Will the GOP Split?

Franklin Graham, President and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and son of the more famous Billy Graham, has announced that he’s leaving the Republican Party.

Prominent evangelical leader Franklin Graham has quit the Republican Party because the omnibus spending bill passed last week in Congress will continue to fund Planned Parenthood.

Graham, who declared himself an independent in a lengthy Facebook post on Monday, said, “I have no hope in the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, or Tea Party to do what is best for America. Unless more godly men and women get in this process and change this wicked system, our country is in for trouble.”

The coalition that makes up the Republican Party has been fracturing lately, finding themselves at great odds. There are at least three major groups within the party: social conservatives, neoconservatives, and the business wing – with further, smaller factions (the libertarian wing, etc) filling in the gaps. Recently it seems that these wings are finding little to agree on.

Personally, I’m of the opinion that what’s currently happening is a generation gap in politics. The Baby Boomers are on the decline as a percentage of the overall population and Generation X has started to exert its political power. But as with everything else, the Baby Boomers aren’t letting go easily. As the only generation I’m aware of that’s successfully fought intergenerational wars against both their parents and their children, don’t look to them to relinquish the reins to their children anytime soon.

Is a GOP split imminent? Many people I talk to seem to think it is. It’s happened before in American politics – but don’t get too excited. If there is a GOP split, it’s far more likely that one of the new parties will replace the GOP than it is that we’ll end up with a three party system in the long run. Game theory tells us that our “first past the post” voting system virtually guarantees that in the long run we’ll stabilize on two parties.

And Democrats? Don’t get cocky. The only reason this isn’t happening to you is because a Democrat sits in the White House right now. But over the next 8 years, you’re facing the same issue.

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