The coalition is fractured.
Have you noticed this, like I have?
To use a cliché, it’s kind of like telling the Emperor that he has no clothes. Yet, as painful and embarrassing as that may be, it’s time that the “leaders” (whoever “they” may be today) of the “conservative movement” (whatever that may consist of today) step out of their state of denial, and come to terms with reality.
The Republican Party, having consisted of a coalition of three broad issues categories since the early 1980‘s, just isn’t what it used to be.
Historically, if your primary concerns for the country had to do with defense and national security, the Republican Party championed your issues. If you were mainly concerned about a high-functioning economy and reducing the burden of excessive taxation, you had a home within the Republican Party. And if your concerns were primarily about so-called “social issues” - - the definition of marriage and family, the rights of the unborn person, and so forth - - the Republican Party was where you belonged.
And as this three-pronged coalition has been meshing together over the past twenty-five years or so, the Democratic Party has often presented itself as a polar-opposite on key policy issues.
You don’t like increased federal spending on the military? You think our foreign policy is a little too “pro-America?” The Democratic Party is replete with rhetoric about “ending the war” and being more “collaborative” with entities like the United Nations.
If free-market enterprise makes you uncomfortable, the Democratic Party envisions a more collectivist-oriented economy that takes away from “the wealthy,” and gives back to the “poor” and the “middle class.”
And while some Americans might be alienated by the Republican Party’s concern about the rights of the unborn person and the definition of marriage, the Democratic Party has provided clear alternatives to such policies - - “progressive” ideas like partial birth abortion, and same-sex civil unions.
Under the leadership and vision of President Reagan, the Republican Party managed to hold these three categories of voters together pretty well. During the 1990’s the coalition seemed to become more galvanized, especially in the face of the far-left leaning policies that emerged from the early days of the Clinton Presidency.
And for a good five years or so, President Bush held the coalition together - - barely.
But now, as we move forward through yet another presidential election cycle, the coalition is fractured. And it would seems that there isn’t one viable Republican presidential candidate who can keep all three issues groups happy.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.