THE
BIG TENT PARTY
COLLAPSES
By Ben Shapiro
Breitbart News

Forwarded by Inge Kummant





The GOP is falling apart.

How else to explain the wide variance of positions within the Republican Party on basic issues ranging from same-sex marriage to immigration to tax policy? For years, GOP bigwigs have explained that the Republican Party can only succeed if it expands and evolves, embracing as many views as possible. There’s only one problem: that simply doesn’t work.

While the Democratic Party has moved toward leftist purity in which Hillary Clinton’s policy positions are virtually indistinguishable from socialist Bernie Sanders’, the Republican Party has become to political positions what COEXIST bumper stickers are to religion – an embrace of all and, thereby, a perversion of all. The media enjoy suggesting that the Republican Party has never been more right-wing, but the opposite is true: the Republican Party has never been more heterogeneous, and the Democratic Party has never been more radically homogenous.

Just look at the Republican field today: an agglomeration of random humans appealing to small segments of the population. The Republican Party has now fragmented into Tea Party Republicans who oppose Establishment Republicans, Socially Conservative Republicans who oppose Libertarian Republicans. None of these candidates are running for the nomination; all of them are running for approximately 25 percent of the vote in a primary. Winning one quarter of primary voters in the early states could win the nomination.

What do these candidates have in common? Nothing, really. And that’s the point: not that they’re insincere or pandering for votes – although some of them are – but that they represent oddly agglomerated constituencies stuck together out of convenience, in many cases.

The Democrats have mastered the art of Top Priority Trading: for Hispanics, supposedly, the Top Priority is illegal immigration, and so blacks must take a back seat on that issue; for blacks, supposedly, the Top Priority is governmental subsidies, and so wealthy earners must take a back seat on that issue; for gays, the Top Priority is same-sex marriage, and so Hispanics and blacks must take a back seat on that issue; for wealthy coastal elites, the Top Priority is environmentalism, so everyone else must take a back seat on that issue. The result is a party with a coherent coalition of far-leftism.

With the Republicans, no such coalition exists. Establishment Republicans refuse to recognize the Top Priority for evangelicals, abortion, and the Top Priority for Tea Parties, ending subsidies for both individuals and business; evangelicals refuse to recognize the Top Priority of libertarians, governmental pullback on issues including drugs, and the Top Priority for establishment Republicans, de-regulation.

The Republican Party is, in other words, a mess. Conservatives hope against hope that after someone emerges, Hillary Clinton will unify the opposition, but that was the plan in 2012.

The Republican Party has become the 
Whig Party after 1856: stuck together because that’s the way it has always been, but with no differentiation on its left from the Democrats. Rutherford B. Hayes, future president of the United States, wrote upon the breakup of the Whigs: “The real grounds of difference upon important political questions no longer correspond with party lines. The progressive Whig is nearer in sentiment to the radical Democrat than the radical Democrat is to the ‘fogy’ of his own party; vice versa.” The difference is that the Democratic Party of 1856 had its own issues of coherence; no such issues exist in the Democratic Party today.

The establishment knows the GOP has become an umbrella without a unifying shaft, which is why they cling to relics of the past like Jeb Bush, hoping against hope that the name alone will unify (it didn’t work for former President Millard Fillmore in 1856, and it won’t work now). The Tea Party knows that the GOP has been hijacked by moneyed interests, which is why it seeks to ignore the party money; the same goes for the libertarians. And Evangelicals look for someone to take their priorities seriously, without embarrassment.

So what’s the solution? To figure out the Top Priorities of the various constituencies, and figure out who must take a back seat on those issues. It’s one thing to have a Big Tent party. It’s another things to let the clowns run the circus.