It's been the sort of political season where virtually every prediction I made proved wrong. It took some time for me to figure out that John McCain would indeed win the GOP nomination. Then, for the longest time I held firm to my prediction that Hillary Clinton would figure out some way to get the Democratic nomination. I constantly made predictions to my high school studnets about when someone or another would have to drop out of the race, predictions that rarely materialized. Then, when the slate of McCain vs. Obama was set, I was fairly confident that McCain would easily win such a prediction.
Today it came over me, though, that I'm probably wrong on that one, too. I once heard political analyst Terry Madonna speak of the cyclical rhythm to American politics whereby Republicans and Democrats trade forty-year periods of hegemony in federal politics. I've thought 2012 would be the year in which party that Reagan created gave way to a new Democratic order. My reasoning? The Democrats hadn't yet articulated a vision of what they were for, just what they were against (that being President Bush). Until they could put forth an image of what they were seting forth to do in office, they weren't ready for their turn at the helm.
It's dawned on me in the past couple of days, however, that the Republicans aren't really putting forth any consistent image of what they hope to do in office.
So this space in blogosphere begins with a dispirited moderate Republican who is convinced that he's about to begin a period of forty years in something of a political wilderness, the supporter of a party that will be mostly in the minority. This will consistute the bulk of my adulthood. Does one respond to this with cynicism? With introspection? With dispair?
An article in the most recent The Economist talked of how Americans increasingly surround themselves with people of similiar political leanings, and of how American increasingly avoid political conversations with people with whom they know they'll disagree. Americans tune into news broadcasts from networks they expect to echo their own ideology. Perhaps responding to a new reality of being in the minority means prompting the sort of dialogue that gets Americans to question more often the policies they hope their leaders will implement.