ARE WE WATCHING THE BIRTH OF A THIRD PARTY? written August 2016
Like the Phoenix rising out of the ashes, the state of unrest in this country reminds me of the election of 1968 when the Democratic Convention in Chicago erupted in violence between students and police over the Vietnam War. This was on the heels of the Civil Rights protests and the March on Washington. Many colleges shut down in solidarity of these student-organized rallies. The unrest and indecision now is creating a void in politics, as evidenced by Republican women supporting Hilary Clinton, Old Guard Republican leaders not supporting Trump, angry and understandably upset Bernie Sanders supporters exiting the Democratic Party and the media coverage of the outrageous behavior of all factions. Maybe a third party will arise with a younger -centric, broader platform run by more collaborative, inclusive leaders?
Factors Driving This Change:
- Millennials- generally identify as Democrats because they became aware of politics through the Obama years. Because of their idealism they are probably independents. Why are they idealistic? Their age (18- 34 in 2015 ) and their ability to access and digest lots of information quickly, which gives them the ability to fact-check and demand truth. Interesting, millenials now exceed their parents generation of Baby Boomers, born after WWll.
- Women are now the majority of voters- They pay attention to children and families. The areas of concern then become- what type of world will we leave for our children and grandchildren? The political focus shifts to:
- The Environment- what kind of world will we leave our children in terms of clean, air, water, healthy outdoor recreation etc. (Think- Jersey shore red tides with medical waste on the beaches, polluted water at the Olympics, drinking water in Flint Michigan, sewage outflow from Pt. Loma and Mexico in San Diego, brackish water in Keahou, water polluting from sewage and runoff at Kaloko Honokohau National Park).
- War- They ask: “Why are we sending our sons and daughters to war?”
- Food Issues like mass farming, pesticides and point of sale labeling of GMOs and how they affect health.
- Healthcare- Why is it so complicated? A one-payer system may be easier to understand and navigate.
- Equal Pay for equal work- shattering the Glass Ceiling for women and minorities.
- Minimum wages become of paramount importance to single Moms so they don’t have to access social programs and they feel the satisfaction of being able to support their families.
- Social Security- Older women rely on Social Security more than any demographic and want to retain their independence.
- Trickle down economics doesn’t work anymore! The old theory that supports the ideas to make business profitable and the business owners corporations will invest money and the economy will thrive, just doesn’t work. The 1% business owners have taken their money and invested in real estate and/ or taken their manufacturing to China, India and Asia. This does not keep the money circulating in the US but builds the Asian and Indian economies.
- Need a Livable Wage to support our families and deliver a quality of life, which will increase payments to social security and stimulate the economy.
- Equal pay for women and minorities.
- Tax incentives to rebuild manufacturing in the US
- Programs to retool factories and retrain workers.
- I believe that the economy has not recovered to the degree that we hear. People realize that they never will be able to obtain the American Dream of home ownership, they are unable to afford an education, a new car etc. These people are angry, frustrated and probably support Trump.
- Since Education is the key to change in personal economic growth:
- Our Community Colleges should provide a nominal cost education to all who want it. I say nominal costs, because if people pay something they are more committed in their decision.
- Corporations that need workers for specific jobs could build trade schools.
- Trade agreements like NAFTA have decimated economies in areas around the country (think Detroit); union workers have lost jobs because their jobs now go overseas. This weakened unions and wrecked local economies. Older workers find it hard to retrain. Younger workers frequently relocate because they may not be tied by families or own property.
- The stock market is overheated. Different economists have different explanations. Investors are tentative about their investments.
Evidence that change is Occurring:
- Rise of Populist Candidates- Trump and Sanders. I agree with Kucinich who says that major players in parties are not seen as leaders, like Bush.
- Exodus of voters from the Republican Party- Republican women for Hilary, Barbara Bush and Laura Bush’ support of Hilary, none of the 5 past presidents support Trump, numerous senators etc.
- Schism in the Democratic Party over Primaries and with Bernie Sanders supporters.
- The grabbing at simplistic “fixes”- like build the wall and keep out the terrorists, rapists and murderers when border cities and states do not want this.
- Rise of the Green Party with the danger of bleeding off votes from the Democrats and potentially electing Trump. Think the election of 2000 -Nader vs. Bush vs. Al Gore, where Nader bled off votes from Democratic candidate Al Gore and the election was decided in Florida by Hanging Chads (where Jeb Bush was Governor) and by the conservative Supreme Court.
MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES:
- Trickle Up Economics: Most women run the families budgets (and they are the majority of voters) A liveable wage gives the middle class more money to spend on their families, families will be happier and healthier, and the middle class will “vote” for the services and goods they want/ need with their dollars. More money would be paid into Social Security on higher earnings and for sale tax because the middle class would have more expendable income.
- Elect Hilary Clinton and more Democrats to get some good legislation passed: My reasons in this order of occurrence after she is elected:
- Get a liberal Supreme Court Judge in office (there may be two appointments during the next 4 years- remember these judges stay in place for life).
- Overturn the Supreme Court Ruling Citizens United to get corporate money out of the elections.
- Try to create and institute a plan for Clean Elections to make elections fair and not about fundraising. This would make it possible for more people to run and focus the election on honest debate of the issues not fundraising. Election seasons could be shortened so that incumbents can work in their elected positions.
- Make sure that a Women’s right to choose and Marriage equality stay in place.
- Gerrymandering aka re-districting has got to stop which occurs after each census to make sure that all districts are equal for political parties and demographically balanced.
A very big thank you for this most thought -inspiring interview with Published on Jul 28, 2016 where Juan Williams (Fox News) and Dennis Kucinich discuss the rift in both parties and how a major third party will rise in the not-too-distant future