The Demise of the Political Parties

Steve Adubato sits down with Angelo J. Genova, Esq., Chairman & Managing Partner, Genova Burns LLC, to discuss the demise of the political parties and the differences between candidate-centered campaigns vs party-centered campaigns.

4/20/19 #306






"We are pleased to be joined by Angelo J. Genova, Chairman and Managing Partner of Genova Burns, one of the top law firms in the region. Good to see you. Good to see you Steve. And I also want to say that your firm is one of the many folks supporting the public affairs programming that we do on State of Affairs. Angelo, you're an expert when it comes to a whole range of issues having to do with campaign laws campaign finance, but we didn't have you here for that. You are concerned about the two-party system, a, and b, what it means to our nation. Make the case. Well I'm concerned on a lot of levels. It starts with the fact that when you go back in history, you know, the Founders didn't contemplate this idea that we would have two parties. And it evolved over time. And it has served us well. In fact, it served us very well through centuries. I think what's happened though is that the parties, as institutions, as institutions for developing candidates, as institutions for raising money, as institutions for establishing policies, have been displaced. And they've been displaced by the media as communicators, they've been displaced by independent expenditures - super PACs - as vehicles to raise money. The discipline that came with the development of party platforms are gone, and candidacies are all candidate centers. They're not party centers. Is that how a Donald Trump becomes the nominee? 16 candidates in the GOP primary, and then becomes president? I that part of the reason? Yeah. I think a part of... Or parts? I know... Yeah. But I think it's part of the reason, because there's a path that becomes available to a Donald Trump, or to a candidate like Donald Trump, where there's not a dependency on the party. And what typically happens, if you look over the last decade or so, you have individual candidate-centered politics. The person gets the nomination, and then the party folds in to that person. So the party gets defined by that person. And Trump is a great example of that. And the question is, is that are people...? And if you ask the average Joe, they're voting for a candidate. Not their party? They're not as identified with the party. I've observed. More and more independents? More and more independents. Well what does an independent really mean? Well, independent means I don't... ask yourself this question. Why is it that 40 percent of the electorate doesn't want to identify with a party? They don't want to identify with a party, either they don't know it, they feel that they don't want to be beholden to an ideology, they want a sense..."