An expression of American optimism is the belief that our enemies will do themselves in and spare us the trouble. Republican intellectuals like to tell each other that the Democrats are committing political suicide, and vice versa.
Theo Anderson in In These Times says there’s not much of a future for the GOP, given that young people reject its social conservatism, while elderly voters—the only group preferring Romney to Obama in Colorado—“are, by definition, nearing the end of their lives.” This means “the most important pillar of the party’s base is gradually disappearing.”
Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Jonah Goldberg of the American Enterprise Institute thinks it’s the Democratic Party that is “increasingly ill-suited to our times.” Tax-and-spend policies cannot survive “under the weight of debt and impending austerity.”
Neither of these pundits goes so far as to predict the other side is doomed, but they come close. They have read Sean Trende’s The Lost Majority: Why the Future of Government is Up for Grabs—and Who Will Take It, which recommends against predicting major realignments in our two-party system.
The less interesting question isn’t whether the parties will adapt to the times, for in all likelihood they will; they almost always do. The more question is how engaged citizens will remake the parties. The future, after all, belongs to the activists, not to English majors looking at trend lines.