Why Is the Republican Field So Extreme? (Read 1977 times)

    Most of my Republican friends seem fairly moderate: they want low taxes, a good economy, little foreign intervention, fewer regulations. The current crop of Republicans seems to me totally unrepresentative of their positions. What gives? Do I just misunderstand the views of candidates like Bachman and Perry? Or do I misunderstand my Republican friends?


    Ostrich runner

      Is your group of Republican friends large enough to be a representative sample of the party as a whole?

      http://www.runningahead.com/groups/Indy/forum

        That's what I'm trying to figure out. (By the way, size is only one aspect of the quality of a sample.)

        StellarsJJayS


          There's a simple answer to that...   Republicans of the past 10 years have been so extreme and extremely fanatical.

          Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours.

            -- Berra

           

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          C-R


            One could ask why the current Democratic leadership is so extreme as well. My Democratic friends positions are not far from center but it doesn't seem to match what we see in DC and the state.


            "He conquers who endures" - Persius
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            Scout7


            CPT Curmudgeon

              The salient points are because we're in primary elections, and things will most likely change once we get to the general election, as will the general environment of the country, and because of the rise of specific segments within the party itself.

               

              Because elections are polarizing, and campaigns (especially primary campaigns) seldom, if ever, represent the actual reality of being in a political office.

               

              Candidates in primary elections are not too worried about the other party, because they aren't the competition.  The voters are a fairly captive audience (only party affiliates can vote in a party's primary in many states), so they tend to pander far more to the extremes in order to get people excited and to develop differentiating factors.

               

              Additionally, in recent years, there has been a rise in certain groups within the Republican party, specifically Dominionists and the Tea Party movement.  The former is far more interesting in mind, because of the outcry by many with regards to fears about the introduction of Sharia law in the US, yet dominionism is pretty similar (just a different religion, specifically Christianity).  This rise has led to a fundamental shift in core demographics and the issues that are most important.  The Tea Party movement primarily exists due to the current state of the economy and the perceived size and role of government.  However, the Tea Party, while good at rhetoric, is finding the actual job of governing to be far more different and difficult.

                They are trying to rock the boat and knock out the incumbent. The party needs a noise-maker.  The ultimate candidate in the last cycle, McCain, was a relative moderate. 

                "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

                Scout7


                CPT Curmudgeon

                  Also, the level of extremism depends on the position of the viewer.  In other words, a fairly liberal, almost hippie-esque, professor would have a different viewpoint of the level of extremism in the Republican party than, say, a fairly conservative individual with whom said hippie boy tends to get into long, drawn-out arguments.

                    Also, the level of extremism depends on the position of the viewer.  In other words, a fairly liberal, almost hippie-esque, professor would have a different viewpoint of the level of extremism in the Republican party than, say, a fairly conservative individual with whom said hippie boy tends to get into long, drawn-out arguments.

                     

                    A distinction: I didn't say that there is a high level of extremism in Republican party, just in the Republican field. I actually said the opposite; the party members seem more or less like the rest of us (there are always exceptions), but the field (outside of Romney) seems to me to be unrepresentative of American values.

                     

                    C-R: it could be said that Pres. Obama is an extremist, but I believe that this is said less frequently than it is said of the R field. In fact, Obama is most often accused (seems to me) of being kinda wishy-washy, too compromising.

                    DoppleBock


                      I am fairly conservative

                       

                      I would like to see Gov't (Fed-State-Local) about 2/3 the size it is currently.  To have a defined contribution retirement program, have retirement age same as social security.  To have health care contributions and insurance plans similar to the private sector.  No health insurance for early retirement.  A smaller defense budget (Less interest in being involved in every conflict).  I would like to see less spent on subsidys for Ethonol and Oil.  I would like to see 1 gas formulation for all states to stop inflating gas prices.  A little bit less regulation for businesses.  I do not agree with tax cuts and would even be willing to pay a wee bit more to move the deficiet down.

                       

                      So, whose my candidate?

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                      Scout7


                      CPT Curmudgeon

                        A distinction: I didn't say that there is a high level of extremism in Republican party, just in the Republican field. I actually said the opposite; the party members seem more or less like the rest of us (there are always exceptions), but the field (outside of Romney) seems to me to be unrepresentative of American values.

                         

                        C-R: it could be said that Pres. Obama is an extremist, but I believe that this is said less frequently than it is said of the R field. In fact, Obama is most often accused (seems to me) of being kinda wishy-washy, too compromising.

                         

                        Oh, I know.  I was just highlighting how extremism is subjective.  That, and taking a swipe at people while I can before this thread implodes.

                        Scout7


                        CPT Curmudgeon

                          I am fairly conservative

                           

                          I would like to see Gov't (Fed-State-Local) about 2/3 the size it is currently.  To have a defined contribution retirement program, have retirement age same as social security.  To have health care contributions and insurance plans similar to the private sector.  No health insurance for early retirement.  A smaller defense budget (Less interest in being involved in every conflict).  I would like to see less spent on subsidys for Ethonol and Oil.  I would like to see 1 gas formulation for all states to stop inflating gas prices.  A little bit less regulation for businesses.  I do not agree with tax cuts and would even be willing to pay a wee bit more to move the deficiet down.

                           

                          So, whose my candidate?

                           

                          Nobody at present.

                            Wouldn't a candidate's level of extremism be determined by from whom they are trying to raise money?  Probably not your Republican friends.

                             

                            MTA: At least at this point in the cycle.  I imagine after much money is raised from where it needs to come and the field thins, then we will see more moderate views in order to actually get votes.  But for now it would seem money is king.

                             


                            Fat butt on couch

                              I would say it is very misleading to characterize the Republican Party as extreme.  More accurately, there is a significantly-sized -- and very vocal and activist -- minority within the party.  Due to both the fact that a split party cannot win (thank you DMN 2-party system), and that this segment is the most vocal/activist, it has an unusual amount of power within the party.

                               

                              Note the recent debt fiasco.  The Speaker sought to negotiate more centrally with the Dems/White House, but a large enough minority of his own party was willing to torpedo the whole thing and take us willingly off the cliff that he could not.  This was not representive of the "Republican Party".

                               

                              Bachmann and Palin are sideshows.  They have a very strong following with a minority of the party, with little to no upside to those numbers.  They are just too extreme -- in their ideas and stupidity ($2 gas???) -- to ever be mainstream candidates.

                               

                              It would be equally as legitimate to claim similar extremism within the Democratic party. 

                              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                               

                                I would say it is very misleading to characterize the Republican Party as extreme.  More accurately, there is a significantly-sized -- and very vocal and activist -- minority within the party.  Due to both the fact that a split party cannot win (thank you DMN 2-party system), and that this segment is the most vocal/activist, it has an unusual amount of power within the party.

                                 

                                Note the recent debt fiasco.  The Speaker sought to negotiate more centrally with the Dems/White House, but a large enough minority of his own party was willing to torpedo the whole thing and take us willingly off the cliff that he could not.  This was not representive of the "Republican Party".

                                 

                                Bachmann and Palin are sideshows.  They have a very strong following with a minority of the party, with little to no upside to those numbers.  They are just too extreme -- in their ideas and stupidity ($2 gas???) -- to ever be mainstream candidates.

                                 

                                Agree with everything here. I said the field was extreme, not the party.