The Most Significant Long Range Events Of 2013

Now that we are in the last day of 2013, it is time to reflect on what the most significant long range events of 2013 are, events that will affect us in the future, and are signs of progress, which can never be reversed.

They include in no special order:

The accomplishment of national health care, a dream since Theodore Roosevelt first mentioned the concept in his Progressive Party campaign in 1912, later suggested by Harry Truman, partially enacted by Lyndon B. Johnson, attempted by Bill and Hillary Clinton unsuccessfully, promoted by Senator Ted Kennedy, and finally becoming law under Barack Obama. Even with all of the kinks and quirks now and in the future, national health care is here to stay, finally making America reach the stage of all other democracies in the world, but as usual the last to adopt social and economic reform, as compared to Europe, Canada, and Australia.

The acceptance by the Supreme Court of the concept of gay marriage, and the expansion from nine to eighteen states of acceptance of same sex marriage, and nothing will ever reverse what has happened, and eventually, the Supreme Court will mandate its legality throughout America, just as they did for interracial marriage in 1967. Many may not like it, but just as with interracial marriage, one does not have to engage in either interracial or same sex marriage, but it is nobody’s business to tell someone else who he or she is to love and to have the benefits of marriage, and no religious institution needs to accept it, as civil marriage will always be available.

The civil war raging in the Republican Party, which will determine if the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike will survive or go into the dustbin of history, which Is certain, if the right wing Tea Party Movement is allowed to take over the party apparatus, and control the House and Senate Republican caucuses, and control major state governments around the nation. An extreme right wing Republican Party will not survive, and will give the Democrats such dominance that a moderate centrist party, maybe on the pattern of the Whig Party of Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John Quincy Adams and Abraham Lincoln in the 19th century, will then emerge as a valid alternative to the more leftist Democratic Party by comparison.

The rise of a permanent Democratic majority in the Electoral College, as Georgia, Texas, Arizona and North Carolina will turn “blue” over the rest of the second decade of the 21st century, due to the growth in the Hispanic-Latino population, and the alienation of women from the Republican Party, which is working to control the reproductive lives of women. Both groups will swing these Sun Belt States to the Democrats, and with the Atlantic Coast from New England down to Virginia, and the Pacific Coast and the Upper Midwest more “blue” all of the time, there will be no way that Democrats will lose the White House over the next couple of decades, whether they nominate Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, or someone else, for the Presidency in 2016 and beyond.

The Supreme Court will turn more liberal, as over the remaining years of this decade, the likelihood of new Supreme Court appointments, as well as circuit and district courts, will fall to Democratic Presidents, who no longer have to worry about a filibuster proof majority of 60 votes. The need for only 51 votes or 50 with the Vice President breaking the tie, insures that the courts, and eventually the high Court, will take a different view over time on same sex marriage, abortion rights, civil rights, and civil liberties, reminding one over the next two decades (due to lifetime appointments) of the history of the Warren Court.

A happy 2014 to all my readers and contributors!

The Census Figures And The Republican Party: Not What It Seems!

When the census figures came out a week ago, Republicans were rejoicing as the Sunbelt gained seats in the House of Representatives and in the Electoral College vote for President, but the true tale is that the growth of population does NOT favor the GOP long term, particularly if the Republicans do not adjust to the reality of immigration.

It is true that Texas and Florida gained four and two seats in the House of Representatives, along with one seat for Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, South Carolina, Utah and Washington State.

But much of the growth in population was Hispanic or Latino, and with the GOP promoting a hard line on immigration, and preventing passage of the DREAM Act for immigrant children, there is a likelihood that Hispanics will NOT vote Republican in these states, and as the voting population grows in these areas, the Democrats have a very good chance of gaining power in many of the Sunbelt states over the next decade.

Additionally, the demographics shows the suburbs of major cities, which used to be reliably Republican, no longer are. The astounding statistic is that John McCain, who had more of an open mind on immigration when he ran for the Presidency in 2008, managed to lose all of the suburban counties surrounding New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit and Boston, as well as the majority of suburban counties surrounding St. Louis and Cleveland. Additionally, except for Orange Country, McCain lost all suburban counties in southern California, and won Orange County by the smallest margin of any Republican in modern times!

Women have been historically Democratic, and independents have moved in that direction, except in 2010, which is likely a blip on the map, not a trend. And even rich people and counties are more than ever moving toward the Democrats, and contributing more to the Democrats.

Not all rich people vote their pocketbook, but also vote on social issues, and the reality is that the number of “have nots” will always outnumber the “haves”, so for the GOP to work against the interests of the struggling middle class, as well as the poor, is counter productive in the long run.

So while the GOP might control redistricting in many significant states and have Governors of their party in control, trying to project a long term Republican advantage electorally is far from guaranteed!

The Decline Of The Midwest In American Politics!

The Midwest, the heartland of America, which had a massive effect on American politics in much of the last century, is sadly becoming less influential and significant due to lack of population growth and the increased power of the Sunbelt!

The Midwest–defined as Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas–had members in both houses of Congress that had a tremendous effect on American political debate– as well as Governors who became nationally important, and Presidential candidates and winners of the office!

Just a short list of influential politicians from the Midwest would include Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, and Barack Obama!

Presidential candidates who lost from the Midwest include William Jennings Bryan, James Cox, Robert LaFollette, Sr., Alf Landon, Wendell Willkie, Adlai Stevenson, Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, and Walter Mondale!

Other prominent Midwesterners include Robert Taft, Arthur Vandenberg, Birch Bayh, Paul Douglas, Charles Percy, Tom Harkin, Stuart Symington, George Norris, Arthur Capper, Philip Hart, Carl Levin, William Proxmire, Russ Feingold, Eugene McCarthy, Paul Wellstone and numerous others too many to name!

The Midwest reached its peak in influence and Congress in the 1890s, but continued to have great influence for many decades, even though their population percentage within America continued to decline!

The Midwest had 143 Congressional seats in the House of Representatives a century ago, but will now probably have only 94! The Midwest will have only about a fifth of the seats in Congress, as compared to almost 25 percent in the West, 36 percent in the South, and a measly 18 percent in the Northeast, which is also suffering in the population percentage decline big time! 🙁

While Barack Obama is from the Midwest, the odds of another Midwesterner being President is remote, with all Presidents since Johnson, except Ford, being from the Sunbelt–and Ford was not elected!

The economic problems of the Midwest, suffering more heavily than most parts of the country from the Great Recession, will have less attention with its decline, and they will have far less influence in the future Presidential elections because of fewer electoral votes! 🙁

The effect on American politics of the decline of the Midwest will be felt throughout the nation, as migration South and West continues unabated!

The Congressional Reapportionment Battle Begins: Early Indications!

The Census Bureau will not announce final population figures for the nation until December, but early indications are that 8 states will gain seats in the House of Representatives for 2012 and after, and that 10 states will lose seats!

The Sunbelt will again gain, while the Northeast and Midwest will lose, a trend going on for a half century!

It looks as if Texas and Florida will gain 4 and 2 seats respectively, while the following states will gain one seat each: South Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Washington!

New York and Ohio will, apparently, lose 2 seats each, while Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan will lose one seat each in the House of Representatives!

Additionally, the only Sunbelt state to lose a seat will be Louisiana, with Hurricane Katrina the main reason for the loss of population in that state!

The gubernatorial elections and state legislative elections will be crucial as to how these gains and losses of seats will affect the two major political parties over the next decade in Congress!