Lindsey Graham Out Of Step With Republican Party

LG 2016

Republican Lindsey Graham is bowing out of the race for the White House for 2016.

The U.S. Senator from South Carolina released a video where he discussed his intentions to remove himself from the Republican field and suspend his race for the Republican nomination in 2016.

“I’m going to suspend my campaign. I’m not going to suspend my desire to help the country,” says Graham. “I’ve hit a wall here.”

Graham, who has finished his race with 0.5% support across the country and just 1% in his own state, has struggled to find any solid ground in the GOP field. He has remained adamant about his stance on foreign policy and his plans to go after ISIL; however, it is not in any discernable contrast with the majority of hawkish Republicans.

“I said that any candidate that did not understand that we need more American troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIL was not ready to be commander-in-chief. I am far more confident today that our party will reject the Obama doctrine of leading from behind and will provide the strong leadership America needs to restore our military, take the fight to our enemies and do what it takes to make our country safe and preserve our way of life.”

Much of the concern from the Republican base is that he is too moderate for the party, given his support for amnesty for illegal aliens.

That’s right; Lindsey Graham is too moderate for the Republican Party.

Graham has voted against marriage equality, voted to defund Planned Parenthood and voted against pay equity just to name a few. Yet, still finds himself out of step with the current state of the Republican Party and its Conservative base, which is constantly shifting to appeal to the concerns of the extreme right and the fear-fueled bigotry and xenophobia of frontrunners such as Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.

It is clear now, more than ever, that the Republican Party has been becoming slowly radicalized over the course of many years.

Recently, even former Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bob Dole has spoken on the frustration and confusion within the GOP, saying that candidates like Trump and Cruz are “over the top” and “extreme” and that he may not show up to vote if one of them becomes the nominee.

This could be why we see increased amounts of former Republicans and Independents finding their voice in a candidate like Bernie Sanders.

Sanders, the Independent U.S. Senator of Vermont, has been garnering support form many different corners of the political arena. For many people who are tired of establishment politics, whether Republican or Democratic, it is Sanders’ ability to approach the issues that many Americans face with fresh ideas and practical solutions that is leading to his growing base of support.

Not that long-standing Republicans like Dole would support Sanders, but it seems there are growing numbers of Independents and Republicans that have thrown support behind Sanders due to the current state of establishment politics that also leaves candidates like Graham feeling the impact of the changing of the tide in their own party.

Mike A. Hewlett

Mike Hewlett is currently serving as Politics and Policy Chairman for Memphis Forward, a city organization working toward progressive policies in the Memphis area. Mike has worked for the Bernie Sanders campaign in Field Organizing and Communications at the Memphis, TN campaign office.

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