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A Rip In Reagan’s Big Tent – Rifts in the GOP

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About Richard Larsen

AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at rlarsenen@cableone.net.


  1. As Reagan said, “He who agrees with me 80% of the time is not my enemy.”

    I can agree with that. Too bad the “Establishment” GOP doesn’t understand that moving towards the left doesn’t mean you agree with the TEA party 80% of the time. It means you agree with Democrats 80% of the time. When “Establishment” GOP support amnesty, Common CORE, bigger government, they are not with conservatives 80% of the time.

    The “Establishment” progressive GOP are with conservatives 20% of the time. And you wonder why conservatives stay home.

  2. Rick, This is an issue that I’ve addressed numerous times in the ONE AMERICAN mail out I do,,,but never with the mastery you accomplished. With your permission, I will share intact this with those contacts…because, my friend, “truer words were never spoken.”…….If all that fly the GOP flag cannot find common ground and unify we will hear the funeral dirge resonate rather than the Star Spangled banner as we witness the Death of Our Nation.

    BOTH the ‘establishment GOP’ and ‘conservatives’ need to pull in their horns a tad bit, setting ‘ideals’ aside and discover what is ‘good’ about the other rather than what’s ‘wrong’ A tree that has no sway can be broken & uprooted in a storm…and, this IS a Storm!!

    I find it peculiar that in our daily relationships, both personal & business, we ‘compromise’ & have give and take, yet, when it comes to Our Great Nation, that ‘word’ becomes dirty and considered a ‘sell-out’

    The GOP tent is big enough to hold everyone IF we give them a defined reason to ‘come on in’.

    Are we really at the stage of “I say potata , you say potato, let’ call the whole thing off”??? I pray not…Allowing this marvelous Country to rot is an insult to Our Creator, that made the AMERICAN way of life….

    • Jan, my dear friend, you are exactly right, as always! Thank you for your kind words of affirmation, and by all means, please circulate far and wide if you’re as convinced, as I am, that we can learn to focus on our commonality rather than our differences.

      I love your metaphor of the tree that has no sway. Not only is is excellent, it fits this context superbly! I’m going to have to quote you on that. 🙂

      Pew Research, for over 20 years, has been conducting the same poll about how Americans feel about free enterprise versus centralized planning. Consistently, over that time period, even over the past 6 years when we’ve witnessed such a concentrated attack on the system, 70% of Americans support free market capitalism. If we could tie in the rest of the conservative message to just that one common precept, there’s no election we couldn’t win, perhaps even in Pelosi’s District. 🙂 Focusing on our common values as opposed to our differences can make a world of difference in saving our republic!

  3. The liberal/progressive movement has take over the leadership of the Grand Old Party, and that became painlully obvious when they remove “Less taxes, Smaller Government, and More Individual Freedom” from the party platform. We on the right must always compromise with this leadership just like the leadership always compromises with the Democrats. The dilemma we on the right face is even if we compromise with the establishment Republicans, and they win, we and the country still lose. Selling our country down the drain for the betterment of a bunch of self serving politicians is not what our Founders had in mind. Capitulation to evil has put our country on the road to tyranny, now is the time to stand up for liberity. During the Korean War, the Marines believed “Death before Dishonor” was the preferable way to make a stand. So much better then the cowardice of the politicians we have today.

    • L.E., you’re exactly right. But part of the problem with the establishment GOP is they’re willing to compromise, period, even if it means moving to the left with the country, and specific legislation, spending, etc.

      Compromise is crucial in the legislative process, but it must be only compromise to the right, not the left. We could never take the country back to the federalist system we conservatives believe in, and the country was founded upon, but each vote, either legislatively or electorally, must incrementally start moving us away from the progressive and fiscal abyss we’re racing toward as a country now.

      If every conservative in the country would vote in every election, and always vote for the more conservative candidate, we could start moving the country incrementally back to what the nation was founded to be, and should be; dedicated to individual liberty, free markets, less government.