Yesterday I noticed a growing sentiment amongst those on the right; that they lost because of Mitt Romney. Here’s a quick summary from Salon:
It’s been less than 24 hours since the polls closed and already the first shots in an emerging civil war within the conservative movement are being fired. Right-leaning pundits have been taking turns beating up on Mitt Romney and blaming him for the loss last night. Donald Trump just tweeted, “Congrats to @KarlRove on blowing $400 million this cycle. Every race @CrossroadsGPS ran ads in, the Republicans lost. What a waste of money.” And GOP leaders are already taking to the barricades on either side of the divide, which basically comes down to this question: Were Romney and the GOP too conservative or not conservative enough?
Granted, none of this is a shock. We hear this all the time from not only the right, but also the left. But as non-shocking as it may be, I always shake my head at the argument “the establishment picked this candidate”. That was the meme in 2008, when John McCain won the GOP nomination. Apparently Republicans forget about that entire primary process and going to the polls earlier this year.
But there is something that has shocked me. From the same Salon article, we see a real fracture growing in the GOP:
But on the other side of the fight, Herman Cain, the former presidential candidate who still has a robust following via his popular talk radio program and speaking tours, today suggested the most clear step to open civil war: secession. Appearing on Bryan Fischer’s radio program this afternoon, Cain called for a large faction of Republican Party leaders to desert the party and form a third, more conservative party.
“I never thought that I would say this, and this is the first time publicly that I’ve said it: We need a third party to save this country. Not Ron Paul and the Ron Paulites. No. We need a legitimate third party to challenge the current system that we have, because I don’t believe that the Republican Party … has the ability to rebrand itself,” Cain said.
Now this could all be a typical reactionary call, but coming from someone like Herman Cain, it should make the GOP stand up and take notice. Cain does have a decent following, as well as a very devout one, and if he turns his words into action then the GOP may very well be done.
There’s another issue that this amplifies and Cain even mentions it – Ron Paul. I know a lot of Ron Paul supporters and they either voted third party or not at all this election. That clearly hurts the GOP and no one else.
Now anyone that has read my ramblings for sometime knows that I am not against a third party, or a fourth or fifth party. The problem is that any new party has to be started the right way.
Let’s assume for a minute that Cain does go through with his threat. His new party, perhaps “The Godfathers”, would be more to the right of the current GOP, which has already moved much more to the right since Reagan. This would also spark a bitter battle between the GOP and the Cain people, as they fight for the “conservative brand”. On top of that, you already have a GOP that has alienated their moderate members, forcing most of them to leave the party and go either independent or Democrat.
So what we end up is with a three party system, where two of the parties are insignificant. That will do nothing but help the Democrats grow bigger majorities, keep the White House and retake the House. Now I have pretty much voted Democrat my entire life, but I do see a problem with one party controlling it all for any given amount of time. I have always maintained that the best ideas come from the collective thought process of all sides of the political spectrum, not just one. We need multiple ideologies to create sustainable legislation and keep this country moving forward. One side isn’t going to cut it.
The GOP is already considered “too conservative” by many Americans and this week’s exit polls reaffirm that. To show that, take this one question from the exit polls:
We see close to 1/5 of conservatives voting Democratic. These are the people that are conservative, but not over board conservatives like most of the GOP is today. On top of that we have moderates fleeing the Republican party by almost 3:2. Cain’s party won’t attract these people and the GOP has way too much image repair to do before they can.
The only way I can even remotely see this working is if it becomes a combined effort of Cain and the GOP. They both must agree on this and the GOP must then go on a very expensive and hard to sell “re-branding campaign”. I really don’t see that happening, so if Cain does go through with what he is saying, then we will be facing what is essentially a one party system in the United States.
Like I said yesterday, I hope the GOP does work to fix it’s polarity, minority and race problem. Our government does depend on it. But if they don’t do that, then I will be glad the Democrats have the upper hand as that is much better than a government run by conservatives alone. We kind of saw that in the last decade and it didn’t turn out all that well.