Published December 21, 2012
Two political parties more like fourWILLIAM COSGROVE
One thing people don’t seem to realize is that there are two segments in both Democrat and Republican parties. They are liberal and conservative groups in both – essentially making four parties instead of two. In the last election, the Republican Party was essentially split between the two separate factions. Many Republican conservatives may not have voted at all since the nomination was not given to a conservative candidate, i.e., the “mainstream” candidate prevailed. This is always the liberals’ claim, that the conservatives are a “fringe” or nut-case group and not in the mainstream. They don’t mention that the mainstream got the country into the fix that it is in and it would likely take a fringe candidate to get the country back on track. The Democratic Party also has its liberal and conservative wings, although the latter group has not had much influence in guiding the direction of the party. That group is called “Blue Dog Democrats.” The mistrust between the Republican factions is quite significant. In 1952 the liberals got a Democrat (Eisenhower) to switch parties to defeat the Republican conservative, Bob Taft, for the nomination. They couldn’t stand to see Taft with the election. In 1964, the Republican liberals sat on their hands rather than have a Republican conservative (Goldwater) defeat Lyndon Johnson for the presidency. During the Republican debates, earlier this year, the candidates bloodied each other so badly they were “dead on arrival” at the polls in November. They lost it in the primaries.