I don’t find the future of the Democratic party especially interesting: I expect that ten years from now, it will still be the same moderate, corporatist-but-not-as-corporatist-as-Republicans party that it is today. The one change I see is that it will become less and less white, and maybe that will have some good effects.
I think the Republican party will become more and more strident about abolishing welfare, Social Security/Medicare, progressive taxation, public education, etc. but I do wonder a bit where they will go on social issues and foreign policy. Here’s what someone at one of our commenters’ favorite blogs predicts:
Most polling of young conservatives show that they are just as conservative as the generation before on most social issues (the one exception seems to be gay marriage). On economics they are listening to the Paul Ryans and Eric Cantors of the Right. On foreign policy and civil liberties that are mostly taking their cues from Ron Paul, not moderate Democrats.
If I were to describe what I think young Republicans will look like in 10 years I would suggest they will be moderate on social policy, mainline conservative on fiscal policy and libertarian on civil liberties and foreign policy. They will be pro-life but also believe people have a right to smoke weed in their own home. They’ll pretty much ignore gay marriage. They will believe in a strong world economy but be isolationist about wars and having our troops in foreign lands.
I think it’s true that the “culture war” stuff will go away; people are already getting bored with it and it’s break-even issue that will soon be a losing issue for Republicans. But I think Republicans will find some new Hitler somewhere to sing Lee Greenwood songs about reasonably soon. And I don’t know what “mainline conservative on fiscal policy” means. So my guess for future Republicans is: more moderate on social issues (other than reproductive rights), even nuttier on economic issues, same as now on foreign policy (against intervention when Democrats do it, for intervention when Democrats don’t do it, etc.).