Oklahoma Republicans have had a brutal and long-drawn internal battle of ideology for years. It's been a bit more straight-forward in the past, but the rise of Trump's populist insurgeancy has left both the Chamber Caucus and the Tea Party Caucus sitting on the sidelines. The Tea Party has become an umbrella of sorts for both the Liberty wing (a la Ron Paul) and the Values Voters who prioritize moral issues.
There is a solid component of values voters who will oppose Donald Trump as a moral reprobate and disqualified from office. To be fair, they also see Hillary Clinton as disqualified. They see their spiritual duty to set a standard for public office and if no one meets that standard, no one will get their vote.
But there appears to be a larger component of #NeverTrumpers who hold a more moderate, pro-business, establishment mindset. While this component rejected Trump, they also rejected Ted Cruz with perhaps even greater passion. They appear willing to sustain an electoral defeat, for the sake of a party purge, like the 1964 Goldwater loss facilitated for the Rockefeller wing of the GOP. Remember, None of the Bush family attended Trump's coronation in Cleveland. Neither did Rubio or Kasich.
Sen. David Holt was the visible leader of the Rubio campaign in Oklahoma; and several of his political allies appear to side with the Religious Right (a la Glenn Beck) but don't be mistaken. they simply have a coincidental mutual opponent.
By this time next month there will be another theater of political war. Either the victorious Trump wing of the party will vanquish both the Chamber opponents and the Religious opponents; or the Religious & Chamber wings will resume their direct conflict while a defeated Trump contingency will blame both the Values Voters and the Chamber-crats for sabotage.
But every wasted breath and nasty word in the civil war will distract from the more serious matter of a 2nd Clinton in the White House.
By the time we get to February and the next State-of-the-Union address, we will once again be unified and on the defensive. Liberalism continues to threaten our civilization.
Opinion of the Editor
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David Van Risseghem is the Director of Sooner Politics.org. The resource is committed to informing & mobilizing conservative Oklahomans for civic reform. This endeavor seeks to utilize the efforts of all cooperative facets of the Conservative movement...