Now that the primary season is well under way it seems that the GOP is in a state of turmoil. The party is clearly divided into two separate factions. Could their inner-party struggles between neo-Con and establishment candidates and voters actually be the beginning of a third viable political party?
After two successful terms under Obama, it seems very likely that 2016 is going to be a good year for the Democrats, But in this climate of extreme political polarization, the question remains what will happen to the Republican Party? One thing the GOP is united on is their hatred of all things considered leftist. But beyond that they appear to have split right down the middle.
The whack-a-doos and extreme social conservatives are rallying around Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, who are both considered outsiders. While the more moderate Republicans (moderate being a relative term) and fiscal Conservatives are more drawn to the establishment candidates like Marco Rubio and Chris Christie.
The establishment wing of the Republican Party is going nowhere and remains in control. Personally I think that establishment will win out in the 2016 primaries, and most likely they will nominate Rubio.
But as extreme Conservative voters continue to voice their displeasure in the party and support the wing-nut candidates like Trump and Cruz, it seems more and more likely that the GOP will split into two separate parties. Because the extremists under “the big tent” are also not likely to go away quietly.
And I’m not alone in this prediction. There are actually several Conservative activists forecasting this same GOP split. One of those activists is Steve Baldwin. His hopes are that this new third party could “do to the GOP what the GOP did to the Whig Party 150 years ago.”
I think a big reason this is happening within the Republican Party is because we have become so polarized. Our political ideologies have become so adversarial that many people in this country have outright disdain for the opposing party. And for the Republicans – they have even begun turning against their own.
Many Conservatives now view the Republican Party as “Democrat-lite” and most refer to Republican politicians as RINOs. It’s ironic really because the further that these Conservatives try to push the GOP to the extreme right, the less appealing the party is to most Americans. But there is no doubt that the neo-Cons and the religious right are feeling less and less at home in the Republican Party. So why not start a Third Party?
Another interesting thing going on right now is the growing number of Independents. More and more voters are fed up with both the Democrats and the Republicans. But even as the Indie population grows the advantage still goes to the Dems. Because a majority of Independent voters identify as socially Liberal.
So the question is whether or not we are watching the birth of a third viable political party. Personally I hope so. Because the truth is that a divided Republican Party makes it nearly certain that the Dems will not only win in 2016, but that they will continue to win in the foreseeable future.