The only important thing—and certainly the most interesting thing—about the 2016 presidential election is that neither Donald Trump nor Bernie Sanders are real members of the parties for whose nominations they are running. Yet each is burning down his political home of convenience to the ground. Party identification is already at all-time low, according to Gallup, which finds just 29 percent of us are willing to admit to being Democrats and just 26 percent cop to being Republican.
With a few more strong showings in upcoming primaries, Trump and Sanders might even push those numbers down to single digits. Unless you’re one of those suckers still carrying water for political parties that reach back before the Civil War, you have no reason to fear their destruction. In fact, the best thing that can happen to politics is that the two major parties are forced to reboot themselves like a played-out superhero movie franchise.
Who can blame us for not wanting to be branded with an R or a D next to our names? The faltering, pre-primary anointees of each party’s establishment—Jeb! Bush and Hillary Clinton—inspire as much enthusiasm among the body politic as a long-scheduled colonoscopy.