HILL: The ‘Tiny Tent’ Party 

State Rep. Tricia Cotham announces her move to the Republican Party on April 5, 2023 in Raleigh. North State Journal

Would you want to be in a political party that hated your guts? 

Or any organization really. The moment other members of any organization start criticizing, ostracizing or flat-out attacking you in public and in person, they are making it pretty darn clear they do not want you to continue being part of their “club.” 

You are not going to change them. So, you do what any rational person would do which is to shake the dust off your feet “as a testimony against them” when you leave them behind, so says the Gospel of Luke. 

The NC Democrat Party’s visceral, vitriolic reaction to state Rep. Tricia Cotham (R-Mecklenburg) changing her party affiliation is the most recent example of Democrats doing everything they can to become the national party of “tiny tents” ― and it may not work out as they hope. 

Political parties are either growing into “big tents” to win majorities in legislatures ― or they are shrinking to the point where each faction has its own little tent from which it fights every other faction for power and space. The Federalist Party became a small tent party and soon vanished. So did the Whig Party. 

Since the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973, both parties have taken steps to purge themselves of non-true believers with various litmus tests. Granted, the Republican Party has had its share of internecine warfare and blood-letting. 

But the Democrat Party ― man! If you cross the line and make the Sandinistas now in charge of the national and state party angry, they will stop at no limits to drum you out of their midst pronto. 

If you were a pro-life Democrat as recently as 2006, there was (some) room for you in the Democrat Party. No longer; a pro-life Democrat can believe in every other tenet of the increasingly Socialist Democrat Front of America ― and they will still be banished into oblivion for such heresy. 

There used to prominent God-fearing Democrats back in the day ― and now God is booed at national Democrat Conventions.  If you want to be a member of a political party that embraces atheism and laughs at religious faith ― join the Democrat Party. 

If you were a law-and-order Democrat in the 20th century, there’s no room for you at the inn anymore. You have to embrace early release of violent criminals; toleration of rampant looting of Walmart stores and random indiscriminate physical attacks on innocent senior citizens in order to remain a member in good standing with today’s Democrat Party. 

If you were a free-thinking hippie of the 60s who grew up to be a conservative business person, you can forget speaking your mind today in the Democrat Party. The concept of “peace and love” does not apply when it comes to how leftist socialist Democrats deal with conservative thought from the college campus to the corporate boardroom. 

Unaffiliated (UNA) voters are now the “plurality” in North Carolina with 2,589,900 voters. By default, UNAs have become the “big tent” party of full acceptance of what a voter thinks or believes simply because there are no strictures on what to believe — yet.  

Democrats have been shedding registered voters like leaves in the fall for years now and number 2,410,219. Republicans have been gaining voters but are still in third place with 2,189,440 registrants, over 200,000 behind Democrats. 

Most UNAs are disaffected former Democrats and Republicans who come home and vote for the “least bad” candidate each election. Very few of them are true “swing” voters who vote solely for the person and change their voting habits election-to-election. However, these roughly 6% of true independents make the difference in most statewide races which have been won by Republicans by razor-thin margins. 

UNAs are just begging for the days when leaders are elected to make collective reasonable decisions for our self-governed government; balance budgets and keep taxes low; allow the economy to grow and produce new jobs ― and stop telling everyone what to do or what to buy in their personal lives. 

The day when UNAs figure out how organize will be the day they start holding primaries and getting people elected. They will become “The Big Tent Party” overnight. 

Political parties come and go. They become what the majority of people with the same underlying philosophy want them to become ― not what dictators from above tell them they have to become. 

Screaming at people and calling them names is no way to entice many people to join your political party. It is the quickest way to becoming extinct as a political force in America.