With Both Parties in Free Fall, Which One is Worse Off?
The future of both American parties are uncertain.
From a birds-eye view, both Democratic and Republican parties are going downhill fast. While the GOP is on top right now, Donald Trump has a serious chance of damaging their reputation way more than he has already. The Democrats have a serious problem with connecting to voters. They should be wiping the floor with all of the problems the GOP has, but they can’t capitalize on the Republican’s troubles. It’s difficult to predict which party will sink first, if they both don’t go under at the same time that is.
The Republicans managed to cause a major upset when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton last year. He’s managed to pull many new voters into the GOP base, but at an extreme cost. As we all know, Trump is a polarizing figure. People either love him or loath him. Trump was never a popular candidate even in his own party, but the people in the GOP were still willing to vote for him no matter how outrageous he acted. That sustainability won’t last much longer though.
Trump is eventually going to make most of his base realize how much of a fool he is and that it was a mistake to vote for him. If you’ve been on twitter any in the last few months, there are several twitter accounts dedicated to finding tweets from people that regret voting for Trump; the most prominent one being Trump Regrets. Not even half a year in, his approval rate is 38.4% (according to 538), and it looks like it isn’t going up anytime soon. Barack Obama’s rating was 58.5% at this time in his presidency, more than 20% up on Trump. Is it possible that Trump turns his luck around and truly Makes America Great Again™? Anything is possible, but personally, I highly doubt it.
Unless if I’m totally wrong, Donald Trump will be the death of the GOP for at least a generation. Voters are starting to realize that the current GOP platform is not going to make their lives better. The GOP can’t pretend their policies benefit the middle and lower class that well anymore, since their mask has been slipped off by Trump. The healthcare bill fiasco going on in DC right now has also caused Trump voters to see that the GOP doesn’t care about them. His general bitchy demeanor and daily fuck-ups don’t help either. The people in control of the GOP realize this (I think), but they can’t do anything right now. They have to pretend that everything is going fine, even if they all know they’re in deep shit.
If they are going to have to dump Trump, they’ll have to time it perfectly or it’ll damage them severely. If they do it too early, then they’ll lose most of their newer fans and get killed in 2018 and 2020 (if Democrats learn how to appeal to undecided voters.) If they wait too long, then they’ll be considered spineless, and lose credibility with their long-time base. Whether that means they’ll just not vote, be swayed Democrat, or bite the bullet and vote for GOP in 2018 and 2020 is uncertain. All I know is that sticking with Trump after it’s certain to the base that he needs to go has the potential to kill the party. They’re going to lose voters no matter what, they’ll need to time it perfectly to minimize their losses.
The Democrats should be killing the GOP at the polls, but can’t due to a severe case of being incompetent as hell. They somehow lost to Donald Trump of all people last year, and have not taken any notes on why since it seems. Most of the higher-ups of the Democratic party are still in charge, and it seems likely that’ll not change for a while. They still stay close Hillary Clinton, who was the most unlikable Democrat candidate probably ever. And quite frankly, their politics suck ass to normal Americans.
Even with Trump’s unpopularity, the Dems aren’t gaining much. Sure, they’re making huge gains in districts with special elections, but as Ricky Bobby’s father said; “if you ain’t first, you’re last.” A quality loss isn’t going to help Democrats any, since that seat will still be a Republican one. The Democrats need to find a message that’ll get unlikely voters up and vote for them, and candidates that don’t just spit out phrases and use celebrity endorsement to appease the people that were already going to vote for them.
Personally, I see an easier path for the Democrats than the GOP, but I don’t know if they’re willing to commit to change. The party needs to abandon its neo-liberal message, since it isn’t working and isn’t gaining any voters. It’ll be hard for them to do that though, since they’re stubborn as hell. The Democrats need to at least pretend they care. They can do this by promising the voters that they’ll push for single payer, a high minimum wage, or both if they feel spicy. Having actual reasons other than ‘at least they’re not the Republicans’ to vote for the Democrats will bring out voters that would have otherwise probably stayed home. The Democrats also need to learn how to campaign better. Seeing the failures from recent special election campaigns and the terrible campaigns they’ve run in the last few years, they have a great idea on how NOT to run a campaign. We’ll see if they relearn how to campaign, and maybe run people who aren’t chodes. I think they’ll gain seats in 2018 no matter what due to Trump fucking up the GOP from inside, but the amount of seats they gain will depend on what approach they take. Hopefully, they’ll learn their lesson and come up with a platform that doesn’t suck.
If I had to choose between which party going down first, I would have to pick the Republicans. While they’re more aware of what their problem is, they have the harder way out. Donald Trump is damaging their already shattered reputation daily, and it doesn’t seem like they’ll get rid of him soon. If the Democrats realize what they’re doing wrong and push a good and clear message while campaigning in 2018 and 2020, they’ll take back control of D.C.. It’s up to them though if they want to stop being so ignorant.