The left-leaning website Politico reports that partisan identification continues to decline across the United States—not just in terms of what people tell pollsters, but in the concrete terms of party registration.
And the decline is not created equal—reporter Charles Mahtesian notes that Democrats are losing numbers in significantly greater degree than Republicans. What’s to be made of all us this?
Some of this is the natural attrition that happens to the party in power. Great expectations—often unreasonable ones—follow any president into power and perhaps no candidate in recent memory was seen as the pseudo-messiah figure that then-Senator Barack Obama was at this time in 2008.
A memorable radio interview where one voter truly believed that Obama would pay her mortgage and fill her gas tank became the symbol of how voters naively poured their hopes and dreams into a politician rather than simply voting.
But the Democratic Party’s dramatic lurch to the Secular Left is another reason. The party has chosen to become completely beholden to wealthy liberals, from Hollywood to the Ivy League to the politically active gay and lesbian movements that have per capita income substantially higher than those they claim to be persecuted by.
Is it any wonder then, that those who have long been legitimate Democrats—private-sector union people, middle-class families, etc—might chose to decline affiliation?
Declining affiliation with a party is quite different than saying one is changing sides and this decline in partisan affiliation is a unique opportunity for the Catholic Church. The fewer factions one is identified with, the more real faith can permeate. Especially heartening in the report is that Hispanics, the growing future in so many parts of the country, are choosing to stay un-aligned.
The field is becoming increasingly open on the American political landscape and that gives the right-to-life message the opportunity to be heard. Here’s hoping those in positions to make it happen seize the moment.
Dan Flaherty is the author of Fulcrum, an Irish Catholic novel set in postwar Boston with a traditional Democratic mayoral campaign at its heart, and he is the editor-in-chief of TheSportsNotebook.com