America’s Three-Ring Circus|
of the bigger misunderstandings about the American electorate is that
it is divided into two parties, Democrats and Republicans, and that neither
of these parties provides enough choice for voters. This isn’t accurate.
electorate is not really two parties, but three, and they divide as follows.
is the country’s business party. It is the country’s conservative
party. This party trusts in business and microeconomics. A government
that allows markets to function is believed to be the most reliable government.
This is the party in America that represents the country’s true
business class. This is the party that creates the nation’s wealth.
It is the party of Main Street. Its heroes are Robert Taft and Barry Goldwater.
And Ronald Reagan is the president that best represents this class. Because
this party believes so much in the benefits of markets, it is not particularly
strong in foreign affairs. According to the market party, wars are wasteful,
they destroy the predictability of markets. Their patience for foreign
interventions can be limited.
second political party is the one that runs the country’s institutions.
This party is home to the Banks, Insurance Companies, the Pentagon, the
Media, Big Business, and just about every other institution that relies
on or works with federal government. These people are not initial wealth
creators, which may be why it was said of Margaret Thatcher that she never
met a big institution she didn’t want to hit with her handbag. That
woman believed in markets. But, for better or for worse, members of the
institution party are the ones that make the country work—they run
our nation’s engines. They conduct our wars. Often they have a hard
time distinguishing between a big government Republican (Bush) and a fiscally
conservative Democrat (Clinton). Both fit easily within the party’s
calling George W. Bush a big government Republican isn’t exactly
fair to the President, because it is impossible to run a smaller central
government in times of war. What is intriguing about Bush’s opportunities
in his second term, assuming America win’s the War on Terror, is
a chance for him to govern in
second term as a member of the country’s first party, the “market”
party. The only other American President faced with War in his first term
and the Home Front in his second term was Lincoln, who never got that
The third American political party is the Hard Left. After the bitter
way this party conducted itself both during and after the presidential
campaign, identifying who they are isn’t necessary (see Michael
Moore). Because America is basically a conservative country, the only
time that a representative of this party could be elected president would
be during a time of economic national emergency—such as the Great
Depression. In other times, a leader of the Hard (Angry) Left would be
dismissed by voters. Think Howard Dean or Hillary Clinton.
is fluid of course. And it is the good politicians that are able to reach
across the divisions of the three parties and unite to become representatives
for two out of three elements. In the ’80s Reagan represented markets
in his first term and helped fix the American economy. In his second term,
he led American institutions to victory over the Soviets in the Cold War.
Franklin Roosevelt governed as a member of the Hard Left in his first
two terms. In his third term, he led our institutions successfully in
World War II. Lesser politicians belong to only one party.
interesting movement that came out of this year’s presidential election
is that the irrational behavior of certain members of the big “institution”
party took them to the brink of falling in with the Hard Left. The explosion
of alternative news, (radio, cable) outed the political agendas of several
major newspapers and television networks—think New York Times,
Oregonian and “CBS News”—casting them, accurately,
in a new light, as part of the “angry” Hard Left. And that
meant loss of credibility. And that is not bad.