I recently finished a review of Tony Blair's biography, "A Journey," and while writing it I began wondering whether any of the policies traditionally associated with British politics would be effective here in the USA.
Take each political party for instance. Would a political party like Blair's "New Labour" be successful here?
Before 1997, the Labour Party was dominated by trade unions and intelligentsia (traditional left-leaning strongholds), a demographic which Tony Blair felt was out of touch with modern society. He set about rebranding the party and its policies as "New Labour."
The result was a "third way progressive politics" of sorts that could be considered socially liberal and relatively fiscally conservative. Its tenets included:
Public services as a "hand up," not a "hand out";
Cracking down hard on crime, antisocial behavior, and illegal immigration;
Tuition fees for universities;
On foreign policy, a combination of "hard" and "soft" power;
Closer integration with Europe;
Competition among public schools in the form of academies;
Initial intervention for stability, but no further quantitative easing in the event of a financial crisis.
During his 10 years of efforts to promote this platform, his biggest frustration was that most people would agree with large parts of it, but very few bought the entire package.
My question, dear monkeys, is: Would the American public?
With the majority of Americans recently cited as "angry" or "very angry" with the current state of politics, would this third party system have a legitimate chance at tapping into voter anger? And not just tap into voter anger, but build the ground-up core of believers necessary for long-term success?
The logic in favor of it suggests that most Americans are moderates, and although New Labour doesn't contain everything they wish for, it contains a lot that they agree with, and the blockheads in charge just cost us our AAA rating, so why don't we give this new thing a shot? Is it already happening in one or both of the parties? Or would it just be Ross Perot all over again?
Would it work? Would you vote New Labour USA in 2012?