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Winners and losers

By Sam Wells
web posted June 13, 2016

The Republican Party is not monolithic. It does not speak with one voice as a single entity. It is an organization composed of individuals. It is a collection of people. And these people are divided into groups or factions depending on differences in basic principles, approaches, emphasis, and concerns. Each group has its own pet issues and interests. As issues may often overlap, people may belong to more than one faction.

The party consists of six main factions:

1) The anti-conservative Establishment Republicans (Bush Sr, Jeb, Kasich, Romney, Christie, Boehner, McConnell, Chamber of Commerce, corporate elitists & donors, etc.), sometimes called RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) or even "Democrat Lite" because they tend to be liberal or moderate and against conservatives and libertarians. They are for "comprehensive immigration reform" (amnesty) and against strict border control. Members of this group opposed Trump's nomination and would have preferred Romney, Jeb Bush, Kasich, or Christie.

2) Constitutional conservatives and libertarians (thorns in the side of establishment Republicans and Democrats) who would prefer to see a movement in the direction of less government in the lives and businesses of peaceful U.S. citizens. These are the free-market private enterprise advocates and are concerned with private property rights. Their heroes tend to be Goldwater, Reagan, and Cruz. They would seek to undo the liberal establishment if they ever got into office and are generally skeptical of political "deal making" with the Democrats. They supported Ted Cruz in the 2016 Republican primaries.

3) Social conservatives, including those of deep religious faith. These are rightly concerned with the second amendment, abortion, "politically correct" censorship by the liberal-left establishment, the danger of child molestation, and the Left's culture war against traditional marriage and family values.

4) Neoconservatives (Kristol, Krauthammer, Podhoretz, et al) who advocate a strong and active U.S. military involvement overseas. They are called neoconservatives because they generally started out on the Left as Trots and later had enough intellectual honesty to see socialism and communism as the evils that they are and have moved to the right. They tend to focus on foreign policy and military defense. Many of them seem to retain some liberal-left baggage from their former lives, especially in economics (although Dr. Thomas Sowell is a brilliant exception to this). They generally opposed Trump's nomination, apparently fearing he would be soft on military defense and unfamiliar with foreign policy issues.

5) Neomercantilists and Populists or "neopop-conservatives" (Pat Buchanan, Laura Ingraham, Jeff Sessions, et al) who see themselves as anti-establishment and are genuinely patriotic Americans who want to make the U.S. great again by using government power to support domestic industries through high tariffs and to pay off the federal debt through more inflation or defaulting on the loans. Members of this faction enthusiastically supported Trump for president and opposed establishment Republican candidates.

6) Defenders of the homeland and U.S. national sovereignty -- those who favor much better border control, including a wall on the southern border, for reasons primarily of criminal law enforcement and national security. They share this issue, a concern about illegal immigration, with the neopops, so there is some overlap, but the emphasis is less on economic impact and more on national security against terrorism and general criminality. Except for the Establishment Republicans, many members of the other factions generally concur with this position as well. American liberty cannot endure without U.S. national sovereignty and border security. They hope that a President Trump will follow through on his promise to strengthen border control and avoid treaties which compromise U.S. national sovereignty. ESR

 © 2016 Sam Wells

 

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