The GOP’s Grand Old Problem



Madison Dibble

The divide in the Republican Party is wide and fast-growing. The Republican establishment has been throwing cash at Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, hoping that they will carry their values to the White House, but all of their hopeful donations have not been reflected in the polls.

Donald Trump’s entire platform is built upon trashing the establishment and trying to separate the candidate from career politicians. Ted Cruz has been long hated by the establishment for his defiance and his attacks on their favorites like Senator Mitch McConnell and the former Speaker of the House John Boehner. The establishment loathes Trump and Cruz, yet they dominate of every poll.

This clear divide shows a separation between rank-and-file GOP voters and the establishment. One reason for this misalignment has been the establishment’s choice of candidates. With John McCain and Mitt Romney, the establishment picked two lackluster candidates to run. The key problem with these two candidates was not their polarizing political views, but their moderation. The establishment hoped that McCain and Romney could coast on people voting against the Democratic candidate, not for the Republican candidate. The establishment did not run a conservative; it ran a candidate who would blend into the background. If the current primary season has shown anything, it is shown that voters do not want an invisible candidate.

The establishment has fought to gain power, and it has—kind of. Republicans have control of both houses of Congress, but they continue to be leveled by liberals. Congressional Republicans gave President Obama everything he wanted in the most recent budget deal because Obama threatened shut down the government if the taxpayers did not continue to fund the killing of babies with the funding of Planned Parenthood. This Quaker move by the establishment is only pushing Republican voters toward Ted Cruz and Donald Trumpbecause the voters want a fighter.

The establishment Republicans haven’t caught on with the fighter mentality, and it is going to haunt them. Donald Trump has proven he is a fighter when provoked. This appeal has enthralled Republican voters to the point that they don’t even care if the guy is conservative—which he isn’t.

The greatest mistake that the establishment republicans have made is continually picking moderate candidates. The establishment picks doormat candidates every time. Jeb Bush’s biggest problem is not his policies, it is his personality. Every candidate running in the Republican Party is conservative enough to gain voters, but none of themhavethe passion. They are all afraid of political gaffs that could alienate swing voters, but this is the only area where the GOP could learn from the Left.

The Democratic establishment has pushed farther and farther from the middle. They have no time for moderates. Barack Obama had one of the most liberal voting records in senate history when he ran in 2008. The Democrats did not hide from this; they embraced it. Now, they are running Obama 2.0, Hillary Clinton and an actual socialist.

Americans don’t like moderate candidates, and they don’t want political perfection. They want the raw candidate who is willing to steamroll the competition because that leads to change. The establishment’s pacifist attitude has two elections, and it could cost a third if they refuse to support the candidate the voters support. Republican voters are tired of moderate candidates, and this has led them to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

If the establishment candidates want to start making gains in the polls, they must be unapologetically conservative. They must be willing to be destroyed by the media and leave swing voters behind.