August 6, 2008
The New York Times has detected a noticeable shift in political party affiliation. It says people are registering as Democrats more than Republicans and that while the implications of this are not yet clear in the presidential race, in races for Congress and state and local offices, Democrats are prevailing.
I think there are several reasons for this. After Ronald Reagan, Republicans lost confidence in their issues and started behaving like Democrats, or splitting the difference with them.
Then, when they had the majority in Congress and a Republican president, Republicans came to enjoy the power and privileges more than the opportunity to bring about change. Then there was the corruption. The public saw Republicans behaving like Democrats and didn’t like it.
Human nature contributed to the Democrats’ rise. Many people would rather have a government check than the liberty to earn their own money. What I call “the entitlement community” is now large enough to keep the check writers in office. Mostly, though, Republicans have committed political suicide and that’s why they are losing the race for party affiliation.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.