The Parties’ Lament


Joe Cunningham, III

One of my co-workers is developing a project for his social studies students that is kind of based on the model that Boys and Girls State uses. He wants his Louisiana History students to create their own parishes, elect people to the proper positions, and build a state legislature. It’s a fascinating model because it actually sees what kids think the political process should look like.

The Internet community, not too surprisingly, is filled with people who apparently think along the same lines as teenagers when it comes to how they think government should work. And, before you ask, yes I see the irony of being an Internet Pundit and saying this, but it is true to a large extent. People who go to the Internet to immediately express OUTRAGE at every little thing and make demands of the government to change or be destroyed have very little clue as to how things work. That’s not to say they are dumb by any means – a lot of those people are actually vey good thinkers. However, their assumption is that simply getting people as mad as they are will convince others to join their cause.

Or, even better, many of these Internet commentators have joined the “Let It Burn” movement that American voters are increasingly feeling compelled to join. That’s one reason why Donald Trump is (sadly) still happening to us. He represents a complete break from politicians and politics as usual. He is, in effect, the great wildfire people hope will engulf and destroy Washington D.C.

Those who take to the Internet to express rage and those who wish to just let the Establishment burn are two sides of the same coin. This is the far extreme of the disaffected Right, and it is comparable to the far extreme of the disaffected Left – Bernie Sanders. Trump and Sanders are the direct cause of two parties that can no longer connect to their base as well as they used to. The vague promises to Democratic voter of a fairer America from Obama and the absolute lies told to Republican voters by their party leaders have turned both bases to non-established candidates.

It will not last as cooler heads prevail, but it is fascinating (and frankly a bit hilarious) to see the two major parties struggle to realize exactly what is happening to them.