Leaving the Losing Side

The main fact of American politics in the 1990's is that the elites of both major parties have moved so far from the values and interests of the middle class that a third party has begun to rise almost spontaneously to fill the void. In Colorado, this third-party-to-be-named-later passed an amendment denying special rights to homosexuals. In New York, it worked in Queens to reject a multiculturalist grade school curriculum and in Staten Island to secede from Manhattan. It has passed term limits in 14 states. In 1992, the third party cut George Bush's Republican "base" to 38 percent of the vote, less than Herbert Hoover managed in 1932 even with the albatross of the Great Depression. It also held "victorious" Democrat Bill Clinton to two points short of Michael Dukakis's 1988 standard. Ross Perot, who vacillated in and out of the campaign and in and out of popular favor, in the end won 19 percent nationwide—and significantly more than that in some regions of the Sunbelt formerly perceived as Republican presidential strongholds. Still, the professional Democrats and Republicans in Washington act as if they have heard nothing new murmuring from Middle America.

Rather than cut middle-class taxes and end welfare as we know it, President Clinton has pushed through the biggest tax increase in history and unveiled a scheme for socialized medicine. He has opened the Armed Forces to homosexuals and the...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here