The Coming War on the Right

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A comprehensive inspection of the right-wing political scene would detect a political body full of latent fissures and provisional collaborations. A great deal of the Republican’s ability to hold things together may have come from it’s power. A party of money and business, along with their long run of success at the presidential level have given them a temporary adhesive. Built over the last fifty years was the alliance of Wall Street money-men and a Southern, primarily Christian cultural base. This coalition was unsteady from it’s inception, and has always been fragile despite the victories that it brought. Recent political events, like the election of Barack Obama and the coming domination of the House and Senate by the Democrats may spark a political war for the future of the Republican party. 

The war on the right will be between the traditional base and the East Coast elite who know that they must change it’s character if it’s to ever gain power again. The situation will look like this: a solid Republican base that may stay perpetually at around 45-49% of the national vote, mainly due to demographic change and Bush’s unpopular presidency. The elite of the party are likely to try to gain votes with newer groups, like Asian immigrants and Hispanics, whose roots haven’t sunken in deep enough to any political party. The conservative base, in their party’s inability to achieve success in the mainstream and feeling ignored by the Republican bosses may become even more entrenched in their beliefs and be very hostile to the changes that would be necessary to bring in newer voters, perpetuating the cycle of right wing losses and opening those old divides of the right that have been kept under wraps.

Jeb Bush, in an interview with Newsmax magazine on November 30th said that the G.O.P. must avoid becoming the “old white guy party” as well as begin courting Hispanic voters. He’s also taken a pro-immigration position, which is not very popular in the base. It’s not too likely that the right will break through the grasp that the Democrats have on the Hispanic and black votes. There’s little reason for these groups to switch long-time allegiances. Only if the Republicans heavily altered their platform could they do so, but they’d be alienating their current base in the process. The Republicans may become a permanent minority party on Capitol Hill in the long term. 

It might be that the Reagan-style conservatism which continued to serve the right on through Bush Sr., Republican revolution of 1994, and George Bush Jr. is on it’s death bed. No political ideology of that image and label will share it’s popularity of the past. The Bush years may have cemented it’s fate. Only something different can get into the Oval Office in the future, and it will be a tooth-and-nail race to see who scurries out ahead. The conservatism of the future will either adapt and lose it’s character or remain hard and dogged, and set the course for a more culturally fractured America.


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