... или репортаж с места событий

Неужели Козловский Фишер-Дискау поет громче меня?

Riding to work this morning, after having read that Obama won - one of the main problems for the Republicans being that they could not field a good candidate - I was thinking about the self-perpetuating nature of the American political parties. I found that idea about fifteen years ago in The Brandesian - a journal published at Brandeis University by a group of libertarian students.

The idea goes roughly like this: ideally, a political party is created to promote an issue or ideology. Once the issue or ideology triumphs there is no need for the party anymore and it disbands. The two American parties, on the other hand, are the ends in themselves. They pick issues, constituencies, and ideologies in order to win elections, and not vice versa. Thus with time a party can change its position on an issue to its opposite.

Probably the most blatant example of this is the relationship between the blacks and the Republican party: it was a Republican president who emancipated them (Lincoln), a Republican president who first since the Civil War actively pushed for civil rights (Eisenhower), and a Republican president (Nixon) who tried to introduce (but failed) a sweeping welfare reform that would greatly benefit the black constituency. Now blacks are firmly in the Democratic camp.

Later (while at the Center for Study of Rationality) I found out that probably the self-perpetuating two-party system is an outgrowth of the way elections are conducted in America: electing candidates by districts where the winner takes all vs. voting for party lists where winners are prorated.

I was also thinking this morning that now for sure the Reagan era is over.

When I came to work I came upon this piece from TNR which somewhat addressed and confirmed those thoughts of mine. It's about shifting demographic and constituency patterns that contributed to the Democratic victory and (according to the article) will play a significant role for the decade - if not more - to come. Enjoy.

The full text )

И стали они жить-поживать и home improvement совершать.
Каждую ночь после обмена со стороны Рамаллы слышен грохот салюта. Хану это дело очень интересует.
С появлением детей такие до сих пор безобидные слова, как jet lag, приобретают зловещий смысл.



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