Are we witnessing the end of one or both of our dominant political parties. Hard to tell but the rise of a socialist and populist may be telling to us all.
It will surely take a while for it to completely play out. Maybe it is much ado about nothing or maybe it is not.
What would come after the Republican Party? Conservative? Federalist?
The end of one political party and the creation of another may seem inconceivable to some readers. The current duopoly has governed the United States since the Civil War. They feel like a permanent part of the fabric of our national life.
But political parties are simply vehicles, means to a larger end. Political parties exist to mediate between citizens and their government; articulate (and moderate) agendas and grievances; and broker compromises among political coalitions.
When parties stop performing these functions—as both parties have—they have outlived their usefulness. Citizens should have no qualms about changing them out for newer, sharper tools designed for a new age. The Republican Party itself began in 1854 as the “third” party when the Whig Party collapsed over the issue of slavery and its expansion. One hundred and sixty-two years is not a bad run.