Recent changes in the composition of the two main political parties in the United States have had a considerable effect on public rallies and protests. The left has contributed to this decline, with its divisive politics intensifying polarization, static identities, and competitive victimization. This has driven many Americans to extremism. Nevertheless, the rapid decrease is mainly caused by a very different Republican Party.
In the 1940s, the Supreme Court ruled that political parties have rights of free association, but it is not always clear who can assert them: party members or leaders. In the 1840s and 1850s, the Know-Nothing party incited white Protestants to revolt against immigrants, mostly Catholic, Irish and Italian. This was done to stop them from voting for the Democratic Party. The current Republican Party is much more like authoritarian populist parties such as Fidesz (Hungarian Civic Alliance of Hungary) and the Justice and Development Party of Turkey than to the main conservative parties, such as the Christian Democratic Union of Germany or the Conservative Party of Canada.
This has led to reforms in primary elections, such as merger voting, proportional representation, and other systemic innovations. A recent Bright Line Watch poll revealed that 28 percent of Democrats and 39 percent of Republicans were in favor of “doing everything possible to prevent the other party from governing effectively”. The Tea Party movement is comprised of a flexible affiliation of national and local groups that determine their own platforms and agendas without central leadership. The San Francisco County Democratic Central Committee (198) used the First Amendment to annul a state law that prohibited political parties from giving their political support.