Super Tuesday continues to make this Presidential Primary year a surreal, entertaining, but serious event. One of our two major political parties has been undergoing internal ideological changes for quite a few years. They've skewed away from moderate conservatism to a more conservative position -- actually extremely conservative or even beyond.
Many of their more traditional party members have been facing an increasingly perplexing dilemma as they try to accommodate the more extreme element of their party. Doing so has not been easy since that element's original small number has had a "my way or the highway" attitude. We citizens of all political persuasion experienced the consequences of that obstinate position when exercised in our Congress for too many years -- so many issues on which they failed to take action. Too many of that group lacked either the willingness or skill to employ the finer points of governing which include a need for negotiation and compromise.
So now, this same political party has produced a multitude of candidates who desire to become President. Their few candidates who could be slightly more inclined toward moderate conservatism have largely been excised from candidacy as various state primary election totals have been eliminating them.
In the beginning, one unexpected candidate flamboyantly entered that parties political race turning the campaign dynamics upside down. He has resorted to appealing to voters basest values in a most negative manner with promises to likely continue the same tactics, or worse, if he becomes the party candidate. He is winning in most of the state primaries to date.
Considerably fewer states voters have kept two remaining challengers in the race -- men whose rhetoric raises the possibility they could bring a troubling degree of religion into governing -- more theocratic than democratic. One other candidate with governing experience who could be the more rational of all continues to hang on at least through his state's March 15th primary.
Speculation has had some pundits saying we may be witnessing a demise of one of our two major political parties, but maybe the party is being rejuvenated -- just not as they have previously presented themselves. Will some party members leave? Will they throw their support to the other party?
I still wonder if a new third political party and candidate will emerge in the next couple weeks as a former NYC mayor said he would run if candidate options consisted of those we now see to be emerging as the contenders.
Our other major political party has two candidates that appear to be winnowing down to one -- the person expected to be their nominee as state primaries proceed. The rhetoric from these two has been mostly respectful, issue oriented and framed to appeal to voters. We'll begin to see the increased tensions as candidates become the final nominees campaigning toward the November Presidential election.
I firmly believe in our nation's need for a strong two party political system. Others views are important. Often the numbers of those of like mind do form another party, but seldom have they attracted enough supporters to be elected to national governmental office. In some situations a strong third party can adversely affect a final election's outcome but it's premature to examine that possibility further.
Will we see one of the major political parties in existence throughout my entire lifetime begin to fade from the scene? Will another party, perhaps with disenchanted members of that fading party, form a third party? We hear mention of the possibility of holding an "open convention" in hopes of preventing a candidate unwanted by party leaders becoming their nominee. We'll see what develops -- especially after March 15th.