02 July 2007

New American Political Coalitions?

Paul Thompson at Democracy in Progress examines the changing coalitions that make up the Democratic and Republican parties these days:

Republican and Democratic voters and politicians are increasingly hard to categorize by these traditional terms. Instead of liberal vs. conservative, the most relevant divide today is between ideologues and pragmatists. . . . The Republican Party today . . . consists of the five major ideological camps — neo-conservatism, nationalism, the religious right, economic fundamentalism, and corporatism — fiercely battling it out for supremacy in a combined party. Like a failed corporate merger, they have come to realize that their ideologies are incompatible with each other . . . . Meanwhile, a pragmatic social conservative like Bill Ritter is easily accepted by Democrats. Pragmatic Republicans, like Bill Kaufman, would have much more success in the Democratic Party and would be more welcome there.

He suggests that the big influxes into the Democratic party include libertarian minded people, those who can handle complexity, pragmatists, and professionals.

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