Is a Schism Imminent for the GOP?

Let me preface this post by saying that I don’t really like talking or writing about politics simply because it seems that the subject always proves to be a touchy one for somebody.  This isn’t to say that I don’t have political views or opinions myself, I certainly do, it is just that I tend to try and approach the subject with a lot of caution and consideration so as to avoid stepping on too many toes.  So basically, I want to ensure any readers that I am not writing this post to really criticize anybody’s personal ideas and beliefs as I do believe we are all entitled to believe whatever we like (regardless of how those beliefs make us look in the eyes of others).

All that being said and got out-of-the-way, I bring us to the question of the posed in my posts title.  Is the republican Party facing the risk of breaking apart?  I know for a fact that I am not the first one to wonder this, especially since the Democrats major electoral success last year.  And while I have seen the signs for a while now it was this article, in The New York Times, that has really made me want to raise the question about the future of the GOP.

The article considers the right-wing back lash against Florida’s Republican governor Charlie Crist for being too “moderate” or even crossing the threshold to being labeled as “liberal.”  Crist is not the first Republican in recent times face these charges by the more conservative side of his party.  Just a few weeks back the NY Times (amongst other news outlets) put focus on a vicious battleground for an upstate New York congressional seat.  Basically the gist of that whole thing was that the more hardcore conservatives didn’t support the Republican party backed candidate (who ended up dropping out of the race and supporting the Democrat) and so supported a third-party candidate who met more with the stronger right-wing ideology.  What was the conclusion?  The Democrat won the race in a region that had not seen a Democrat in over a hundred years.

Could the events with Charlie Crist produce a similar effect or will the more conservative faction prove itself to be the dominant majority?  This is the question I really have.  And if the stronger right-wing side cannot hold true against a more moderate voting population could this spar a schism that leads to a creation of a whole new party, maybe something called “The Conservative Republican Party of America.”

My personal guess . . . moderates will always win, even if they end up not being elected.

You may not all agree with this, but I think it makes the most logical sense (even considering the often illogical nature of politics).  Basically, the way I can see it, the vast majority fo people tend to gravitate toward the center ground as opposed to the peripheries of strong right or left.  Why?  Probably because most of us tend to hold views that are a mixture of conservative and liberal.  Certainly we may tend to stray one way or another (I fully admit that I tend to be a bit more liberal in my views, especially social.  I’m much more moderate or almost libraterian in fiscal and economic politics) but ultimately this stray is often balanced with some other moderate views.

This is not to say that there are not people with very strong leaning conservative right-wing beliefs or liberal left-wing beliefs, there are (heck I know people on both sides, I grew up in Vermont and now I live in South Carolina.  The difference is rather spectacular).  But I think that the history of politics in this country demonstrate that the extreme end of either conservative or liberal view is usually incapable of maintaining steady voter support for long.  People just tend to be more comfortable with moderation.

So what does this spell for the Republican Party, especially because it seems like in the news lately all we have been hearing about is the reenforcement of the conservative end of the GOP.  Really I can see a number of possibilities.

1). The conservative end could prove to be the stronger majority of the party and see to it that more right-wing, as opposed to moderate, Republican’s get elected in coming races.

2).  The moderate side of the GOP wins out in the long run over the conservative end and thus we see more center leaning Republicans take offices.

3). The fight splits the vote too much in the Republican Party and the Democrats end up winning out more so because of this.  Split votes within a party can be a very damaging thing to the party as is evident in the recent upstate New York congress seat race.

I foresee that if any of these options prove true there is that continued risk of schism because they will demonstrate that the ideology that the Republican Party thinks it has is not really as adherent as they may like it to be. 

My next question is, would a schism be a bad thing for this nation?

Personally I think not, solely based on my feeling that having a government system in which two parties pretty much dominate the political landscape is not a good thing for democracy.  While there are quite a number of political parties in the U.S.A., the Republicans and the Democrats have for the longest time held pretty much all the power.  Other parties tend to be just a bit too fringe to gain any significant voter majority.  But if one of the two major parties, such at the Republicans, were to break into two distinct parties, there could be a legitimate reason to see a powerful three party contention for votes.  In fact if the GOP were to break into a more conservative faction and a more moderate faction I would not be surprised to see some more right-leaning Democrats move over to the more central ideology side.

Basically, of personal opinion, I think that Jim DeMint (a SC senator and strong conservative) is mistaken when he says, “What’s going to happen, the voters are going to weed out these Republicans who no longer share the core principles that make our country great.”  I agree that the more conservative GOP followers will be reluctant to vote for more moderate candidates, but if people like DeMint want to keep the party intact then really they are going to need those people who hold more moderate views and are willing to participate in bi-partisan politics.  If not then the party cannot sustain as it currently is and changes will be imminent.

I am fascinated to see how it turns out.

I invite people to weigh in on this.  I am always interested to hear what others think about politics.  All I ask is that if you choose to comment please try and keep it respectful.  I have made a serious effort in this post to reserve my personal judgement on certain political beliefs within and hope I have not offended anybody with any judgements that did slip through (I apologize if I did, it was not really intended as such).  I like honest respectful discussion on these things, and if it can occur I am all for it.



~ by Nathaniel on November 16, 2009.

One Response to “Is a Schism Imminent for the GOP?”

  1. […] From the blog, General Lordisomo’s Apocalypse: […]

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