Mapping the Republican Civil War

While the Democrats march in lockstep behind Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the impending election certification has exposed deep fissures between prominent Republicans in the US Congress. The positions of the three main conservative groups can be understood when placed on the political circle ……

THE NEVER-TRUMPERS

Players like Mitt Romney, Pat Toomey, and former house speaker Paul Ryan have made their position clear over the past few weeks …… and over the past few years. They’ve also shown the terms Never-Trump and RINO to be near-synonyms. This group’s core characteristic is a deep faith in institutions – primarily corporations and the agencies of central government. In their view, to question entrenched election officials is to question the foundations of the American republic itself.

This group cloaks its views in statements about “democracy.” But their primary opposition is to Trump: they believe he’s an imposter, ill-fitted to lead the institutions they hold dear. Potential election malfeasance is a secondary issue to them.

THE ELECTION OBJECTORS

It’s no coincidence that Josh Hawley of Missouri, the first senator to publicly object to the electors, was raised as a Methodist, attended a catholic high school, and now identifies as an evangelical. Not all of the (initial) twelve senators to contest the tally self-label so stridently as religious, but they do populate the middle of the circle’s right side. This zone will identify with centralist initiatives at times, but it also maintains contact with the party’s more libertarian members.

As has been addressed in previous posts, there is no such thing as a “centrist,” despite the efforts of folks like Mitt Romney to pose as moderates. But if there were to be a center wing of the Republican Party, it would be geometrically defined as those who occupy the area near the right pole. They are neither authoritarian nor anarchic. And they’re surrounded by conservatives on both “sides” – both above and below.

This group has traditionally supported Trump. But the election issue is still primary to them because they see potential fraud as a threat to democratic rule. Note that their stand has been labeled as a calling of conscience …… a hallmark of the values axis to which they hold proximity.

THE LOWER RIGHT QUADRANT

Figures like Senator Tom Cotton and Representative Thomas Massie have stated that they will not oppose the election results, which likely comes as a surprise to many observers. This stand would seem to place them in alliance with figures like Romney and Toomey, but their actual locations, and views, are quite the opposite. This is the libertarian wing of the party, and their reluctance isn’t so much to Trump himself (Cotton has been an especially strong supporter over the past four years) but to the prospect of handing even more control to a centralist-leaning organization like the US Congress. They believe a congressional intervention would take power away from the citizens over the long haul.

THE LOWER LEFT QUADRANT

The most disengaged group over the past two months has been the citizen-empowering liberals …… with the exception of their requests that Trump issue pardons to Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. As occurred during the election campaigns, these figures, like Tulsi Gabbard, Glenn Greenwald, and the Unity 2020 group, seem to believe they have no dog in this fight. When positions are plotted on the circle, this makes sense, because they’re equidistant from both presidential contenders.

I find myself writing about this group far more often than any other, despite the fact that I don’t hold membership in their quadrant, and they currently hold the least political power. I address them frequently because they’re likely to become the most important coalition throughout the remainder of the current fourth turning.

This group should be taking a very close look at the facts being presented by Team Trump regarding fraud. If the authoritarian tendencies of the upper left quadrant do manifest as some have expected (including them), members of this group would be the most at-risk to join Snowden and Assange as information dissidents.

The one exception in this quadrant has been James Howard Kunstler, who perceives an existential threat from the DNC and has taken a bold position against its actions.

In the end, potential alliances (and their outcome) will hinge on whether Team Trump can present a smoking gun to the American citizens. To date, Trump’s effort has generated levels of doubt acceptable to his supporters …… but not to others. He’ll need to produce evidence that causes the non-MAGAs to alter their current assessment.

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