The Republic wasn’t all that old back in 1860, either. The Whig Party was one of the two major parties, but it managed to kill itself off through corruption and stupidity.
As you point out, it’s now been 160 years since that last happened. It’s possible to reverse your argument and point out the the Republican Party has been around too long, and has lost its way.
I’m not saying this is going to happen, but it certainly seems possible. And I think Sarah Palin is wise enough to realize that she can’t just start another party—she has to work with the Republican Party IF they still have enough sense to pull up their socks, do the right thing, and survive.
I would much rather see the Republican Party pull itself together and open itself to reform. But I am far from certain whether it is now capable of doing that.
In other words, if such a seismic shift is going to take place, it will not be through any one person’s choice, or even the choice of a fairly large number of people, but because the time has come.
Time will tell.
(Whigs lasted 23 years, not the 21 that I had posted)
My understanding is that the Whig party shutdown because it’s issues were no longer current, the Republican party was formed to advance it’s platform in 1854 and instantly started sweeping elections.
The Republicans held their first convention on July 6, 1854 and four months later held 19% of the Congress and 25% of the Senate, six years later they held the majority in the Congress, the majority in the Senate, and they had the Presidency.