Why the Republican Party is fractured

by Dr. Ed Berry

Everyone knows the Republican Party is fractured. Some people propose to glue the Party back together, as if it were a broken Humpty Dumpty. But before you can solve a problem, you must understand the problem. Very few people understand the problem. And that’s the problem.

Until you understand why the Republican Party is fractured, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, can’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.

Henry Olsen‘s “The Four Faces of the Republican Party” helps us understand the problem. According to Olsen, Republicans fall into “four rough camps,” with approximate composition shown in parentheses:

Somewhat Conservatives (40%) are not vocal but always back the winner. They like cautious conservatives and don’t like radicals.

Moderates to Liberals (30%) prefer secular, less fiscally-concerned conservatives. They oppose overtly religious candidates. If their candidate is weak, they will back the Somewhat Conservatives candidate.

Very Conservative but Seculars (10%) like urbane, fiscally oriented men. When their candidate loses ground they will back the Somewhat Conservatives candidate(For fair disclosure, I fit best in this camp.)

Very Conservative Evangelicals (20%) prefer candidates “who are very open about their religious beliefs, place a high priority on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion, and see the United States in decline because of its movement away from the faith and moral codes of its past.”

Some facts about Very Conservative Evangelicals 

They are the only group that does not regularly support the winning candidate when their candidate fails.

They dominate the Tea Party.

Their candidates cannot win a key nomination because 80 percent of Republicans are against overtly religious candidates.

They supported Ken Miller in his futile 2012 primary bid for governor because his “moral compass” image fit their addiction to Evangelical candidates.

The primary votes for Miller plus the few votes for Bob Fanning show the Very Conservative Evangelical Republicans make up 20 percent of Montana’s Republican voters, as expected from Olsen’s analysis.

They supported Matt Rosendale in his doomed 2014 primary bid for US Congress because his “drone shooter” image fit their obsession with anti-government conspiracy theories.

Rosendale picked up more than the Evangelical vote in 2014 because he did not sound overly Evangelical. But his association with Oath Keepers National Chaplain Chuck Baldwin and his “drone shooter” image turned off the three dominant “faces” of the Republican Party and doomed his candidacy.

Data show the Very Conservative Evangelical Tea Party is not “taking over” the Republican Party and has not made the Republican Party more conservative.

Very Conservative Evangelicals have an attitude problem.

Very Conservative Evangelicals consider non-Evangelicals “not good enough for them” so they won’t support the winner of the Republican primary … which is never one of them.

Neither Ken Miller nor Matt Rosendale would support Ryan Zinke after he won the 2014 primary election. Not smart. They further alienated themselves and their Very Conservative Evangelicals from the 80 percent majority of Republican voters.

Miller and Rosendale confirmed Olsen’s conclusion that Very Conservative Evangelicals generally do not support the Republican candidate who wins a primary election.

The Evangelicals withheld their votes from Republicans Rick Hill, Denny Rehberg, and Mitt Romney. They thereby helped elect Democrats Steve Bullock, Jon Tester, and Barack Obama.

Now they complain about the Democrats they helped elect. But they still think their problem is the 80 percent of Republicans who do not agree with them. Go figure. Very Conservative Evangelicals and their Tea Party Libertarians don’t get it.

The Republican Party did not exclude the Tea Party Libertarians, as Tea Party Libertarians claim. Very Conservative Evangelicals Tea Party Libertarians excluded themselves by their own irrational ideology and consequent actions.

Very Conservative Evangelicals are not qualified to solve the Republican fracture problem because they are the problem.

They have other problems. They are anti-science. They reject Aristotle’s scientific method that requires us to question and test our hypotheses and beliefs. They believe the Earth is only 6000 years old. They refuse to test their hypothesis against the overwhelming data that proves them wrong. So they never get any smarter.

This is why Very Conservative Evangelical Greg Gianforte will not be elected governor of Montana, no matter how much money he spends. He believes the Earth is 6000 years old and supports a museum that promotes these myths to children.

If he makes it to the final election, Gianforte will get the Evangelical Tea Party vote which is 10 percent of all voters and many Republican votes. But Independents and many Moderates to Liberal Republicans will vote for Steve Bullock because they don’t want an anti-science nutcase for Montana governor.

Why Very Conservative Evangelicals cause Republicans to lose elections.

Very Conservative Evangelicals believe and use these destructive False Voting Mantras:

The False Voting Mantra: “A vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil.

