Why Are Political Parties So Much Weaker Than They Once Were?

Source: Washington Monthly
by Kenneth S Baer

“In 2016 and 2020, the runner-up for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders, was not a Democrat. In 2024, despite the president’s weakness in the polls, no viable Democratic alternative emerged. In 2016, the Republican Party nominated a man who had flitted between party registrations, flirted with running on a Reform Party ticket, and had a libertine history and liberal positions on entitlements and trade unimaginable for a GOP nominee as recently as 2012. In 2020, the GOP didn’t bother to write a party platform, and this year, the party of Abraham Lincoln will nominate a candidate who led an insurrection against the federal government. For an era characterized by intense partisanship, political parties are noticeably weak.” (06/27/24)