Master Gunner wrote:Except nobody would be able to agree on how to combine them. Or even admit that the opposing view has any merit. Generally the only people who would have any chance of doing such a thing are the moderates, where you generally have the same arguments, just on a different scale, and they usually don't have the support to accomplish much, and lack the numbers to do it on their own.
Or something, I'm just talking out my ass here (gotta practice, playing Libya on the Security Council in May).
Actually, the political parties and their alignments have shifted dramatically in the last few decades. Can you guess which President this was:
Fought for tougher regulations on big business
Believed in workers rights and policies to benefit the working poor
Sought to keep a strong military presence.
That was Teddy Roosevelt, my favorite president, a little more than a hundred years ago. He was a Republican, but now all his actions look like those of a hawkish Democrat. Also, look at the "maniac" Eisenhower... who expanded and continued the New Deal, advocated massive government spending to create the interstate highway system, and supported civil rights. At the time, though, he was seen as conservative... for failing to be pro-active on civil rights, and for not working actively against McCarthy. Nowadays I'd say he's about at the same place on the political spectrum as, say, Bill Clinton (who can be similarly criticized for passing "don't ask don't tell" and pandering somewhat to corporations.)
So where did this shift come from? Well I'd largely attribute things to the Dixiecrats. Research them if you don't know what I'm talking about. In 1948 Strom Thurmond split from the democratic party (that's right, he was once a democrat... another sign of how much political views shifted in a few decades) to form a segregationist party. Their party slogan was "Segregation Forever." They actually won a few states in the south in the 1948 election, but collapsed immediately after that. Still, their favored policies were now at odds with the Democrats advocacy of Civil rights.
The big change came when Nixon sought to employ Kevin Phillips' "Southern Strategy." Here's a quote from Phillips explaining the strategy:
"From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats"
After Nixon started playing to this strategy, the Republicans started winning the south, and some of the former Dixiecrats turned their support away from Democratic candidates and toward Republican ones. The problem here was that the Republican party had to continue, at least on the surface, to campaign on racial fears in the south. I honestly think the republican adoption of the "southern strategy" and absorption of the dixiecrats is one of the things that is responsible for some of the more bothersome political views the right now endorses.