Saturday, March 24, 2012
Political Polarization of the Republican Party in USA
Mitt Romney has once again reaffirmed his popularity among the more moderate Republicans in the Illinois primary on March 20. Meanwhile, Rick Santorum has also reaffirmed his popularity among the more conservative elements. While Romney won the contest in urban areas which are generally Democratic strongholds, Santorum won in other regions which are generally Republican. Throughout the Republican race, Santorum has been performing well in the South while the North has generally been better for Romney. The results of Republican primaries have once again highlighted the differences between the conservative and moderate camps in the GOP.
The polarization of the American society has been a feature of Barack Obama presidency. It was anathema to the conservatives who always attempted to undermine the White House. The rise of the Tea Party movement was a clear manifestation of the polarization within the Republican ranks. Also, even outside the GOP, many far-right groups have appeared during the last few years. While some of them have entered the democratic political stream, others remain outside of it and are potentially more dangerous to the security of the country.
However the rise of the conservative element within the Republican Party is vital for the future of the USA and also of the world. It is these conservatives that support Santorum candidacy and are driving Santorum on a protracted primary race with Romney. The fact that Romney is also unable to appeal effectively to this conservative element gives hope to the Santorum campaign, which may clinch the candidacy under Romney’s nose at the Republican Convention in August.
Whoever wins the candidacy of the Republican Party will however face difficulties in uniting the conservative and moderate groups within the party. This will be a most welcome advantage to the incumbent president, Barack Obama. Even if the eventual candidate of the GOP wins the presidential election in November 2012, he will have to find a way to accommodate all factions in the new government.
Image: Illinois Republican Primary, March 20, 2012. (Yellow-Won by Romney; Green-won by Santorum). Gage, Wikimedia Commons