The Republican Party is often referred to as a group of “Old White Men”. It is the Democrats who are the party of diversity and tolerance. Hence all Republicans are racists unless they agree with the Democrats. This accusation is outrageous and even a little hypocritical.
The Democrats do attract a larger percentage of Black, Hispanic, and Female voters this is true. However, one must consider this objectively and through the lens of party perception. The Republicans and Democrats do differ in regards to diversity.
The Democrats have a more diverse ethnic following; however they are bound to a single ideology. There is very little to no diversity in the “thought department”, one is either a liberal or a bigot of some kind.
The Republicans, on the other hand, are by no means homogenous as they too attract Black, Hispanic, and Female voters. The difference is that instead of grouping people into ethnocentric groups, for the purpose of race baiting, all members of the Republican Party are simply Republican. The diversity that is found in the Republican Party, which has been admittedly a hindrance to their national appeal, is their diversity in ideology.
There are seven distinct ideologies found within the Republican Party. The inability of any one candidate to unite these warring factions is a central cause of a long string of losses for Republican Presidential candidates. These ideological groups are 1) Establishment Republicans 2) Neocons 3) Evangelicals 4) Reaganites 5) Moderates 6) RINO’s 7) Libertarians.
Reaganite- the Reaganite focuses on two basic principles: Fiscal Conservatism and a Strong Military Capability. These followers of Ronald Reagan, hence the name, point to his greatest achievements as president to justify their stance: the strong economic recovery of the 1980s and the collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent end to the Cold War.
The Reaganites’ focus is not to say that they do not have opinions on other matters, but simply these are their primary focus. They promote an economic environment of low taxation and fewer regulations. They wish to see an erosion of the Welfare State and balancing of the federal budget.
Many Reaganites are also protectionists, meaning they promote an economic policy that protects American jobs from foreign competition through tariffs.
As for the military, they view a strong American military as key to most of our international relations. We are capable of defending against attack, protect American interests abroad, aid our allies in times of need, and have considerably more clout when negotiating with enemy nations.
Reaganites often come from the middle and working classes of the Republican Party. They want more economic opportunity, a chance at self-sufficiency, and a broad sense of security so are drawn to these policy decisions.
The example I am going to use here I am sure will be followed by a barrage of tomatoes but regardless, he fits the bill: Donald Trump. Trump’s entire presidential candidacy has been based upon protectionary policies towards nations like China and Mexico. He also calls for rebuilding our military, and going to the negotiation table from a place of strength. Is he Reagan? NO. Is he a Reagnite? YES.
Neocon Republican- the Neocon is a Republican who views himself/herself from more of an international context. They are often in support of globalist American policy. They support “nation-building” and wish to perpetuate the role of the United States as the global police state.
They believe in interfering in other nations’ internal issues and in the exportation of American values abroad. They are in support of free trade and global corporatism, even justifying the exploitation of low-wage workers, at the expense of the American worker, by claiming our business presence allows for economic growth and improved standards of living in these foreign nations. They also concede important decision making to international institutions such as the United Nations or the World Bank.
Neocons, like Establishment, can be found all over America but tend to come from the Upper Class of society as they view the nation, and themselves, as superior to others.
An example of a Neocon was President George W Bush. He not only waited for “permission” from the United Nations to attack Iraq, but also spent considerably more money and time rebuilding the shattered nations than defeating the Iraqi military and insurgent groups.
Evangelical Republican– the Evangelical Republican is more focused on the soul of the nation over its place in the international community. This is also often through a Judeo-Christian lens. They feel it is their role as a Christian to promote a moral and just society.
They are strong supporters of religious liberty and its inclusion in everyday life. They are against immoral behavior such as abortion, gay marriage, and drug use. They call for harsher restrictions on abortions through government legislation and regulations on those who perform the procedures.
They wish to embed in our society the concept that marriage is between “one man and one woman” even promoting a Constitutional Amendment to this end. This is not to say they wish to break up gay marriages, just that they be called “civil unions”.
