There is an American tradition of voting not for the party, but "for the man." Unlike Europeans, who are more ideologically driven, Americans have prided themselves in assessing individuals of both parties, and then voting for the more personally impressive candidate. The European parliamentary system of government fosters ideological voting whereas the American political system does to a much lesser degree. With only two parties competing in American elections, each party has had to encompass a much wider spectrum of ideologies.
This is no longer the case. For better or for worse, the notion of voting for the candidate rather than the party is now mostly naive idealism. The Democratic Party is now fully left-wing, and is simply the American version of any European Social Democratic party. It is the party of ever-expanding government. (The Republican Party, in contrast, is -- at long last -- the party of small government.)
There are two reasons to vote Democrat: either one is a Leftist or one has come to believe the Left's demonization of its opponents as SIXHIRB (Sexist, Intolerant, Xenophobic, Homophobic, Islamophobic, Racist, Bigoted).
Oh, yes, there is a third reason to vote Democrat: More and more Americans are employed by the government, and more and more Americans receive significant material benefits from it. So one does not have to have left-wing values or believe in the demonization of conservatives to vote Democrat. All one has to do is vote according to where one's livelihood comes from.
Along with the minority groups that it has effectively convinced it alone protects, the Democratic Party has, therefore, created a built-in voting bloc that is formidable.
Why, then, will Republicans do well this year? Because the Democrats went too far left and the country has serious economic problems.
Of course, Republicans cannot and should not depend on economic recessions to win elections. They have to make the case as clearly as possible why America's success is the result of its most distinguishing trait: limited government. They have to show that the Democratic Party undermines the primary reason for America's success -- limited government, America's most distinguishing trait. And Republicans need to make clear the connection between Democratic policies and America's economic problems.
It is probably accurate to say that no country in the world has less government intervention in the lives of its citizens than America does. But Democrats do not like such American distinctiveness. They want America to be like other countries. The president, recall, does not believe in American exceptionalism.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”