Thinking about the idea of a split in the GOP makes me wonder about how we got where we are. Why is the leading candidate for the party unpalatable for a large segment of the party base? I am reminded that “parties are simply alliances of groups that can put aside their differences sufficiently to focus on a few areas where they mostly agree.” Considering that it is not so surprising that the fiscal conservatives are ready to back Giuliani after years of being out-shouted within the party by the social conservatives.
The real dynamic of the nomination process is that the Democrats are united in their desire for a large government that will protect us from negative consequences with social programs to help us go to school, pay for necessities when we lose jobs, ensure access to health care services, legislating social tolerance, and promote international good will by throwing money at the problems plaguing poor nations. Social conservatives have been content – even excited – with a large government that will protect us from change by spending money to wage war against radical Islam around the world, building fences at our borders, listening in to our private conversations in case someone expresses an idea they deem dangerous, and regulating our public conversation against indecency. There is a third group who wants less government and more personal responsibility – including the possibility of suffering the consequences of poor social or financial choices. This group is so tired of being pushed to the side that they are willing to settle on any candidate who will at least promise to keep the growth to a minimum.
The ability of this third group to make Giuliani the frontrunner is what has lead to the warning by social conservatives that they might not support Giuliani. After so long in power they seem to forget that this was a coalition. They don’t seem to care that Big Government is the Enemy of Freedom. They want to coerce the nation in to following their vision of what this nation should be and forget that their coercive tactics would lead them into this very trap.