The Sixth Realignment of America’s Political Parties

Comments Off on The Sixth Realignment of America’s Political Parties
The Sixth Realignment of America’s Political Parties

While many managers and investors would prefer to remain “agnostic” with respect to politics, the implications of regulations, taxes, foreign policy, and legal decisions is so wide-ranging that willful blindness is foolhardy.  Whether we’re talking about regulatory compliance costs, employment regulations, taxes, monetary policy, or civil court precedents, much of how we do business and realize profits depends on who is elected or appointed to run the U.S. government.  And political parties play a big role in this process. 

In a new book titled, The Next Realignment, Frank J. DiStefano  carefully examines the history of U.S.  political parties and what that history implies for the on-going evolution of American politics.  Most Americans think of the major American political parties as permanent alliances representing immutable values.  So, they are confounded by the sharp increase in vitriol between and within these parties.  And they long for the supposedly idyllic period from World War II through the early 60s when the parties shared so many ideals in common.  Few realize why the post-war political steady-state which shaped the expectation of Baby Boomers was fleeting and atypical.

History tells us that our parties are nothing more than temporary coalitions forged as tools to self-govern our republic at specific moments of crisis.  According to DiStefano, parties are “organizations that bind fractious collections of people who disagree about many things but agree on how to solve the biggest problem of their age.”  Their constituencies rally around a unique ideology forged from sometimes clashing principles, important to each party’s different factions.  And unbeknownst to them in the moment, the factions and the principles are often significantly affected by waves of moral renewal, called Great Awakenings, which have pulsed episodically through American history. 

Once reformed, often under old names, these “new parties” wage a great national debate over the problems facing the country.  That debate can go on for decades, until Americans almost forget that those parties and their ideologies weren’t always there. 

Then, with time, the country changes, problems are solved and the coalitions and ideologies of its parties, decay...

To continue reading, become a paid subscriber for full access.
Already a Trends Magazine subscriber? Login for full access now.

Subscribe for as low as $195/year

  • Get 12 months of Trends that will impact your business and your life
  • Gain access to the entire Trends Research Library
  • Optional Trends monthly CDs in addition to your On-Line access
  • Receive our exclusive "Trends Investor Forecast 2015" as a free online gift
  • If you do not like what you see, you can cancel anytime and receive a 100% full refund