A reader writes:
I was thinking about this the other day and the glacial pace and stagnancy of changes to the political process in this country. In the past few days I’ve seen a few articles that may turn the whole thing upside down and asked me ask the question: Could this election, regardless of who wins the democratic and presidential election, lead to the end of the two-party system?
Regardless of who runs, I think that McCain will win the presidency. Here’s what I see happening and why.
1. If Barack Obama wins the Democratic party nomination (and I believe he will), you would normally see everyone rally around him. However, I think the Clinton campaign has allowed so much animosity to develop against him, that Clinton supporters will not support Obama in the general election. Furthermore, I cannot envison the Clinton’s out on the campaign trail rallying support for Obama. They do not take losing easily. Not that they would undermine his campaign, but their lack of full-support would show through. Her voters would split between staying home, vote for Obama, or vote for McCain. Outcome: McCain wins.
2. If Hillary Clinton wins or is selected, (I think there is a 5% chance she will), Obama’s supporters will feel alienated and will not support her. This will probably be mostly black americans, who have flocked to Obama and will have felt cheated if she is “selected” by the superdelegates. Not that black americans will support McCain, they just won’t vote in the numbers that are typical of a presidential election. Many white “intellectual elites” as others (and Hillary) calls them, have already seen through her pettiness, pandering, deceit, and general willingness to slam her opponent to WIN!!. “Intellectual elites” do not like this brand of politics. They may vote for McCain, or stay home, or vote for the “spoiler” Nader. Outcome: McCain wins.
The ultimate long-term damage is already done. If No. 1 occurs. The HRC voters will be left to wonder what happened and will be left with a bitter taste in their mouths. And when Obama loses the general election, there will be a huge voting block who will blame the Clinton’s. That’s the way history will write it. The 2000 election was stolen by the Supreme Court. In 2004 John Kerry was “Swiftboated”. And the 2008 election will be known as the Clinton subterfuge. Now, most people have gotten over it, but the 2000 and 2004 results have not sat well with many Dems.
If No. 2 occurs. The African-American community, who have generally supported Dems by huge numbers, will feel cheated, and I wouldn’t blame them. As it happens I don’t think that Dems will be able to rely on this demographic’s support going forward. Many will feel cheated and stay away from politics or think about supporting the GOP. Obama was right. Many will feel bitter and this is one reason why it happens to some people.
That brings in Ralph Nader. I think this is the 4th or 5th time he is running for president. He knows he will not win, but his biggest issue has always been his advocacy for the end to the two-party system. Based on the way I see this election going, I think he may be at the start of something. A third party cannot pop up and gain support overnight. Attitudes generally change slowly, but they can change in a heartbeat due to a monumental swing of events. The outcome of this election could be that event that changes this countries political party process. I’m not saying it’ll happen overnight, but the election could trigger a wave of support for a viable third party in this coutry. The Democrats are so focused on winning this election and I feel are not focusing on the large long-term health of the party of the country. Can you blame them? People these days have no attention span, and we live in a throw away society. So why think about long-term thinking? No need.
One last thing…As we near the election I just thought I would add this item….I have grown fond of listening to Pat Buchanan, Republican political commentator, on various programs, particularly the McGlaughlin Group. Generally I think he does a good job of calling it as he sees it and is good at reading people and situations. And the one thing I remember him saying a couple years back and still rings true as I watch the polls today. He said Hillary Clinton will never get more than 50% of the national vote. I think he’s called this one right.