Four Important Political Trends That Haven’t Received the Notice They Deserve

Senior Statesmen Vice President and Program Chair, Terry Cooper, spoke about several trends in politics that have gone largely unnoticed. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV president Rich DeMong.

Mr. Cooper was a long-time Republican political consultant specializing in issues and opposition research. Terry’s current business is political analysis. He is a native of Charlottesville and a graduate of Episcopal High School, Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law.

Listen to the podcast of the presentation and Q&A and watch the slides presented by clicking here.

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Program Summary

Terry explicated four “Highlights.” The first was that “Bernie Sanders’ ideas are gaining widespread acceptance.” Precampaign impressions of Bernie were that he was intemperate, illogical, unpersuasive, a flake and an embarrassment. Now he is viewed as a nice guy with a great wife who makes a point. An August 2018 Gallup poll reported that 57% of democrats view socialism favorably, 47% view capitalism favorably, and 51% of all millennials view socialism favorably.

Terry’s second highlight is that “The big interloper is the #metoo movement.” This trend originates at least with Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein, but possibly as far back as Fatty Arbuckle!  Resulting from this trend was a total refocus of the hearings on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and it had a major impact on the 2018 elections and the directions the parties take.

Highlight #3: “The consequences of ‘wave’ elections.” Wave elections are likely to increase rather than reduce partisanship, polarization and gridlock because the damage falls disproportionally on moderates. Their districts are closely divided and therefore easier to flip. The hard left and the hard right are mostly insulated from the carnage.

Terry’s fourth Highlight: “Party loyalty.” Americans are steadily dissociating themselves from the two major parties. More now self-identify as independents than as Republicans or Democrats.

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