Monday, January 20, 2014

The Long View

Politics is all about cycles. Campaign cycles, fundraising cycles, congressional cycles. Things are constantly turning, changing, and moving. As soon as one campaign season is over, people start speculating about the next one. It's a common pastime of many talking heads to lengthen the campaign season by talking about possible candidates, exploratory committees, and fundraising strategies well in advance of the elections themselves.

It seems as though election seasons get longer and longer every time around. Like winter here in the Northeast, each campaign season seems to be longer than the last, not to mention colder, darker, and more dismal. And just like the political pundits and parties that are taking a longer view of political trends, it seems the American People are starting to as well.

This may actually be a good thing, since it will mean people looking at the impacts of their immediate decisions. But it may also have the effect of creating a more polarizing constituency for many candidates. What often seems to happen is that, as we get closer to elections, the candidates become more and more marginalized as they seek the approval of the broadest number of voters in their districts. With longer campaign cycles, that process may mean greater movement to the extremes.

And whether you feel that the Republicans are poised to take back the government this year, or whether the Democrats will dominate over a struggling GOP, you have a long wait before finding out if you're correct.

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