Returning veterans of WWII, in both the US and UK, had had a taste of equality with the monied classes, and they wanted it to continue. The GI bill enabled many to get a good education and rise to the comfortable middle class.
That reality was reflected in the platform of the Eisenhower Republicans. It was pro-union, pro-Social Security, pro-conservation and largely anti-war. I would have been at home with that party.
However, in order to secure the Presidency, Nixon executed the 'Southern Strategy', which involved absorbing the racist Southern Democrats over Civil Rights issues. That was followed by Reagan absorbing the Social Conservatives over the issue of abortion and the teaching of evolution.
What has happened is that the party has become a very disparate set of interests, from anti-abortion, to isolationism/anti-immigration, to anti-feminism, anti-science, anti-education and so much more. The tactics are of fear and hatred. There is no part of the party which appears to follow the 'common good' parts of the Constitution to build anything, with the standard idea seeming to be that making the rich even richer will make everyone better off.
On the other hand, the Democrats look to be completely dissipated, trying to satisfy every marginal constituency, while also appeasing the very wealthy. If there is something positive to be said for them, it is that Democratic presidencies have resulted in smaller annual deficits than Republican ones. Where the GOP is anti-science on the subjects of evolution, an old Earth, climate change and several other topics, the Democrats appear not to believe in biological differences in genders, or innate intelligence, or the reality of alternative energy without nuclear power, or vaccines (although there are nuts on both side who are against the latter).
In short, neither party represents me, and the other parties are just out there, from the Natural Law party, to the Communists. There was even the case where a cult tried to poison a whole town in Oregon to gain political power.*
And that is why I call myself an orthogonal-American.
|Representation of a 4-D cube (a tesseract) - at right angles to all 3 dimensions|