For the past several years there has been outcry about the captivity that our 2-party system has on our elected government from the local and state level all the way to the nation’s capitol.
This year as the country is once more embroiled in another presidential election season, it appears, from where I sit in the Desert this last Saturday in September, the system is mutating right before our eyes.
This is even more certain following the announcement on Friday by US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner that he is not only moving down from his position as the man in charge of the august body and second in line for the presidency, but he is giving up his seat representing the people in and around Cincinnati, Ohio.
Boehner noted that his decision was sealed following a meeting with Pope Francis during his visit to a joint session of Congress. The Pope pulled Boehner aside and asked him to pray for him.
Going on, Boehner pointed out that he did not want to put the members of the Republican caucus, which he leads, through another vote to try and oust him from his position. A move, which Boehner believes would be detrimental to the institution of the House and the Speaker’s chair.
This speaks volumes when also considering the tumultuous race for the presidency, especially among the GOP candidates. Not that there is much to hope and be proud about on the Democratic side either.
Looking across the country and through the corn stalks being harvested back in the Cornfield, it is evident to me that what we are seeing play out on the national stage is a mutation which will split the governance of the nation into two factions.
The one faction will control and govern from Washington DC on matters of national import. The other faction will control and govern in local areas and in the states and territories.
While currently both chambers of Congress have a majority of Republican lawmakers and may for some time yet, that may transform within the next six years or so to a predominance of Democrats in both chambers.
As to the White House, there is a good chance we will see history made when the Democrats capture the White House for a third consecutive term.
The only other time in our national history this has happened was when George H.W. Bush followed Ronald Reagan’s two terms in the White House. This was short-lived as Bush was upended for a second term.
I say the likelihood of a Democratic rout of the presidential race is from observing how Republican candidates and the very vocal, though small-in-number primary voters are reacting to the outlandishness of the current crop of wannabes.
As to the governorships and state legislatures, those are poised to remain firmly in control of the GOP while Democratic losses may continue.
Around 2/3 of the states are governed by Republicans. Not quite 1/3 have a Democrat in the state mansion. The legislative bodies follow the same general percentages.
The nation’s electorate are splitting into these two factions where Republicans will be the party of the locals and states while Democrats will be the national party legislating and administering from Washington.
As hardcore conservatives and hardcore liberals become more obstinate and more averse to finding common ground, the ability to govern becomes increasingly difficult.
Now that compromise is considered a capitulation rather than the trait of a statesman, this mutation is moving more rapidly to the harm of the nation.
Most recent research and surveys reveal that around 23% of Americans consider themselves diehard liberals. Of stalwart conservatives the numbers has dropped to around 27%.
It is these two ideologies in the extreme which are determining who will be elected and what will be for the majority of the nation. Being polar opposites, the result is seldom in consideration of what is for the “general good and welfare”.
What is being considered is the selfish positions of the two opposite camps.
From the conservative side we are hearing a cry to “shut it down” as the Congress contends with a budget crisis with the new fiscal year starting October 1.
Does this promote in any way the “general good and welfare” of the nation?
From liberals we are hearing a cry of “shut it down” to show the American people how evil Republicans are.
Again, does this promote the “general good and welfare” of the nation?
If the current trend continues, the evolution will be more a mutant strain that will be even more devastating to the country as a whole rather than a transformation into a system set out and envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
From the Desert with my feet planted firmly in the Cornfield, we asked for a change.
But is this the change we want?
A change where the nation is more polarized than ever before?
A change where one party controls Washington and the other party controls the Heartland?