I thought of this after I read a column in the Washington Post the other day by James Downie talking about a finding in a recent poll that the vast majority of Americans now think that “the Democratic Party is not “in touch with the concerns of most people in the United States.” The current number — only 28 percent think the party is in touch. . . .” (38% think Trump is in touch) The 28% figure is pretty shocking especially only 3 years ago 48% believed the Democratic Party was in touch.
What ever could have happened that caused such drastic drop? I have a good guess. It was two bigly things. The author of the column agrees with me on the first that It was the candidacy of Hillary. It was the way the Clintons act as if they own the party and were entitled to it. It was the way she was handed the party’s nomination on a silver platter.
There was a second thing not mentioned by the author that played as big of a role. It was the absurdity of having a declared Socialist running in the Democratic primary. You didn’t see any members of the American Nazi Party running in the Republican primary. The disenchantment with the Democrats was brought about because the people figured if it had no problem with a socialist pretending to be a Democrat perhaps it had become a socialist party itself but was pretending otherwise.
Which brings me back to the French election. It had five major candidates. Emmanuel Macron 39 years-old. He formed his own party. He is a centrist seeking to stay in EAU and NATO. He received the most votes and will be in final. Marine LePen of the Front National (FN) who is supported by Russia will be in the final against Macron. She is a Trump-type candidate. She favors pulling out of NATO and EU and closing borders. Note, neither one is from the French equivalent of the Democratic or Republican parties that have ruled France for 60 years.
The third place finisher was François Fillon from the traditional center right party Les Républicains. He favored closer ties with Russia. The fourth candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon from the La France Insoumise was a Bernie Sanders writ large who would get out of EU and NATO, reduce work week to 32 hours, and put a 100% tax on income over 400,000. The last candidate Benoît Hamon is from the other traditional party the Parti Socialiste. He advocates the 32 hours work week and a guaranteed annual income for all citizens.
Here in America we had two choices: in France at least five. For a while it looked like the far right LePen would be in the final against Melenchon: a fascist in love with Russia against a Russian dupe. Seventy years of European peace and prosperity would be at risk. Fortunately the French people had a third choice.
Here in America we had only two to choose from. Neither one of them represented a centrist positions. For many there was no choice other than trying to decide who is the least of the worst.
Like one time with the Old Man of the Mountains I never worried about the future of America. Now for the first time I can see its downfall. Each party is moving to the far edge. There is no third or fourth party to hold the center. It is time to seriously consider a third-party starting at grass roots before what happened to the Old Man happens to our country.