party system can be manipulated, and to both noble and ignoble ends. I don't know how most of the people who've had this illustrated for them will go on to feel about it. Some may respond to it with defeatism ("The only way to get things done is to go Republican or Democrat!"), some may respond to it with a schemer's glee ("The only way to get things done is to go Republican or Democrat!"), some may see it as proof that the two-party system is volatile and in need of either dismantling or stabilizing, and some may just shrug their shoulders at it.