Wednesday, November 17, 2004


GLENN linked to an article at TECHCENTRALSTATION by Patrick Cox titled "A Tale of Two Maps."

Cox - and others who have been commenting on the various RED STATE/BLUE STATE maps - generally look for sociological explanations for the glaringly obvious correlation between population density and party affiliation, as if everyday aspects of urbaneness and urban civil, class and tax structures might explain why a clear majority of people who choose to live in more densely populated areas tend to be Democrats. (In fact, Kerry and the Democrats carried only cities with a population of over 500,000, while Bush carried a majority in all cities with a population of less than 500,000. So what we might ask is: "what is so different about these 500,000+ cities that makes them so blue?")

Even I have previously suggested that city-folk are less traditional (and more faddist and bourgeoiseophobic) than country-folk.

But perhaps the explanation is simpler; perhaps we must merely look at HISTORICAL reasons for the BLUE/city versus RED/country dichotomy.

Historically, cities have been part of the stronghold of the Democrat Party (along with the rural south - which they began losing in the 1970's due to LBJ's Civil Rights laws and The Great Society); the Democrat Party built its machine upon farmers, immigrants, industrial unions, and civil servants - ALL of these groups (except the now largely GOP farmers) are predominant only in the cities.

And -
as David Brooks has so thoughtfully proved - party affiliation is largely hereditary - so the urban Democrat affiliation is a hand-me-down -- a VESTIGE -- of the demographics of the old Democrat machine.

A close examination of the 2004 presidential election results reveals that Bush and the Republicans made gains in all cities, so even this vestigial party affiliation may be gradually disappearing --- and with it, the Democrat Party as a viable national party.

This is not merely caused by Bush. This is partly because the Democrats have less "government largesse" to dole out to these special interests. After all, since Clinton and Congress "changed welfare as we know it," immigrants and the poor are far less dependent on government welfare - and as a result these voters are less likely to continue to align themselves with the party that promises more government welfare. These partisan promises ring false and hollow now.

And unions - another key part of the Democrat machine - are also shrinking.

As a result, the Democrat Party has less to offer, and fewer people to offer it to.
That's why they must reinvent themselves.

I suspect that if they lean further to the Left - and become the party of nationalized healthcare, and of subservience to transnational, international, and/or multilateral organizations - they will only shrink more rapidly. Which means they must move to the right - to get back to the center.

I suspect that this would alienate their Left-wing and cause a major schism. If the Left split off from the DNC and joined up with the Greens and the Reform Party, then we are headed to a three party system. And a permanent GOP majority.

No comments: