The Transpartisan Effect
by A. Lawrence Chickering & James S. Turner
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We see “The Transpartisan Effect” all around us. It plays in our national politics, on the world stage, and in our local communities. Our weekly notes point to one place or another where events strike us as examples of the effect of people working together beyond the left/right partisanship that so intoxicates our entertaining media and political comedy/drama.
In Issue #2 of the Transpartisan Review, we explored, in our article The Transpartisan Effect, the importance and impact of the 2016 Presidential election. We say Trump receiving votes of only 27% of the age-eligible electorate points toward a transpartisan effect. The 44% did-not-vote category — Transpartisans — hold the key to moving policy formation forward.
Apart from his policy agenda, the President’s governing style strains the patience and credulity of all who have come to expect a more “presidential” performance. Yet, perhaps not surprisingly, Mr. Trump appears to have retained the support of many Americans who are deeply alienated from traditional politics. This helps explain why thus far there is scant evidence that the Democrats have yet to benefit from his markedly unconventional behavior.
But making sense of the current turmoil requires appreciating just how weak support for the President actually is. Candidate Trump received electoral support from fewer than 30 percent of eligible voters. The prevailing “narrative” of political news reporting and commenting—that “40 percent” of American voters supported the President—thus greatly exaggerates his real “base.” Significantly, this misleading figure is not unique to Trump; it characterized Obama’s base, and would have misrepresented support for Hillary Clinton’s presidency as well, since the votes actually cast for her represented just 28 percent of the eligible voters.
Download & read the entire article through the link below and share your take on the election, and its transpartisan connotations, in the comments.