In addition, religious institutions, and those of the faith, have the freedom to opt out of participating in any act that might compromise their religious tenants. Evangelical Republicans are primarily from Southern and Central Plains Red States where Christianity has a stronger impact on daily life within the community.
A good example of an Evangelical is former Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas. In both his 2012 and 2016 Presidential runs, his primarily policy focus have had to do with social issues and the protection of Judeo-Christian Values.
Establishment Republican– the Establishment Republican is one that puts party ahead of policy. They concede to the Party Elite on all their stances of American policy. This has created a somewhat erratic ideology as Party Elites are often more interested in being in power rather than governing the people in a consistent way. They base their ideology on the whims of public opinion through polls and “autopsy reports”.
This at times has led to political “double-speak” where a person may support something at one point, but completely change their stance on another. Since the Establishment Republican is based more on tactics then specific ideas, they tend to come from all segments of America.
A good example of an Establishment Republican is former Governor and Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney was in a constant state of flux regarding his policy ideas during the 2012 elections, seemingly changing stances based upon what polls and the party told him.
Moderate Republicans– To begin, I would like to make something clear in regards to Moderates and RINOs. There are similarities, to be sure, but they describe distinctly different groups. In addition, I would point out that the term RINO (Republican In Name Only) is often used pejoratively against Republicans who do not follow the standard policy lines. Therefore, many Moderate Republicans have at times worn the mantra of RINO.
A Moderate Republican is a middle ground kind of person. He/She wishes to find the middle ground in any policy decision. There is no particular focus other than to promote compromise and “crossing the aisle”.
The Midwest is often the heartland of the Moderate Republican where working class people, often members of unions, have made a living working and compromising with factory owner and foreman alike. A good example of a Moderate is Governor and Presidential Candidate John Kasich.
He has often touted his ability to work with the Democrats and takes on Centrist policy stances. For example he wants more border security but will consider amnesty for illegal immigrants currently residing in America.
RINO– the RINO is exactly as the term describes it: a person who calls himself/herself a Republican but is in fact a Democrat. They often cross the aisle not to compromise like a Moderate, but to support liberal policies.
They are both fiscally and socially liberal and often come from Blue-states. They are defeatists who claim that welfare entitlement programs cannot be taken away and thus must be perpetuated. To do this they will support tax hikes and deficit spending.
They also lean socially liberal in regards to issues such as abortion and gay marriage. RINOs primarily come from the northeast and western coast, areas that are Blue States and have a liberal lean. The example of the RINO is Senator Susan Collins from Maine. Not only as she voted against partial birth abortion bans, she also supported the stimulus deficit spending of President Obama.
Libertarian- the Libertarian, or Liberty Republican, is the “young upstart” group of the Republican Party. They wish to merge several policy stances with a primary focus on expanding individual freedoms across the board to the most people possible.
At the heart of the Libertarian mindset is the question of government’s role in the lives of Americans. In short, a Libertarian believes that the government should “butt out”. They are against high taxation and view welfare programs as mechanisms of social control.
They promote a fiscally conservative policy of low regulation and little oversight. They believe that the government should not be the arbiter of moral or ethical dilemmas and that everybody should be able to live as they see fit be it a homosexual male or an Evangelical Christian.
They also believe that America itself should “butt out” of the affairs of the international community. They are against interventionist policies and want a downgraded military whose primary purpose is defense, not international security.
Most libertarians come from the younger college-aged and millennial population of the party who have, in essence, become disenchanted with both parties.
The best example of a Liberty Republican is Ron Paul and to a lesser extent, his son Rand. Ron’s presidential candidacies focused on the diminishing of the government’s interference in American life as well as a downgrade of America’s foreign military presence.
So the next time someone tells you that the Republicans are not diverse, point out this simple fact. The Republicans are diverse and tolerant of ideas and opinions and do not pigeon-hole people into groups to be exploited. Can the same be said about the Democrats?