Watch Where Both Parties Go Next

After a presidential election, members of the major party whose candidate came up short often assess where they go next.

After the 2020 election, members of both major parties may do that.

Please don’t take the word of today’s column, which was deliberately written and submitted before Election Day, because the election results don’t affect today’s column.

Instead, please watch the forces at play among both Democrats and Republicans.

For one thing, each major party used to have a broader spectrum of supporters.

It’s no secret that the number of conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans have been dwindling for many years, both here and across the country.

Many of those liberal Republicans have become Democrats, while many of those conservative Democrats have become Republicans.

Can you imagine Democrats’ nominating a conservative, or Republicans nominating a liberal, for president?

No, not really.

However, the changes in the two parties extend well beyond this fundamental philosophical realignment.

¯ As for Democrats, consider how the party has changed in recent decades, and particularly in this past decade.

Gone is the era when Democrats’ liberal flank was occupied almost exclusively by the liberalism of such personalities as Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, and Walter Mondale.

The liberal flank now includes Democrats who sound less like such leaders of yesteryear and more like European socialists.

They’ve particularly drawn their inspiration from Bernie Sanders following his 2012 presidential campaign.

There were also hints of this in 2008. Remember Barack Obama’s vision of “fundamentally transforming” America? Joe Biden repeated that during the 2020 presidential campaign.

Democrats who sound like European socialists seek for government – local, state, and federal – even more power than liberals have previously advocated.

They’re quick to dismiss both American exceptionalism and the greatness of Western civilization.

They can be even quicker than other liberals to defame as bigots those who dare to disagree with them.

And they’re not afraid to run primaries when they deem incumbent liberal Democrats aren’t liberal enough. In some races, those primary challengers have defeated even long-term incumbents.

As a result, some other incumbent Democrats, perhaps looking in their rear-view mirrors and trying to fend off future primaries against them, are moving further into the left lane.

Watch to see where Democrats go next.

¯ As for Republicans, consider how the party has changed in recent decades, and particularly in this past decade.

President Trump has been a new kind of Republican for Republicans’ conservative flank. Consider three of the president’s initiatives.

First, among Republicans, including conservatives, in recent decades have been those who have no problem using America’s military power to defend the country’s vital national interests yet have drawn the line at America’s being the world’s police department.

The president has put these concepts into action from the White House.

Second and third are border security and trade.

The president understands that a country without border security isn’t really a county. When he advocates border security he means it.

The president also understands that a country shouldn’t allow other countries to undermine its economic security. Thus, America should be a trade partner, not a trade patsy. America should export goods and services, and not export massive numbers of jobs.

The president has also put these concepts into action.

In fact, he feels so passionately about fair trade, and about other countries’ having ripped us off for decades, that he describes trade as one of the more important issues that prompted him to run for president in the first place.

While the president has found substantial support among Republicans for all three initiatives, the support hasn’t been unanimous.

Watch to see where Republicans go next.

This is the third and final column written and submitted by Dr. Randy Elf before the 2020 election for publication afterward.



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