Ask A Genius 405 – The Democrats and Republicans
October 7, 2018
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Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What do the major political parties in the United States of America represent?
Rick Rosner: The major political parties, Republicans and Democrats, take huge demographic slices out of the population. When you look at the expressed values of each party, they’re both positive in terms of their explicit values.
Republicans have traditionally stood for traditional values. Patriotism and self-reliance and a country that is strong in the world. Democrats stand for the positive values of community and tolerance.
There is some overlap of positive values between the two parties. Between them, they represent the entire spectrum of positive values. Historically, you have huge parties. Parties that encompass or each encompasses 40% of the population.
It is less now as people hate the parties. But I assume there were times in the past century when close to 90% of people belonged to one of the two major parties. Now, it is down 65% – ? – of American adults.
But you had these huge parties. These parties would slice through huge chunks of America. The people in the parties were representing a whole bunch of different folks. Demographically, and to some extent ideologically, the slices are taken through America by each party captured enough of America that the parties weren’t cray.
You had enough variety that each party would behave more or less reasonably. Even Nixon himself who was a little bit of a criminal and a little bit mean and awful, even under Nixon, the Republicans did a lot of good stuff. They started the EPA.
Nixon started the EPA. They started the War on Cancer. They behaved reasonably. There was a certain amount of cynicism. He didn’t care about the environment. He figured it would be a good thing to do.
But over the last 30 years, the Republicans saw that they could gain or find an advantage. That they could attract more easily than other segments of voters. They could pull into their tent and keep in their tent dumb assholes.
Or to be nice, the low-information voters, voters who do not know a lot and do not care to know a lot, and want to know easy explanations and might be angry or scared. There is that cliche phrase: economic anxiety – that led to the election of Trump.
People who are dumb jerks who can be told easy stories and who are more vulnerable to branding and catchphrases. So, once the Republicans started doing that, they represented a tighter and tighter sector of America – a tighter and tighter more assholish sector of America because of primaries.
In the primaries, the person is the biggest asshole wins. The person who is the strongest to their parties leaning wings: if the Democrats, then to the left; if the Republicans, then to the Right.
In the gerrymandered district, the person who wins the primary wins the general. After 30 years of this, of pandering to dumb assholes, Republicans are more and more solidly comprised of dumb assholes.
There are tens of millions of Republicans who aren’t dumb assholes. But, unfortunately, now, the loudest millions of Republicans are the dumb assholes. They are the ones who elect the people and the ones who get elected.
People without integrity. People who win by any means possible. In any case, one political party has gone completely crazy and has given it a ruthlessness that has allowed it to dominate. There are three levels of the government.
They own all three now: Supreme Court, the Judicial, the Legislative, the Executive, the Presidency, and the House and the Senate. That is where we are. Everybody is hoping that the Democrats will manage to scratch back one half of the legislature.
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American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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