Trying to predict the future of politics in the United States is often considered a fool’s game, and it’s not hard to see why. Many different predictions have been wrong in the past and when it’s hard to predict a primary a week before, how do you predict US policy 30-40 years ahead? However there are some major trends that we can figure will probably make a huge difference going into the future.
The Demographic Changes
By 2050, if not before, even with minimal immigration the minority population will be more than the white population. While some see this as a boon for the Democratic party, there are some significant reservations to this. One is that not every ethnic group automatically goes one direction or another. Another is the fact that most minority groups are actually among the smallest participants in the political process percentage wise – which blunts some of those changes.
Another thing to keep in mind is: in many cases there is a natural tendency to go a little bit more conservative. How much of a movement varies, and it’s interesting to see if this trend will hold true for a generation that did not see reasonable opportunity early on in life.
One possible counter to the shift towards liberalism is the simple fact that couples who both see themselves as very liberal tend to have one kid. That’s it. The much larger families tend to be conservative and religious, which also means there might be a built-in balance to a significant shift that people aren’t considering.
Populism – What Will it Lead to?
Let’s make one thing clear: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders don’t appear to be aberrations. If anything, Barack Obama’s election in 2008 and the rise of the Tea Party seem to indicate that there’s a lot of anger. Will this lead to both parties going a different direction, or could we see the possible start of a four-party system?
While that seems insane even a few years ago, the idea of two large parties (Democrat, Republican) and two smaller but pronounced populist left and populist right parties that still can win handfuls of seats in Congress doesn’t seem so out of line in these modern times.
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