Monday, May 19, 2008

The two Democratic Parties

The Democratic Party has never been a coherent political party, at least not for long. It started out as an Andrew Jackson fan club, but couldn't hold together long after he died. That's how the Republican Party got the chance to elect Abe Lincoln. And the Democrats have had their share of splits since. 1968 wasn't the only time the police were called out on the floor of the national convention. 1924 had plenty of fights, too. Seems half the party couldn't reconcile themselves to the Catholic (Al Smith) that the other half of the party wanted to nominate. So they fell apart again until FDR put them back together, at least for a while. You get the idea. Falling apart over Civil Rights in the 1960s wasn't an aberration, it was par for the course.

The most interesting statistic about the 1994 election, when the Republicans took control of Congress back from the Democrats, is that people with high school or college educations were more likely to vote Republican. People who had less than a high school or more than a college education (i.e. advanced degrees) voted Democrat. Nearly half of the country was Democratic, but the two halves of the party couldn't, literally couldn't, talk to each other. They mostly never ran into each other in life.

This division is now reflected in the primary election results. Ironically, the candidate of the better educated is an African-American raised by a single mother, while the candidate who appeals to the less well educated is a conspicuously wealthy multi-millionaire. They both have plenty of education, though.

What's my take on all this? Heh! I'm in the 5% of Democrats who really doesn't care. All I care about is that the party gets its act together in time for the election. The only thing that scares me now is another Republican in the White House. Even John McCain. If there's any way to prevent that, I want to be part of it. I've had it with the Republican Party. Even John McCain. Would an Obama-Clinton ticket do it? I'd vote for it!

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