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Can their “tent” be too big or too small?

by | Oct 24, 2022 | Political science | 0 comments

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DISCUSSION PROMPT Major political parties tend to be inclusive, i.e. they want to grow and get stronger to win elections. Can their “tent” be too big or too small? If a party tries to be all things to all people, will it reach “critical mass” and should it lose membership? Many say this was the Democratic Party of the 1980s. Bill Clinton led a reform movement that downsized their “tent” in the 1990s. The schism today between Progressives and moderates nationally also illustrates the democratic party’s current struggles. Conversely, the Republican party has often been criticized as being too driven by certain policy issues, like abortion or school prayer. As a result it has had trouble attracting certain groups, e.g. women and minorities, and has limited appeal in certain states. If we use California as an example, the Republican Party has a significantly smaller membership/registration (see Lecture) and yet has a tendency to continue to nominate candidates that strongly appeal to partisan republicans but have a very difficult time winning General Elections (which usually include a majority of democratic voters). The nomination of highly partisan candidates in the party primary elections is often cited as an example of this “win the battle but lose the war election strategy.” California’s republican and democratic parties have historically had similar problems. Recently, this is especially true of the republican party. DISCUSSION QUESTION – REMEMBER – Your Primary Response should be approx. 400 words Are there substantive differences between the 2 major political parties? Assuming that each of you identifies with a particular political party (whether you’re registered or not), describe what YOU feel Republicans, Democrats or a particular 3rd party actually “stands for”. Would you like to see changes in their “platforms?” If you do, give some specific examples of changes. For example, should they change their positions on specific policy issues? Give examples. NOTE – Make sure you review the platforms of various political parties by going to – copy/paste-


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