America’s Third Party?

More than one friend has told me Trump supporters are not true Republicans and I countered with this: “That circle of voters brought Reagan into the Oval Office and did the same for both Bushes.” Yes, from what I have gathered from polls and statistics, many if not most of the Trump folks were former Southern Democrats.

What is clear to me is that traditional Republicans do not like them and they don’t like traditional Republicans, and it goes without saying the Democrats don’t like them.

The stalemate of American politics might need to consider a Third Party and one has to wonder if it would not force the two reigning parties to negotiate with the Third Party and compromise if they want to get into the DC’s first seat of power.

Here is something from J.D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy, on why Southern Democrats moved to the GOP. I have reformatted it to see the Three R’s of the Third Party:

Race

Political scientists have spent millions of words trying to explain how Appalachia and the South went from staunchly Democratic to staunchly Republican in less than a generation. Some blame race relations and the Democratic Party’s embrace of the civil rights movement.

Religion

Others cite religious faith and the hold that social conservatism has on evangelicals in that region.

Resentment

A big part of the explanation lies in the fact that many in the white working class saw precisely what I did, working at Dillman’s. As far back as the 1970s, the white working class began to turn to Richard Nixon because of a perception that, as one man put it, government was “payin people who are on welfare today doin’ nothin’! They’re laughin’ at our society! And we’re all hardworkin’ people and we re gettin’ laughed at for workin’ every day.»

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.