Regardless of the final tallies in the Presidential election, the two major parties will retain their identities as distinctly different sorts of political coalitions: the Democrats as the party of interests and the Republicans as the party of values. Until the nation again faces an undeniable threat to its security and survival, this contrast gives a formidable, long-term advantage to the Democrats.
Consider last night’s Democratic victory parties in every corner of the Republic. Prominent among the most enthusiastic celebrants, it’s easy to spot the interest groups who provided the party with most of its energy, enthusiasm and money. Labor unions, trial lawyers, alternative energy entrepreneurs, gay activists, teachers, environmentalists, community organizers, university faculties, ethnic advocates, multiculturalists, feminist militants, welfare rights agitators and other liberal constituencies came together in enthusiastic support of the Obama-Biden ticket – and with the virtual certainty that they’d receive their payoffs from the new administration. Without exception, every important component of the Democratic coalition expects a direct reward from the government under President Obama. Union bosses will get an easier time organizing small business work forces due to the end of secret ballots;“civil rights” leaders will get new support for reparations, ethnic studies and affirmative action; teachers will get raises from federal tax dollars; homosexual organizers expect the transformation of marriage and protection as a persecuted minority; and feminists will run a massive new bureaucracy to administer “comparable worth” laws to set salary levels Because the Democrats promise a vast expansion of governmental spending and power they credibly can pledge benefits for all of the party’s most committed loyalists.