osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,
osewalrus
osewalrus

Biggest takeaway for me

We are working our way through the demographic snake. As I noted some months back, in this election, half the eligible voting population was above 50, half the eligible voting population below 50.



The demgraphic shift is reflected not just in the big ticket items, but in the results on ballot initiatives. Millenials came out to vote in huge numbers. Despite disappointment with Obama, a much greater number than predicted view voting as important to them -- as evidenced by willingness to wait in long lines. Initiatives that reflect the broader sensitivities of the under 50 crowd -- legalized marijuana, same sex marriage -- did better than they ever had before. While hardly universal (legalizing marijuana lost in AK, while winning in CO), the trend on these initiatives is consistent with a move away from dominant philosophy of the last 15 years.

Of greatest interest, the voter initiatives that passed were fairly Libertarian in nature. It is fair to say that the future of the Republican party is a shift to a more genuinely Rand-ish Libertarianism (hopefully with out the conspiracy theories around the Fed and the gold standard fixation) as opposed to the current social conservatism mixed with small government rhetoric with an exception for the military and agricultural subsidies.

Will Republicans recapitulate Dems in 1988 or 2004? In '88, Dems concluded the needed to change tactics to appeal to new generation. Formed Democratic Leadership Council and developed centrist" strategy championed by Carville, Leiberman and Clinton. In '04, Democratic party split between Netroots convinced party needed change in philosophy and change in tactics and Centrists who resisted change.

Rs in similar position. Lost where they feel they should have won, but lost broadly and narrowly rather than by crushing defeat. Lots of ammo for Rs to argue they need to take toward center, especially on social issues. But also lots of ammo for Rs to argue that it was not current philosophy that was rejected but individual candidates and uncontrollable circumstances. Can point to Scott Brown loss as proof that more centrist positions would not have helped, and continuing possession of House and state houses as proof that philosophy and tactics of 2010 still have life.

Quetion is whether Republican party recapitulates Dems in 1988 or Dems in 2004? In '88, Dems concluded the needed to change tactics to appeal to new generation. Formed Democratic Leadership Council and developed centrist" strategy championed by Carville, Leiberman and Clinton. In '04, Democratic party split between Netroots convinced party needed change in philosophy and change in tactics and Centrists who resisted change.

Rs in similar position. Lost where they feel they should have won, but lost broadly and narrowly rather than by crushing defeat. Lots of ammo for Rs to argue they need to take toward center, especially on social issues. But also lots of ammo for Rs to argue that it was not current philosophy that was rejected but individual candidates and uncontrollable circumstances. Can point to Scott Brown loss as proof that more centrist positions would not have helped, and continuing possession of House and state houses as proof that philosophy and tactics of 2010 still have life.

While 4-year forecasts are dangerous, my sense is that a winning Republican Presidential candidate in 2016 is comparatively young compared to recent R presidential candidates (no older than 50-55), "compassionate Conservative" with policies similar to those of George Bush on immigration reform but who argues that it is not the role of "big government" to enforce these values. On economic policy and foreign policy, she (because I think it will be a she to win, for reasons that would take too lon to explain here) will be much more Randian than Cheney-esque, arguing that America needs to avoid the cost of nation-building abroad while defending ourselves domestically.

Whether such a candidate can emerge is not clear at the moment. But no one in 1988 would have imagined Bill Clinton winning the Democratic Primary in '92.
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 10 comments