Two Reasons to NOT Vote for Democrats or Republicans: the Past and the Future

In 2013, Gallup released a poll about Americans’ political affiliations, showing a record number of voters identifying as Independents.

1988

2000

2008

2013

Democrats

36%

32%

37%

31%

Independents

31%

36%

36%

42%

Republicans

33%

31%

27%

25%

Though polls should be taken with a grain of salt, this one is fairly reliable, thanks to a large sample and 1% margin of error. And it has major implications for 2014 and 2016 elections. The parties’ reactions were:

  • Democrats reacted with glee that the Republicans have their lowest numbers since 1988.
  • Republicans gloated that the Democrats’ numbers plummeted under Obama.
  • Everyone moved on, tra-la-la, with no thought to the larger implications of the data.

Gallup’s takeaway: “The rise in political independence is likely an outgrowth of Americans’ record or near-record negative views of the two major U.S. parties, of Congress, and their low level of trust in government more generally.” Both parties consider Independents as up-for-grabs, because Independents rarely vote for Independent candidates, though it would benefit everyone if we did. Let’s look at what the past taught the two parties and where they’re headed for 2016.     party_republican Republicans

Let’s start with the Republicans, whose fall from grace is almost Michael Jacksonesque. The damage to the Republican party has been like a train wreck, except that it’s lasted 25 years. Think of it as a long, slow settling to the bottom of the ocean. Since 1988, they’ve lost 8% of their party and an untold number of Independent voters, which is a testament to the party’s establishment, which brought America two disastrous Bush presidencies, complete with Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Patriot Act to remove all of those pesky civil liberties, and questionable invasions without an exit strategy. Add two attempts to serve up mediocre candidates (McCain/Palin; Romney/Ryan), and what do you get? You get booted out of office, because people think a Community Organizer is better equipped to run the country than you are. The GOP rightfully sneers at the Democrats’ intrusive nanny state legislation on what people may eat or drink or say, however they have no problem banning marijuana as a “gateway” drug or sashaying into your bedroom to offer unsolicited opinions. They have embraced their image of stuffiness, and do not bother to even acknowledge Americans’ concerns. Worst of all, they are pessimistic. The future is always a dark horizon. Bush Bush I deserves the credit for pioneering the “You Don’t Matter” approach the Republicans have since perfected, back in a 1991 debate with Bill Clinton. Bush the Elder, after being subjected to nearly eleven agonizing seconds of listening to a voter’s question, could not help looking at his watch, which was an absolutely accurate gauge of his intense boredom and steadfast desire to not have to talk to the citizens he led. The last popular Republican leader was Reagan, whose style had nothing at all in common with today’s Republicans. Reagan coincidentally (?) left the party with the highest ratings it has enjoyed in nearly three decades.

And yet Republicans just do not get it. Despite the deep unpopularity of the Bushes, the Republican establishment is pushing Jeb Bush to run in 2016. I often suspect the GOP leadership does a lot of meth, and this confirms it. Why would they even think running Bush III, unless it somehow serves the party to be out of power? There are also a few rogue operatives with a bright idea of running Romney, whom the American people have already rejected twice. Why not just run Dick Cheney, guys? With Dr. Evil as his VP.

The Republicans have three potential 2016 candidates to whom people pay attention and react – not always with love, mind you. However, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul are attacked more within their party than outside it. Which can only mean the Powers that Be within the Republican ranks prefer to live out their days in the political equivalent of Siberia than to run any non-establishment character.

DemocraticLogo Democrats 

Democrats have yet to get over the extremely low bar set by the GOP. Yet the Dems were steadily flying high until 2008. Then they jumped out of a plane without a parachute. The next four years saw the party lose 6% of their own voters plus the disenchanted Independents, fallout from Barack Obama’s first term and the party’s corresponding lurch to the left. It was a big drop in four years, especially when the data shows more people affiliated themselves with Michael Dukakis than Obama.

The Affordable Care Act hurt the Democrats. After ramming the law through Congress over the protests of the majority of Americans, the Dems now point to the number of people on Obamacare as success, while dismissing the twin facts that the law requires people to purchase insurance, and forced many existing policies to be cancelled — effectively forcing people to buy insurance through Obamacare. The Democrats believe their frat boy approach is justified: Americans want it, even though they struggle and say no.

Barack Obama’s administration has had other problems that hurt the Dems, related to broken promises and scandals. From his vow to have the most transparent administration ever, to “marriage is between a man and a woman”, to expanding the Patriot Act instead of ending it, to the infamous “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”, you can’t trust the guy to be truthful about anything. The scandals plaguing the administration are never addressed, and you just have to be satisfied with Obama’s omni-response “I didn’t know”, regarding the IRS targeting the president’s political enemies, Fast and Furious, spying on reporters, etc. Boston Herald Obama spends his time gliding between $40,000 per plate fundraisers, explaining that people (who aren’t Democrats) have enough money and should be forced to hand over everything to the government, because it isn’t like Obamacare is really going to pay for itself. This leaves Our Hero no time for menial activities, like visiting the humanitarian crisis on our border, which is apparently because he has “no interest in photo ops.” However, data showing Americans’ rejection of amnesty have forced Obama into delaying mass amnesty until after the November elections, to avoid political consequences. But he’s signaled his intent to go Frat Boy there too.

One factor in the Democrats’ falling membership is external: George W Bush is out of the way. Democrat affiliation averaged around the 33% mark through the Clinton years. It was only during George W’s disastrous second term that their numbers rose to 37%. Since then, Republicans have wisely invested in art therapy for the former president to keep him out of sight.

Ex-president's artwork is now on sale at a Wal-Mart near you.

Ex-president’s artwork is on sale at a Wal-Mart near you.

For 2016, Democrats are open to either Hillary Clinton – because people really want Bill back – or Joe Biden. Or perhaps the president may issue another unconstitutional executive order, declaring himself Emperor for Life, with his pen and phone co-serving as vice-president.

There are times when Joe Biden does not resonate with the average American.

The Original Frat Boy

I had more, but seriously guys: Can’t we get behind an Independent candidate, and get things back on track?

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