At that time, I told them, "Don't worry, this is the Republican's last hurrah. They are bound to self destruct during this [two year] term." I did not do extensive research to come to this conclusion, it was just a distinct impression I had at the time. I've had similar impressions in the past and when I feel this way, I'm usually on the right path.
So, now it seems that what I predicted is taking place. First, in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, a flood of candidates have jumped in. So far Donald Trump seems to be ahead, but traditional Republican party leaders are generally unsupportive of his candidacy. Now, the Speaker of the House has resigned and the person originally considered to be his successor has backed out.
In short, I hold little expectation that the party is going to get itself back together. However, before my 'liberal' friends rejoyce, we might want to look at what's going on in the Democratic Party. There is a similar struggle going on, even though Congressional leadership is not currently in disarray, and there are way fewer candidates for president at the moment.
Look, classic liberals (as I refer to them) say that the government (meaning the Federal Government, primarily) should have an increased role in solving our society wide problems. In spite of many differences between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, both are relatively aligned with this policy, in general.
I think the opposite is going to happen. The Federal Government is going to have a decreasing role in solving society wide problems. It is extremely clear to me that the inaction at the federal level is not due to resistance by Republicans. There are much deeper causes, causes that are seldom examined in today's 'blame game' news environment.
Each party blaming the other is mostly a lot of useless noise. The fundamental issues we are now facing have to do with the inability of our governmental structure to keep up with an increasing population, an increasing diversity of opinion in that population, an increasing complexity of the issues we face, and an increasing integration of world communication networks, economies, and business organizations.
Our nice little constitutional government, first put into operation around 1790, is just not up to the task! It is hopelessly overloaded and has been showing signs of this for the past 40 to 50 years.
So, why haven't we paid any attention to these trends? Two main reasons occur to me. One, change has taken place over time. We have had other things on our minds, such as the Berlin Wall coming down, the end of the Soviet Union, the rise of bold acts of violence by so-called terrorists, and major swings in the economy. The second reason is perhaps even more important. That is, who wants to admit that one's government is worn out and in need of replacement? That's a scary thought! Even if it's not scary, it certainly conjures up feelings of exhaustion at the prospect. A new kind of government? A monumental task, at the least! Better to pretend we can keep repairing and lubricating the one we have.
Literally, that's like trying to drive a Model T on today's interstate highways. Sure you can keep the old flivver working, but it's just absurd to actually use it in that manner.
Now before you think we have to replace it with a new, faster car, think again. We are going to replace it (if you want to stretch this analogy to the breaking point) with not just one but many modes of transportation. Walking, bicycles, electric scooters, ride sharing networks based on electric cars, and so on.
What does that look like when it comes to our nation, indeed the world? It looks like many other agencies taking the lead on todays and tomorrows society wide issues. Look at Wikipedia, for an example. A distributed, decentralized, diverse, giant volunteer artwork (nee resource) provided free to everyone. The government did not create this, neither did a major corporation. We are now developing thousands of alternatives to old fashioned 'one size fits all' government programs.
And we have to. It's just not possible to reach agreement among 320 million people on more than a precious few initiatives anymore. We are too diverse. We are too many to have a single conversation anymore. We can, and we must, and we will move forward by spreading out, networking, and forming completely new ways to collaborate, solve problems, and have good lives.
As much as I think the idea of 'single payer' medical insurance would be an improvement over the current morass of a medical industrial complex, it's simply not going to happen. Forget those other countries that do it. They are much more smaller and more mono cultural than we are. Instead, we will be forming smaller groups to collaborate on true health (not just medicine). It's already happening, although it's not obvious how it's going to work, overall, just yet.
There are other examples. I will describe more in subsequent posts on this blog. Stay tuned.