As our two dominant political parties unveil their ideological platforms, it’s becoming painfully evident that neither party is in touch with mainstream Americans. Some of the stances found in these party manifestos are very shocking to the majority of Americans, who are likely moderate in their politics.
Mind you, the Democratic and Republican platforms are both are non-binding and will only be a guide for viewpoints that will probably be readily ignored by many. Still, the debates surrounding the rolling-out of these platforms speak volumes about the extremism in our mainstream political parties.
The extremist positions in these platforms are jaw dropping. Take for example the hot-button issue of abortion. While Democrats have resolved that federal funds should be used for abortion, Republicans instead believe that abortion should be banned with no exceptions for rape or incest.
Along the same lines, it looks like Republicans have decided coal is a clean technology (clearly it’s not), and Democrats want to ban fracking where there is local opposition (many in the party wanted to ban fracking altogether).
Republicans don’t back gay marriage, call pornography a public health crisis, and don’t want to legalize marijuana in any fashion (not even the medicinal variety). Gregory Angelo, the head of the Log Cabin Republicans, called what we’re seeing “the most anti-LGBT Platform in the Party’s 162-year history.” Today’s Republican Party is more socially conservative than my Great Grandmother, and clearly out of touch with majority culture.
On the other side of the political spectrum, Democrats passed the most progressive platform in the party’s history, largely under the influence of Senator Bernie Sanders’ supporters. For instance, their platform includes breaking up the big banks, a $15 an hour minimum wage, and raising taxes substantially. All-in-all, their platform seeks to significantly grow the social safety net with little regard for our nation’s finances. For fiscal conservatives, these policies amount to a nightmarish scenario.
In better news, both parties fought off efforts to dismantle the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). That’s right, there are powerful anti-free trade voices on both sides of the aisle, and they’ve been gaining more traction. Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were loud voices against trade. In the future, look for a lively debate to reappear in both parties.
It’s no wonder why Washington is so dysfunctional–our parties are completely out of touch with mainstream America, which is largely moderate. Given that extremists on each side tend to be loud about their very unreasonable opinions, it’s time that more moderate voices were heard on both sides of the aisle.
David is the Editor of Bold. He's especially passionate about millennial economic empowerment. A former local news reporter, David is originally from the Little Havana area in Miami, and later became a pioneer resident of the Disney-inspired town of Celebration, Florida. David holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.