Monday, November 21, 2011

Politics Without a Leading Political Party

As usual David Brooks from the New York Times articulates perfectly what is going on:
In 1951, Samuel Lubell invented the concept of the political solar system. At any moment, he wrote, there is a Sun Party (the majority party, which drives the agenda) and a Moon Party (the minority party, which shines by reflecting the solar rays).
In 2004 it looked like one of the parties were about to take control:
But something strange happened. No party took the lead. According to data today, both parties have become minority parties simultaneously. We are living in the era of two moons and no sun.
Here's why this is bad:
In policy terms, the era of the two moons is an era of stagnation. Each party is too weak to push its own agenda and too encased by its own cocoon to agree to a hybrid.
Like I said after watching a Tyler Cowen Q & A last year:
In the past I've specifically voted for divided government. Historically this has been the best way to limit the growth of bad government. However, now that our country is on an unsustainable growth in spending, gridlock will bankrupt us.
I must admit, my political concern about the European/American debt crisis has increased. I told my US History students recently that the current debt issue is a lot like the slavery issue during the mid 1800's. It is so lose-lose that no politician will touch it. Which meant from Andrew Jackson to Abraham Lincoln we have almost no meaningful presidents who would be willing to deal with issue issue appropriately.

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