The Moron Mantra: “There’s no difference between Republicans and Democrats.”

The Suicide Mantra: “People will never wake up until it gets much worse.”

By contrast, the True Voting Principle is:

Our moral duty is to vote to achieve the most possible good, which eliminates voting for candidates who cannot win.”

An example of the True Voting Principle is:

It is legitimate to vote for a more restrictive law regarding abortion over a less restrictive law. This action does not represent support of an unjust law. Rather it is a legitimate and proper attempt to limit evil aspects and to prevent worse legislation from being adopted.”

Stated simply, the True Voting Principle is:

Always vote and act to achieve the greatest possible good.

The True Voting Principle works for all political parties and religions. It lets you decide which candidate you think is the greater good. It requires you to remove from your consideration third-party candidates who cannot win, compare the candidates who can win, and choose the candidate whom you believe will produce the greater good.

Aristotle, major philosophers, the Founding Fathers of our Constitution, and the seven major Christian religions (Catholic and six Protestant) all support the True Voting Principle and reject the False Voting Mantras.

Very Conservative Evangelicals who follow the False Voting Mantras are a religious cult.

This cult is the cause of the fracture in the Republican Party.

Mainstream Republicans have not caused America’s decline as Very Conservative Evangelicals claim. Conservatives, like Very Conservative Evangelicals, who do not support the True Voting Principle, have caused America’s decline.

The only way to fix the Republican Party fracture is to convince the Very Conservative Evangelicals to drop their irrational False Voting Mantras and adopt the True Voting Principle.

They can keep their religion. They only need to dump their False Voting Mantras.

Aristotle promoted the True Voting Principle.

Aristotle wrote (as translated by Roger Crisp):

In the case of evil, the reverse is the case, since the lesser evil is counted as a good in comparison with the greater evil; the lesser evil is more worthy of choice than the greater, what is worthy of choice is a good, and what is more worthy of choice is a greater good.

In short, an action that increases good or diminishes evil, is good.

Thomas Jefferson wrote “Aristotle, Cicero, Sidney, and Locke” were inspirations for our Constitution. Aristotle is the father of the scientific method.

Aristotle was a Republican. He denounced the idea that the poor, by force of numbers, had a right to take property from the rich. He was against the forced redistribution of wealth.

America’s Constitution is the product of the True Voting Principle.

America’s Founding Fathers used the True Voting Principle and voted for the greater good. If each Founding Father rejected what he thought was imperfect, like the Very Conservative Evangelicals do to the Republican Party today, they would have blocked our Constitution in a “Mexican standoff.”

Very Conservative Evangelicals who call themselves “Constitutionalists” reject the very principle that was necessary to produce our Constitution. If you reject the True Voting Principle, you are not a Constitutionalist, no matter what you may claim.

Constitutional Attorney Tim Baldwin wrote in his Lesser-Evil Principle Shaped the Constitution:

The Founders used the lesser-evil principle (also called, greater good) to create the Constitution. The proof of their using this principle is undeniable. It is interwoven throughout the Constitutional Convention Debates and Federalist Papers—the two most relevant documents regarding the Constitution’s creation and ratification.

People who reject this principle reject the Founders’ teaching … while ironically claiming that they are trying to restore the Founders’ teachings. In reality, these people have little desire to think the way the Founders thought. They have a mystical illusion of 1787 and reject the science the Founders used in politics.

The True Voting Principle requires we vote relative rather than absolute.

Very Conservative Evangelicals think in terms of absolutes. Their False Voting Mantras are absolutes. Their mandatory conditions are absolutes. Their religion is absolute. Their “Earth is 6000 years old” is an absolute. They must learn to think in terms of relative good when they vote.

The True Voting Principle prohibits personal “mandatory” conditions.

Some self-described Christians and cult preachers pound their chests and state “mandatory” conditions they require of a candidate in order to get their vote. But their mandatory conditions are immoral because they can eliminate from consideration a candidate who may be the greater good.

For example, some Very Conservative Evangelicals told me before the last election, “I can’t vote for Ryan Zinke” because his position against abortion “is not good enough” for me.

But Ryan Zinke scored far better on anti-abortion than his Democratic opponent. Ryan Zinke is endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee and his opponent is pro-abortion.

Zinke was their greater good candidate but they refused to vote for him. In doing so, they were illogical, unethical, immoral, and, frankly, stupid.

