Growing up in the South, you learn a lot about the Civil War. Not just the military stuff, or the underlying triggers, like slavery and states’ rights vs. a strong central government, but the intense cultural and regional differences.
Those other differences festered and coalesced for more than 25 years prior to the war, fed by a variety of inputs, most of which were non-economic and non-technological. Things like literary preferences, different weather climates, a fixed southern caste system confronted by parts of a new nation that welcomed immigrants, separate higher education systems for the elites, even styles of dress and food choices.
The Democrat Party, founded 59 years earlier in 1801, upon the 36th ballot in the House of Representatives electing Thomas Jefferson president, had dominated the national political narrative for the 4 decades after Jefferson. They were “disrupted” by the Depression of 1837, which lasted until gold was discovered in California in 1848. This resulting 20+ year economic tribulation created the short-lived Whig Party, electing 4 US Presidents: Harrison, Tyler, Taylor and Fillmore.
The Whigs, if nothing else, showed Americans the all-powerful Democrats could be replaced. Their electoral successes helped birth the Republicans, who organized in the wintry backwoods of Ripon, Wisconsin in early 1854. The rest as they say, “was history”; America’s bloodiest conflict emerged shortly thereafter.
Since that time, and well into the 21st century, for almost 170 years, America has really only had a duopoly of 2 political parties. Let that sink in….nearly 170 years. And not a stinking political alternative seriously allowed.
The duopoly is maintained largely via the convenience of state law, in fact it’s amazing how state law is written to buttress & protect our tired, fossilized 2-party system. It continues to give us crap governance, and is clearly getting worse every year. Like many, I see the potential makings of a 2nd American Civil War; one almost solely triggered if these 2 ancient political co-conspirators, Jackass & Pachyderm, cannot yield power.
Against this modern unyielding political backdrop, there is a menagerie of increasingly sharp and un-compromised positioning. Unlike pre-Civil War days, this time it’s largely nonregional, but that’s changing as well. It’s no subtle coincidence, today’s Democrat controlled states with their high taxes, intrusive regulatory regimes, and hordes of political parasites—are losing people at unprecedented rates. It’s why they need an unregulated US border. Another broad recession will only exacerbate this profound internal migration.
Our central government, now appropriately nicknamed the “Deep-State”, after the ossified Ottoman Empire which collapsed after World War 1, goes around the world looking for conflict, in stark violation of a key principle the Founding Fathers warned against. They do this to keep America “unified”, using external threats, while their parasitic political maggots feast on the body-politic. (another critical reason Trump was elected in 2016)
Meanwhile, the uncompromised hardening of US political arteries continues unabated, awaiting the coronary.
Next time: how technology has stimulated multi-party systems globally and where this really leads.
Sellers is a Southpark Republican living in incorporated Oro Valley; his background is federal technology commercialization, and can be found at “Metro Tucson E-P-T News” on Facebook