Chambers of Commerce cripple the Republican Party
One of the inescapable realities of our current political landscape is that the Democratic Party is united and the Republican Party is not. One tries to satisfy its voters, and the other constantly alienates its voters. Why is that? The answer is key to understanding why so many conservative voters, including many Christians, are unhappy with their political leaders and what can be done about it.
It may seem odd to characterize Democrats as unified amid their recent struggle to secure the votes of the senses. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona on key party priorities, such as enacting Build Back Better legislation or amending the Senate Filibuster. But the recent vitriol directed at these two individuals for not following through is in itself proof of the degree to which the vast machinery of the party remains unified in purpose. Think of the many different presidential candidates in the 2020 Democratic primaries, and yet the winning, supposedly “moderate” president, Joe Biden, is ruling from the far left in priority after priority. It is not accidental. The party elites – the leadership, donors, activists and most voters – all shared the same radical, secular liberal worldview of the time. They are all determined to push relentlessly cheeky in pursuit of “progress”, disagreeing only on speed or political cost.
By comparison, the Republican Party is split, seemingly inexorably, between two factions. The differences between the two are fundamental. They are about the goal, not the pace. One faction is horrified that the United States has for decades entered a progressive revolution where self-government has been thrown out in favor of a secular bureaucratic regime run by experts, whose interests are increasingly protected by large multinational corporations that coerce the population. They want a resolute and prophetic political sense befitting the late hour that demands the status quo – earth-shattering paradigm shifts. Most Republican voters are in this camp.
The other faction is harder to describe, as they themselves are a mix of those with different priorities, views, and temperaments. Perhaps the simplest description is to say that they are composed of those who are not horrified by the danger facing the United States. These individuals are either oblivious or unalarmed by the currents carrying modern America or their destination. Sometimes the pace is a little fast, but it is largely the inefficiency or material discomfort of the journey that worries them. They want reform within the current paradigm. Most of the party elite is in this camp. This split is the main division that makes the Republican Party unable to offer a coherent program to the American people.
The best example of this faction are the Chambers of Commerce (historically Republican). Perhaps in opposition to FDR’s New Deal or LBJ’s Great Society, many business leaders flocked to the GOP for low taxes, low regulation, and a strong economy. They wanted less public spending. And through many election cycles, they made worthy coalition partners, especially since many were also determined to uphold traditional values and maintain the nation’s strength.
But over the years, the business community has become much less reliable. Companies, run by chambers of commerce, are now the main obstacles to Republicans engaging in the necessary cultural battles that are most pressing at the state and federal levels. They are the praetorian guard for the interests of the LGBT community, going as far as Support
the radical Equality Act. They are strong believers in critical race theory disguised as “diversity and inclusion training” in their HR departments. They have instituted their own vaccine and mask mandates on their employees and customers while fight
state governments trying to protect their citizens from coercion. And they were among the most vocal opponents voter integrity measures. Never mind the myriad of issues – from free trade absolutism to corporate power – where their outsized presence in the party impedes necessary reconsideration. This reconsideration could attract new voters among American workers. In short, the alliance with big business is now an anchor point, dragging the conservative movement down.
Even with our own tenuous attachment to political parties, Christians should care because we currently have no good options for effecting change in our two-party system. The Democratic Party is the political party of secular humanism. The Republican Party, fallen as are all political vehicles, is the natural home for those who appreciate a Christian-influenced nation, who want to protect life at all ages, who are committed to strengthening families and communities against disorder and decadence, and reject the rule of totalitarian bureaucracies. But to remain that home, it must shake off the corporatism that strangles its heart and repels its constituents – and that starts with ending the overwhelming influence of chambers of commerce.