Fight for the Republican Party: Fiscal Conservatives vs. Social Conservatives

When looking at this 2008 Republican race for the presidency one thing stands out to this writer. It appears that the fight is shaping up between the fiscal conservative wing and the social conservative wing. The race is still fluid, but some really solid lines are starting to form. Congressman Ron Paul seems to be growing a base of support from people who may share many different ideals, but have in common the fiscally conservative, small limited government ideal. Governor Mike Huckabee seems to be gaining considerable traction with the social conservative crowd.

Now of course not every person who comes from the fiscal conservative/limited government wing is jumping in with Ron Paul. The same could be said of social conservative support for Mike Huckabee. However, it appears that support is starting to coalesce around these two candidates. Unlike the other Republican contenders, only Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee are on the upswing in funding and support.

One thing can be said about this battle, both sides are terribly upset and feel disenfranchised. The Republican party's neoconservative wing has so far this century ignored the concerns of the fiscal conservative and social conservative wings.

For the most part the social conservatives have stuck around in the Republican party, but in many ways have been marginalized by the neoconservative wing and they are very unhappy and feel betrayed.

The fiscal conservatives have been marginalized even more though. Many fiscal conservatives have left the Republican party to become independents, Libertarians, and Constitutionalists. Between the influences of the neoconservative wing and a much more organized social conservative wing, the fiscal conservatives had been effectively tossed to the sidelines. Because of Ron Paul, the Republican party is drawing in these disenfranchised independents, Libertarians, and Constitutionalist and even Democrats.

Of course the other candidates are still a factor. For example, Rudy Giuliani has massive name recognition and solid funding. As the standard bearer of the neoconservative wing, that is much more liberal and supports big government, he will be a force to be reckoned with. Many Republicans still haven't been following the Republican race and would vote name recognition. Other Republicans believe in more liberal ideas and big government they too will support “Americas Mayor”.

Governor Mitt Romney will also be in this race for the foreseeable future. He has a sizeable support base and can draw from the social conservative crowd even though Governor Mike Huckabee is pulling these voters away at this time. His campaigns finances will not be a limiting factor either as he can always loan his campaign the extra millions it needs to stay in the race. The factor that will hurt Mitt Romney is that he has been painted as a flip-flopper on gay marriage and abortion which will further continue to erode his social conservative support. The other factor Mitt Romney must contend with is the inherent bigotry that some feel towards his Mormonism. This is an utter travesty, but regretfully exists. Voters should not be focusing on religious belief, but on the credentials the individual has for actually doing the job. Congressman Ron Paul released a statement about the flak Governor Mitt Romney has been receiving about his Mormonism in a press release.

Ron Paul: Romney's Faith Should Not be an Issue

December 6, 2007 12:19 am EST

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA In light of Governor Romney's anticipated “religion speech,” fellow Republican candidate Ron Paul issued the following statement:

“We live in times of great uncertainty when men of faith must stand up for American values and traditions before they are washed away in a sea of fear and relativism. I have never been one who is particularly comfortable talking about my faith in the political arena, and I find the pandering that typically occurs in the election season to be distasteful.

“Our nation was founded to be a place where religion is freely practiced and differences are tolerated and respected. I come to my faith through Jesus Christ and have accepted him as my personal savior. At the same time, I have worked tirelessly to defend and restore individual rights and religious freedom for all Americans.

“The recent attacks and insinuations, both direct and subtle, that Gov. Romney may be less fit to serve as president of our United States because of his faith fly in the face of everything America stands for. Gov. Romney should be judged fairly, on his record and his character, not on the church he attends.”

This statement by Ron Paul could not be better said. We the people need to look at the candidates through their actions and records to determine who is best to serve us.

In conclusion, the race is looking as if it will come down to Congressman Ron Paul, Governor Mike Huckabee, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Governor Mitt Romney. Congressman Ron Paul and Governor Mike Huckabee are on the rise with Giuliani and Romney sliding. The real battle though is between the fiscal conservative and social conservatives. Will Republicans side with their old rootsfiscal conservatism and limited government or will they focus on social conservative issues? That is the real question in this battle. This writer believes it is and thinks it all comes down to Congressman Ron Paul and Governor Mike Huckabee as they appear to be the standard bearers of the fiscal conservative and social conservative wings.

Read more about the upcoming battle between Congressman Ron Paul and Governor Mike Huckabee in this article.