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Given that Trump has resiled from key Republican policy positions - e.g. on the Iraq war, Free Trade agreements, and foreign military alliances, and Hillary seems close to embodying neo-conservative foreign policy positions and neo-liberal economics, could we be witnessing the early signs of a pole reversal in US politics?

By that I mean that the Democrats become the new conservative party, and Republicans the radical insurgent pro-change party?  Not since the Democrats flipped from being the slave owners party to the party of Civil rights have we seen such a dramatic pole reversal take place.

A Pole reversal tends to be preceded by a lot of policy confusion, party disunity, protests on the streets, economic dislocation and general social upheaval.  Is that happening on a sufficient scale?

Could our successors here (Presuming the European Tribune remains progressive in tone) be looking to the Republicans for progressive reform in the not too distant future, and despairing of the Democrats ever doing anything progressive?

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 12th, 2016 at 04:57:43 AM EST
I see it more on the far-right/centre-right/centre-left/far-left. The positions being relative to power elite, not policy positions.

With continuing wealth transfers to the top holding sway in one form or the other (austerity, reform, NAIRU unemployment, QE, financial bubbles) being the centre, the centre can not hold. Republicans are tipping far-right while Democrats appear to have beaten of a far-left insurgency.

While the far-left and the far-right are far from each other, they both need to use opposition to the centres policies and use alternatives floating out there to enact new policy positions. Some of which overlap.

So no, I don't think Republicans will turn into a progressive party, even though some (but far from all) of their positions may be grounded in a reality the centre has left behind.

by fjallstrom on Thu May 12th, 2016 at 05:35:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think so. Trump is populist on trade (at least in words), but a classic tax-cutter and welfare-abolisher otherwise. And has no other progressive-looking ideas.

Also, the Democrats didn't flip from slave-owner to Civil Rights party: in the 90 years in-between, on occasion they championed a number of progressive ideas (New Deal anyone?), and Northern Democrats were always different (think of the immigrant-focused local branches in New York or Chicago).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 12th, 2016 at 07:01:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not only has Trump bashed free trade, the Iraq war, and military alliances, he is now repeating the Cheny apostasy on deficits, and aligning himself (whether he realises it or not)  with MMT economists who support Sanders and taking a more radical approach on deficits than Krugman/Clinton.  He has also spoken about the importance of the social safety net and opposed Republicans seeking to cut it.

Yea, all populist stuff he could reverse tomorrow, and not necessarily indicators of what he would actually do in office. But we are talking about his campaign rhetoric rather than what he would actually do in office when assessing his electoral chances.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 12th, 2016 at 07:44:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But we are talking about his campaign rhetoric rather than what he would actually do in office when assessing his electoral chances.

That's true of both Clinton and Trump. Both will say anything to get elected but once in the WH, what they will want to do and what they CAN do is the great unknown. I guarantee you, nothing good for the 99%, either one. And then reality comes a knockin' (terrorist attack, economic shit, natural disaster) and what?

A choice between 2 terrible options, neither cares for or about the 99%, and the world stares on in disbelief.


They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu May 12th, 2016 at 01:30:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump is flat-out lying when he claims he was against the Iraq war, he is on record to the contrary. Opposition to military alliances is nothing progressive as he still wants wars of aggression, with open targeting of civilians.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 12th, 2016 at 02:11:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You won't see anything progressive out of the GOP in our lifetimes.  Populist?  Yes.  Progressive?  No way.  On the other hand, so long as the DLC control the Dems, you won't see anything progressive from there either.
by rifek on Thu May 12th, 2016 at 07:06:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we are witnessing a political realignment, not a pole reversal. It is unclear how this will go. If a progressive like Bernie can ever win the presidential primary the Democrats could become a much more progressive party. The republicans ARE now becoming a much more conservative party. Some Republicans might go to the Democratic Party, but it is also possible that a new centrist party could emerge, at least briefly. If Sanders doesn't win this nomination there could be a significant Green Party by 2020. Jill Stein is solid and a socialist, effectively. They need to get on the ballot in all 50 states. As it is she is offering to discuss giving Sanders the Presidential slot this year if Hillary prevails. I doubt he will accept. But things could be different in 2020.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 14th, 2016 at 09:54:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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