The modern political system in the United States is commonly referred to as a two-party system. The reasons for this are varied but the main result for most of US history was a consensus between the two parties. The thought was that if a party wanted to govern effectively, they would need at least some votes from the “other side”. The assumption behind this implication, however, was a homogenous country that agreed on the values it wished to uphold. The only question was how society should achieve these goals. Homogeneity can be taken to mean the unity of race, religion, or some other factor. For most of US history, the country was homogenous on both fronts and was largely White (European) and Protestant. The question going forward is twofold: 1. How does such a system function without any sort of unifying factor? and 2. How can those wishing to preserve traditional morals and ideals organize as a political faction going forward?
The electoral college is the main reason behind the “two party system”. Each state in the general election is decided on a “first past the post” basis. This means that someone getting only 40% of the popular vote wins ALL of the electoral votes for that state. In most of Europe, representation is decided on a proportional basis, allowing for the creation of smaller parties to ensure that no one’s views are going unrepresented. If a party claiming to be “right-wing” does not sufficiently embrace those ideals, then a new party will emerge to challenge for their share of the vote. This was the case in Austria with the Freedom Party (FPO) and the Austrian People’s Party (OVP). The FPO rose in vote share after running on a strict immigration restriction platform, to the point that they actually tied the left wing SPO as the second largest party in Austria. The OVP noticed this and took on the immigration platform of the FPO, to the point that the Freedom Party actually accused them of stealing their platform. In the United States, there is no such factor and in reality, the Republican Party has cowed to the Left so much that there are two left wing parties and nothing on the right.
In Austria, the situation is somewhat different as there is the unifying factor of being both Austrian by ethnicity and Catholic by faith. There was a point in 2019 where the OVP and FPO, both nominally right-wing parties, combined for 57.5% of the vote. This is a society that agrees on the direction it wants to go. The situation in Austria (and much of Europe) is political by nature, whereas in the United States it is a racial conflict that masks itself as political. The 2020 George Floyd race riots have shown this perfectly. When statues of people such as Ulysses S Grant are defaced, the message is not “vote Democrat” but rather “kill whitey”.
The question was posed previously as to what can unite such a system. In a country with such amounts of diversity, whether it be race or religion, it is not possible to unite a majority of voters. In practice, each party attempts to unite just enough people to be able to win the election and subjugate the other side. How do they do this? The answer is tribalistic rejection of the victories, heroes, and dogma of the perceived rival tribe. For Democrats, this is easy: Any remnants of the country prior to their takeover in 1965. This means not just white males, but also Christianity and its icons. Most of the right has failed to respond to these attacks, and in many cases actually agreed with them! As these attacks have gone unpunished, the Left has broadened its target. The Confederate statues served as simply a trial balloon, and when they didn’t meet resistance they continued onto a much broader array of symbols, all of which represent Traditional America. Lenin once said “You probe with bayonets. If you find mush, you proceed. If you find steel, you withdraw.” The left has met nothing but mush, so they will keep probing until they are met with steel (metaphorically speaking).
The message from the Republicans to unify its base has been either: “Low Taxes” or “Dems are real racists”. The low taxes bit is particularly silly, as large numbers people have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic and will not be paying taxes. On top of this, many people would be fine with the current level of taxation if they felt there was something coming back in return. Possibly the most jarring attempt at a message of unity from the GOP has been to claim that they are the real anti-racists. This is a party that has no real message and consists of politicians who are almost entirely grifters. These people do not believe anything that comes out of their mouth and simply take the position which they believe best furthers their career. If any of these so called “conservatives” actually care about American history and tradition, they would not even think of saying things such as “Grant was the original BLM” as was uttered by the Representative from Florida Matt Gaetz.
The pertinent issue going forward is how to successfully move on from the GOP without causing too much damage politically. Considering that the GOP has accepted the morality of the Left, worrying about causing political damage is silly because the government functions as if the Democrats have 100% of the government anyway. With Ted Cruz posting angel wings of George Floyd and Mike Pence decrying American Racism, how would it be much different if it were democrats in those roles?
The way to move on from the GOP can actually be found at the very beginnings of the party itself. David Potter has an entire chapter about this in his Pulitzer prize winner “The Impending Crisis”. By 1854 the Whigs had become irreparably split and a new party was imminent. Antislavery Northern Whigs could not realize their full potential while being attached to the proslavery Whigs of the south. The new Republican Party was able to overtake the Whigs by convincing prominent Senator William Seward to join its ranks in 1855. Seward was a major antislavery Senator and the Republicans were able to make the case that they were more committed to this cause than any of the other parties. They also approached him right after he was re-elected in 1854, so he had 6 years left before he would have to face an election as a Republican. This gave the new party immediate legitimacy and as such it was quickly able to come to prominence. A new party is possible if enough sympathetic influential figures can be convinced to join the ranks. Such an organization would allow for spreading the pro-America message as it would allow for non-profit status and would make it difficult for universities to exclude speakers from their campus.
The American political system is very unique and there are not many equivalents across the globe. The system largely rewards consensus, while making it very difficult for new parties to form. However, there are ways to enact meaningful change from within the system and it is important to look to the past to see how previous entities were able to come on the scene.