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Who’s Really Getting Purged From the GOP? Conservatives or Moderates?

Again and again, conservative candidates are cut down by the party in primaries.

by
John Hawkins

Bio

January 17, 2010 - 12:00 am
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Over and over again we hear that conservatives want to purge moderates from the Republican Party — all the members of the Republican Party, in every state and district, have to be as conservative as Rush Limbaugh or else they have to go!

How true is it?

A few people say we need to “get rid of all the RINOs” in the GOP. Occasionally a high-profile conservative will even join them, usually after some horrific betrayal on a crucial issue — but it’s far from typical. The vast majority of conservatives understand that in certain states and districts they’re not going to get their ideal candidate and they accept it. So is it true that conservatives want to purge moderates from the GOP?

Actually, the exact opposite is closer to the truth.

Let’s talk about the party’s high-profile “moderates,” the Republicans who love to run to liberal news outlets. They’re the ones incessantly complaining about Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin, when they’re not trashing the Republican Party and simultaneously bemoaning the fact that they’re not appreciated by conservatives.

Well, here’s a dose of political reality 101. Unlike the Democratic Party, which is more roughly split between moderates and liberals, the Republican Party is mostly conservative. Conservatives provide most of the money, energy, intellectual firepower, and votes for the party.

That’s not to say moderates aren’t wanted or are unimportant — that’s not the case — but it should be acknowledged that their contributions to the GOP are relatively small compared to those of conservatives in every area.

Yet what do we often hear from self-proclaimed representatives of moderates? They say that the GOP needs to forget about fiscal conservatism or shove social conservatives to the side. Is that not every bit as dumb — and then some — as saying the GOP needs to purge moderates from its ranks? What armies of voters will the GOP be able to tap into to replace the social and fiscal conservatives?

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