I just had a terrible thought! What if the extreme political division in America continues? What would that mean, long-term, to our government and to our country?
The way I see it, we could just see-saw back and forth between Republican and Democratic Presidents and congressional control in Washington. When one party is in power, the other party will become energized and vote them out at the next presidential election (after either four or eight years of the ‘in’ party’s reign). Then the same thing will happen again and the current minority party will take over from the current majority party. This process could go on forever.
What would this mean for the country? When in office, each party will devote their energies to undoing everything the other party did during it’s time in power. The President will reverse as many of the opposition party’s executive orders as possible. Congress will pass laws to neutralize or reverse as many as possible of the ‘evil’ laws passed by the other party. The courts will be stacked with ‘good’ judges from the ruling Presidential/Congressional party.
This translates to total schizophrenia for the country. For four to eight years at a time, we’ll have, let’s say, a Democratic government. That would mean we’d live with policies that were pro-environment, pro-universal healthcare, pro-regulations, pro-entitlements, pro-voting rights, pro-women’s rights, pro-choice, pro-immigration, pro-LGBT rights, pro-marijuana, pro-income equality, pro-Constitution and Bill Of Rights, pro-gun control, pro-middle class, pro-diplomacy, pro-Western European allies, etc. You get the idea.
Then when the pendulum swings, we’ll have four to eight years of a government that is against or indifferent to all of the above. That government would work hard to enforce the exact opposite.
It may actually take more than four to eight years to undo all the ‘damage’ done by the opposition party during their time in power. So random rules and laws from each party’s tenure could remain. This would result in a mishmash of laws and policies coexisting, that range from right-wing/conservative to left-wing/progressive. But the major issues, the ones that electrify and motivate each base, these policies will swing wildly from one administration and congress to the next. There will be instability and confusion in every aspect of life.
The party in power will shut out the other party, minimizing that party and emasculating them. The continuation of one party rule, with no compromise or coöperation, will further fan the flames of inter party hatred and further fuel the bitter political divisions in the nation. It will also make it very hard to get anything done in Washington because majorities will always be small and fragile.
That leaves us with a barely functioning government that will always have the abject hatred of a large percentage of the country. Everyone will know that whatever the ruling party manages to accomplish will be undone and or reversed within a few years.
I don’t see how this cycle will get broken. Unless, the 60% – 65% of the people who hate Trump can come together and form a government that has at least some bipartisan support. Once that happens, the pendulum can stop swinging wildly and reset somewhere in the middle.
Until then, buckle up! It’s going to be a bumpy ride!