That (18)70’s Show

A fascinating analysis, and sobering conclusions about where we are now and what’s like ahead for us. This was published by the American Enterprise Institute.

  • In an era of political division, economic anxiety, and social divides, a look back to the period from 1873 to 1896 provides useful insight into our current times, both in the long-term political effects of our current cultural upheavals and the increasingly erratic nature of our politics.
  • The way parties adapted to increasing tension in the electorate during the 1890s tells us something about the direction our party system seems to be headed. Much of our current politics can be viewed in light of a controversial war, financial collapse, and polarized politics. Our society has transformed from an industrial to informational one, concentrated in urban areas. And our congressional politics have destabilized.
  • The changes seen in the parties over the past few decades are not accidental and will not be short lived in an era of social upheavals, when citizens are constructing new social orders, and our parties are shifting to address these upheavals. The trend toward populism within the GOP and leftism in the Democratic Party is unlikely to abate.

Read the full report (PDF) here.

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