Over the past week, there has been a renewed interest in the fight for the heart and soul of the “right.” We recall the classic split in the movement in the 1950’s and 60’s with the Rockefeller vs. Goldwater (Reagan versus Ford) fights that broke down by Liberal Republican versus Conservative Republican. Abortion, War, and Tax divisions defined the debate. This is why Goldwater, Reagan and Phyllis Schlafly said that we needed a “Choice, not an Echo.”
The Conservative Wing won that fight; we had 12 pro-life candidates vying for the GOP nomination in 2012, no Republican ran on a tax-raising platform or for Nationalization of Housing and note the unified bloc of GOPers all but shouting down a national health insurance scheme called ObamaCare.
The new media-hyped “split” in the party and movement isn’t your grandfather’s schism. This is a new split that is best observed outside the beltway. The new split is inside vs outside; or Establishment versus Activist.