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A choice whether or not to determine the future of America by continuing the 2016 American Voter Revolt.

To choose whether or not to continue the 2016 American Voter Revolt


By —— Bio and Archives--October 18, 2018

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To choose whether or not to continue the 2016 American Voter Revolt
If you’ve voted in several Presidential elections in America, you may have, at some time, felt unenthusiastic about choosing between the political version of Tweddle Dee and Dweddle Dum of Alice and Wonderland fame.

You had cause to feel that way. It wasn’t your fault.

Had you come of voting age in 1904, you not only would be dead now, you would have, throughout your life, missed the opportunity to choose between Presidential candidates representing two, distinct, major, political parties.

Voters perceived a dwindling away of the ideological differences between the two major parties

By 1904, the two major choices were moving toward an ideological merger.

The following stats illustrate the impact of that merger on voter participation.

From 1880-1900, the average, eligible-voter participation rate in the six Presidential elections was 77.1%.

From 1904-1924, the average, eligible-voter participation rate in the six Presidential elections was 58.2%.

Why the 18.9% drop? you ask.

The answer is simple.

Between the 1900 election (73.2% participation), and the 1904 election (65.2%), voters perceived a dwindling away of the ideological differences between the two major parties. Eventually, voter participation fell to 48.9% in 1924.

What changed the voters’ perception of the two major parties?

The answer is not simple. We’ll move to it in stages.

 

One of, if not the clearest, explanation of the change in voter perception was provided by Murray Rothbard (1926-1995), a prolific author, historian, and economist of the Austrian School of Economics. A man whose influence has dramatically grown since his death.

The Austrian “School” wasn’t a building. It was a way of thinking about, and acting on, the classical liberal (“liberal” based on the 19th Century use of the word) principles of economics.

Throughout much of 20th Century America, Rothbard was an articulate, compelling spokesperson for the Austrian School of Economics—named after Heinrich von Mises’ (1881-1973) home country, Austria-Hungry.

Mises was a premier economist of 19th Century classical liberalism (“liberalism” meantconservative” in the 1800s before the progressive movement hijacked the word to mean the opposite of its original intent).

In 1940, Mises, a Jew, and his wife of 35 years until his death, Margit, fled the Nazi advance into Europe, and then emigrated to New York City.

Rothbard became one of Mises’ disciples. 

If you check the index of the economics textbook your child, or grandchild, is given in a public high school and search for some mention of the “Austrian School,” you will likely find, at best, only a fly-by reference. The Austrians are widely ignored in the public schools’ economics curriculum, as well as in the majority of college economics classes, with a few exceptions.

Continued below...

Tweddle Dee and Tweddle Dum

Democrat donkey and the Republican elephant melded, over time, into one twin, four-legged, mammalian quadruped. Tweddle Dee and Tweddle Dum joined at the hip

As persona non grata in academia, the Austrians remain marginalized.

Not so for the Keynesian School of Economics, named after John Maynard Keynes. Keynesian economics is the long-established, standard doctrine of economics taught in the academe. Today, Keynesian Economics’ best-known acolyte is Paul Krugman, who writes for the New York Times.

During the Obama Administration, Krugman argued that the problem with doubling the federal debt during President Obama’s eight years—up from $10 to $20 trillion—was that it didn’t create enough new debt to adequately stimulate the economy into a growth mode. Today, Krugman’s name appears at the top of a widely-used high school text book on economics read by AP (college-bound) students. No bias there.

So, what does this have to do with the decline in voting that started in 1904?

Much. Because, ultimately, all politics is attached somewhere, somehow, to an economic theory that translates into practice.

The 1904 General Election began a long series of Presidential elections where the Democrat donkey and the Republican elephant melded, over time, into one twin, four-legged, mammalian quadruped. Tweddle Dee and Tweddle Dum joined at the hip.

 


The overall, 100-year, downward trend in voting participation is undeniable

Here’s an excerpt of Rothbard’s explanation of what happened (highlighting added for emphasis):

“In short, the election of 1896 left the United States with a new party system: a centrist and moderately statist Republican Party with a comfortably permanent majority of the country, and a minority Democratic Party roughly confined to the one-party South and to Irish-controlled big cities of the Northeast and Midwest, which were nevertheless a minority in those regions. Gone was the sharp conflict of ideology or even of ethnic-religious values; both parties were now moderately statist in different degrees; both parties contained pietists and liturgicals within their ranks. The McKinley Republicans were happy to be known as the “party of prosperity” rather than the “party of great moral ideas.” The familiar lack of clear and genuine ideological choice between two dominant parties so characteristic of modern America was beginning to emerge. Above all, there was no longer a political party, nor a clear-cut constituency, devoted to the traditional American ideology of laissez-faire.” (The Progressive Era, written in the late 1970s, and only recently published)

Early in the 20th Century, American voters watched this coalition of the two major parties form, and many opted out of voting, thinking—Why bother?

The overall, 100-year, downward trend in voting participation is undeniable: 1876 - 81.9%; 1976 - 53.6%. From the Centennial Celebration of America to the Bicentennial Celebration, there was a 28.3% decline in votes cast for the Presidency.

Rothbard compared declining citizen voter participation to the claims made by the early progressive movement, as well as to claims made by the progressives of the 1960s-70s at the time of his writing below. Those claims are still made today by the Democratic Party of the American Left.

 

 

Continued below...

Trump leads a political revolution—almost single-handedly, outside of his voter base

Rothbard asked,

”[H]ow could voter interest decline drastically, especially among the poor and the young, in the very Progressive Era (approximately 1900-1917), which has been trumpeted by the Progressives themselves and laudatory historians as the voice of ‘the people’ and the ‘march of expanding democracy’? Obviously, historians have, at least until the last decade or so, unfortunately taken the progressives at face value. The march of triumphal democracy was, in stark reality, a mere camouflage for an assault on democracy and on freedom on behalf of the burgeoning coalition of technocratic and Big Business elites.

For the new non-ideological party system and demobilized electorate meant also that the political party itself became far less important in deciding government policy. And, along with the parties, their constituencies—the voting public—became less important in influencing government actions. This decline of the political party as well as its voting constituency left a power vacuum which…the new order of experts, technocrats, and organized economic pressure groups rushed to fill. The dominance of the new elites alienated still more citizens and swelled the ranks of non-voters. The way was paved for the Progressive period.”

If, in the past, you shuffled to your local polling place, not so much with enthusiasm for a candidate or a political philosophy, as to fulfill a felt obligation to vote, now you know why millions of us have shared that same feeling. And why we are tired of Tweddle Dee and Tweddle Dum. 

Came the election of President Donald Trump in 2016.

And with him the threat to break the long-standing political coalition established—some five score and eighteen years ago—at the turn of the 20th Century.

Trump leads a political revolution—almost single-handedly, outside of his voter base.

If that revolution is to continue, it requires voters to understand that we face the first midterm election, since the end of the 19th Century, where We The People have a clear and present choice.

A choice whether or not to determine the future of America by continuing the 2016 American Voter Revolt.


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Lee Cary -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Since November 2007, Lee Cary has written hundreds of articles for several websites including the American Thinker, and Breitbart’s Big Journalism and Big Government (as “Archy Cary”).  His work has been quoted on national television (Sean Hannity) and on nationally syndicated radio (Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin).  He is quoted in Jerome Corsi’s book “The Obama Nation,” in Mark Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny.”  His pieces have posted on the Drudge Report and on the website Real Clear Politics.  Cary holds a B.S. in Economics from Northern Illinois University, and a Masters and a Doctorate in Theology from the Methodist seminary at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.  He served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army in Military Intelligence. Cary lives in Texas.


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