VDare quotes Ross Douthat on the possibility of a third party-
While it is commonly believed there are two major parties, and a few very minor ones, in reality the US has one party- the Democratic Party. What is called the Republican Party is a collection of factions fighting over how to deal with the system, which has the Democratic Party as its formal political organization. Early in the 2oth century the Republicans were dominated by traditional, small town Midwestern conservatives who opposed the concentration of power. Didn’t work. Later it came to be controlled by Northeastern patrician liberals- Bush the father and I would argue, the son- who were largely sympathetic to left-wing goals but saw their role as making sure things didn’t get out of control and business interests were not harmed. In the end, the Republican Party as an institution is still run by these people.
During the Depression and World War II the system, and the Democratic Party, went mostly unchallenged. They managed to portray themselves as responding effectively to the crises, and people bought it. They rode this momentum through 1965, when the black riots aroused a response in a large part of the population that had probably been brewing for some time. In 1968 Nixon was elected. He was no conservative, and in fact ratified various things like affirmative action, public employees unions and the negative income tax, or EITC as it is called. Nixon’s job was to reign back the excesses and overreaching of the left, but not to really undo anything.
Nixon’s troubles led to more liberalism in the mid 70’s, but by now people were really sick. Ronald Reagan’s job was again not to really dismantle anything, but to keep the government within the New Deal boundaries that had strong social consensus. Reagan never really rocked the boat; tax cuts and military spending are things moderate liberals can go for.
Nixon is much more hated than Reagan, even though he was more liberal. Why? He represented the end of the left’s peak of unquestioned and unconstrained influence. If it hadn’t been Nixon, it would have been someone else of course. The far left lost touch with society and went too far.
Through all this, while some limits were occasionally imposed, the political, cultural, and social program of the left has never been stopped or reversed. One party rules supreme.