Clinton a Republican?

tmsa at tmsa at
Sun Sep 13 23:30:38 PDT 1998

on Sun Sep 13 08:25:00 1998 James Devine <jdevine at> said: >I said that if it weren't for the GOP vs. Clinton antagonism, people >would see that Clinton is a Republican. Brad De Long asked "an
>Eisenhower Republican?" [. . . . ] The
>Democrats are the Party of Business, whereas the GOP is the Party of
>Intervention by Government (PIG), specifically into our private
>lives. [ . . . . ]

First, the obvious. Clinton refuses to label himself. He's never said "I'm a liberal" and he's never said "I'm a conservative." So to categorize him we need to know his stands. He is a deficit hawk, foreign policy hawk, strong supporter of the state of Israel, moderate on social policies, a free trader, and a strong promoter of financier capitalism. That might place him as a neo-conservative.

All this talk on the American left about the two parties actually being one breaks my heart. It is simply wrong. The two parties inarguably are two separate legal entities. And indeed they represent divergent interests. In other countries with higher degrees of class stratifcation (France or Germany for example) there are many parties each representing specific interests. In the USA, everyone from millionaires to the working poor consider themselves "middle class." Probably 95% of Americans would say they are middle class. Whichever of the parties appeals more to the "middle class" (whatever that might be) wins the election. But because you can't have just one party in a purported democracy, there are 2 parties for the USA's solitary class.

Political parties represent specific, class-based interests. Traditionally the Democrats represent African-Americans, Latinos, large corporations, union members, the poor, the disabled, and the elderly. The Republicans are traditionally the party of small businesses, farmers, bankers, lawyers, and the very wealthy. Of course this breaks down in reality because every person decides how to vote as individuals.


TMSA <tmsa at>

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list