Why traditional political parties are in trouble

Perceptive NYT article on the stress fractures now materialising in the two big political parties.

WASHINGTON — On the night that he conceded defeat in 1992 after the most successful independent presidential campaign of the last century, Ross Perot made it clear that he was not done shaking up the established order. “Believe me,” he declared, “the system needs some shocks.”

So perhaps it was only fitting that on the same week that Mr. Perot died nearly 27 years later, both of the two major political parties were being rattled by the aftershocks of the earthquake that his campaign represented. President Trump was busy quarreling with former Speaker Paul D. Ryan while the current speaker, Nancy Pelosi, was bickering with first-year House Democrats.

In both cases, those who represented the institutional order, Mr. Ryan and Ms. Pelosi, found themselves at odds with rabble-rousers within their own parties agitating for change from outside the traditional system through the power of social media. This was not a week that showcased the competition between the parties but within them. The stress fractures that Mr. Perot identified a generation ago are tearing at the foundations of the Republican and Democratic Parties.

The same process is evident in the UK.