Monday, October 25, 2004

S11 Republicans 

Solomon's confession (originally linked to in this week's blog round-up) that not only will he be voting for George Bush come November 2, but for the first time ever he will also be voting straight-line Republican, prompted one of my readers Bruce to comment:

"In the recent Australian elections I voted straight conservative for the first time ever... [In the past] I've been a conservative fence sitter. This time I felt things had changed. I've only just started to call myself a conservative, and they were the only people I wanted to give my vote too, now.

"I wondered if this type of thing is a factor for others - how many of us have decided it's time to get off the fence? If Bush gets a big swing I'll know I'm not alone."
One of the very interesting consequences of S11 and the Bush presidency seems to be the increasing polarisation of the electorate. While the passion - and hatred - among the Democrat base, as well as the international left broadly speaking, is getting more strident every day, on the other hand many previously "soft" conservatives have strengthened their ideological stance, and many moderates and even leftists have been forced to rethink their previous commitments, often becoming what is now known as "S11 Republicans".

wrote about the phenomenon some time ago, focusing mainly on the blogosphere, and wondering whether people like Glenn Reynolds, Roger Simon, Dean Esmay and many others - and more broadly, Christopher Hitchens and Paul Berman, will be the next generation of neo-conservatives, or neo-neo-cons as I called them.

But the phenomenon is not restricted just to bloggers and pundits. Wherever I turn now, there seems to be another S11 Republican popping up: whether it's Democrats like
Ed Koch and Zell Miller, the director and producer David Zucker - the creator of that hilarious Club for Growth anti-Kerry TV ad, or the comedian Dennis Miller.

And then, of course, there are many of you, dear readers, and thousand - tens? hundreds of thousands? - people like you out there, for whom S11 did change, if not everything, then at least many things. Will S11 Republicans be this decade's Reagan Democrats? Is this another piece in a giant world-wide puzzle of political realignment? Only time will tell, but we should have the first indications on November 2.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section.

Update: More at Michael Totten's blog (hat tip: Winds of Change).


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