Some quirk in their religion prevents them from choosing the greater good. They must remove this quirk. It lowers their IQ.

Are progressive Democrats smarter than Very Conservative Evangelical Tea Party Republicans?

It seems so.

Jane Fonda’s progressives originated the False Voting Mantras in America in the 1960’s. The  False Voting Mantras made good campaign slogans to help promote their third-party candidates.

Years later, conservative third parties, Libertarian, Constitutional, etc., adopted the progressives’ Mantras.

Saul Alinksy told progressives in the 1960’s they needed to make their issues secondary, join with the Democrats, and focus on winning elections.

When progressives voted for the Green Party’s Ralph Nader in 2000 rather than for Al Gore, they finally got the memo that Saul Alinsky was right.

Had they voted for Al Gore, the “evil” George Bush would not have become president. They finally realized they would never achieve their political goals until they dropped their Green Party Mantras and supported the Democratic Party.

Since 2008, progressives have voted for Democrats.

But Very Conservative Evangelical Tea Party Republicans didn’t get the memo.

Here’s my five-part series on the Lesser Evil and the Greater Good.

These articles explain in depth why the False Voting Mantras are false and the True Voting Principle is true, moral, ethical, logical, successful, and smart:

  1. Logic of the Lesser Evil
  2. Religion of the Lesser Evil
  3. Radicals and the Lesser Evil
  4. Oath Keepers, JBS and the Lesser Evil
  5. Principles and the Lesser Evil


The core reason for the Republican fracture is opposing ideologies. The Republican 80 percent majority uses the true voting ideology. The Tea Party 20 percent minority uses the false voting ideology.

There is no way the Tea Party’s 20 percent will convert the dominant Republicans’ 80 percent.

Those who think they can simply “merge” the two opposing factions of the Republican Party are wrong. It is impossible to merge two opposite and competing ideologies. Try to force Muslims to suddenly follow the Pope. It won’t happen.

The tail can’t wag the dog. The only way to put the Republican Party together again is for the tail to follow the dog.


  1. Good analysis. I'm in the somewhat conservative group, but I have been an evangelical Christian since my college days. The only candidate very conservative evangelicals were enthusiastic about was Ronald Reagan. GW Bush to a certain extent, but he was not Reagan.

    It's time the GOP stopped trying to return to 1980 in trying to court the evangelical voter. I've worked in politics and public policy my entire career, have actually had to get legislation passed, so I understand something about pragmatism in politics.

    I'm convinced that if Reagan were alive today and running, most of the very conservative evangelicals would consider him a "RINO." He supported amnesty legislation for illegal immigrants, signed a tax increase in his second term, supported the Brady gun control legislation, consistently worked to find compromise with Democrats in Congress, worked at finding peace with the Soviet Union.

    Reagan would be vilified by many of today's conservatives. The GOP needs a new identify. Even though I am evangelical in my faith, I think the GOP needs to become more libertarian.

  2. There are lots of reasons the Republican party is fractured. Age has a lot to do on how we vote, and so does sex Males tend to be conservative, females like being taking care of , so in most cases they vote for socialism.

    If you are in your late 80's to 90's , Roosevelt was like a god, even though he kept the depression for 9 years, he created job, but they were federal jobs. the private sector was taxed at 90%. if you were born in the 40's , you became a worker in the 50's, every thing was great, their were lots of jobs for men, and mothers stayed home rearing their children.

    If you were born in the 50's, you became a worker in the 70's , but this Country started to fall a part after the assassination of President Kennedy . If you were born in the late 60's and 70's , you were brain wash that it was no longer for mothers to rear their children, and men should compete with a mother , so he can support his family.

    Starting in 1972, government began to destroy the private sector, by closing factories that employed men. If you was born in the 80's,90', and 2000's , the welfare state took over , there were more government employees then those working in the private sector. Government was creating inflation by making lots of money , back by nothing. National DEBT skyrocketed. The worse part about this problem the democrats were pushing socialism.

    There are types of voters , some want to return to the Constitution, some want welfare, some want to be left alone.

  3. What is happening to the GOP is good. We must continue to evolve and this process takes time. i trust in our human intellect. As a race, we find the ways to continue and develop. We should not be ruled by the rich but it is difficult to combat their resources. Equally distributed wealth gives all a voice. A wild concept! I trust in GOD and be patient that the GOP and the rest of us will find our way.


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