Ohio Governor John Kasich, speaking on the ABC’s This Week yesterday, predicted the end of the two-party system which has dominated American politics since the Civil War.
“They have no agenda.”
The Republican governor joined host Jonathan Karl and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper for the Sunday show. When asked if he would be campaigning for Republicans in the midterm elections, John Kasich replied he would campaign for candidates who are willing to put the country in front of their party.
Kasich them made a startling prediction:
“We may be beginning to see the end of the two-party system. I’m starting to really wonder if we’re going to see a multi-party system at some point in the future in this country. Because I don’t think either party is answering people’s deepest concerns and needs.”
He then tore into the opposition. “Let me tell you about Democrats. I have no clue what they stand for. And we are heading into a midterm election where they are counting on the Republicans bouncing the basketball off of their foot out of bounds. And they’re going to have a decent 2018.
“How could you have a national political party with no agenda? They just have no agenda. And Democrats will tell you that.”
But Democrat Hickenlooper intervened at this point, asking, “What’s the agenda of the Republican Party? Both parties seem incapable of having a coherent agenda.”
Surprisingly, Kasich agreed with Hickenlooper’s analysis of his own party, saying, “That’s exactly why I’m saying that our young people are fed up, and why I’m saying that the prospect of a multi-party system in this country is a real possibility.”
Will John Kasich run for President in 2020?
Both governors on the podcast are in their final years in office thanks to term limits. Host Jonathan Karl quickly got John Hickenlooper to agree he was a maybe for seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, but John Kasich was much more evasive about his future plans.
“I have no idea what I’m going to do,” Kasich said. “I’d like to have a voice. I’d like to be constructive. I’d like to rally people. But frankly at the end of the day it’s in the hands of the Lord as to what my future is.”
When Karl asked if he’s be more likely to run for President as an Independent or Republican, Kasich made it clear his previous prediction of the two-party system collapsing did not amount to turning his back on the GOP.
“I’m a Republican,” he answered unequivocally.
But Karl continued to probe for an answer from Kasich, which he continued to refuse.
“I can’t predict the future. At some level it’s expected of me to serve my country. I don’t know what that means. I’m sorry, I just don’t know. And do I sit around at night thinking I want to go through running for president again? Go try it. Go try it once and give me a call. See how much fun it is.
“We’ll see what the future brings. I’m not speculating. I’m not going any farther.”
More parties or third party?
Despite the 150-year domination of American politics by the Republicans and Democrats, there are a handful of minor parties organized on a national scale at the fringes of American politics (most notably the Libertarian Party and the Green Party).
It was not clear from the podcast if John Kasich is expecting these parties to break through into the electoral mainstream, of if he thinks the Republicans and Democrats will splinter into new party groupings.
While not an unprecedented prediction, it was a highly unusual statement to hear from a prominent member of one of the established parties like John Kasich. If the future proves his prediction correct, the future of American politics may only grow more interesting.