Democrats have become socialists and Republicans have become Democrats, so where does that leave conservatives?
The Democratic Party has become downright socialist. The shift was slow and steady for decades, but now the party has been totally hijacked. A self-proclaimed socialist almost won the party's presidential nomination in 2016 and is attempting again to win the nomination for 2020. The democratic presidential debates sound like a group of people trying to “out socialist" each other. Candidates talk about plans that would cost trillions of dollars as if they were talking about buying lunch. They speak of stripping rights from citizens, especially our second amendment rights as if discussing throwing out dinner leftovers. Today's Democrats want to expand government programs into every aspect of your life. They want to raise taxes on the rich and give everything free to the poor. The party who once had a president say, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” has become the party that now seems to believe that you can't do anything for yourself or without them.
The void left where the Democratic party once stood is being quickly filled by the Republican party. Republicans have lost their reputation of being fiscal conservatives and have shifted into the “tax and spend" roll the Democrats once held. These Republicans have abandoned their small-government ideals and adopted progressive spending measures. No longer do Republicans fight for state rights to defend the structure of the republic. Republicans now vote regularly for sweeping legislation that strips rights and power from the states. Republican leadership support and even sponsor bills in Congress that only a couple of decades ago they would have labeled as tyrannous. In short, Republicans are no longer the party trying to shrink our federal government.
Where does that leave the small government, fiscally responsible, conservative voters? Could these shifts not only be how Donald Trump won the 2016 election but also explain how the polls were so wrong about the 2016 election too? With more and more former Republican voters switching registration to independent, Constitution Party, and Libertarian maybe the polling metrics just can't keep up. Maybe Donald Trump won the 2016 election because conservatives are fed up with the Republicans turning into Democrats.
The Libertarian party seems unorganized. An outsider talking to and considering the Libertarians may be scoffed as “not libertarian enough.” Libertarians attack each other on social media regularly and are difficult to take seriously as a legitimate political party. The streaker at their convention a few years back did not help their fight for legitimacy.
The Constitution Party has similar issues. Not necessarily the image of being unorganized, but they seem militant about their party line. Online groups viciously attack each other when an idea is shared that leadership has already decried. Constitution party members appear unwilling to entertain any idea that is not already part of the official party platform.
Isidewith.com would probably put most real conservatives somewhere between Libertarian and Constitution parties. With both of these parties having issues looking like legitimate options, more and more conservatives are dropping party affiliation all together and registering as an independent. Small government, fiscally responsible, conservative voters are left behind as people without a party.