What is the real problem that conservatives have with President Obama? Is it because they think he's a "tax and spend" liberal? Is it because of the false claims that he's taking their guns and bibles away? Could it be some hidden racism that they don't want to talk about?
Ever since President Obama was elected in November of 2008, the backlash and rage from the radical right has grown with each passing day. Today's Republican party has been split into three factions, each harboring a hatred for the president for their own specific reasons. The three factions of the Republican party are unique, they come from different parts of the country, but all share the common bond of disdain for President Obama.
View slideshow: GOP/Big Money and the Tea Party vs President Obama
The first faction of the Republican party is the traditional business conservative. Higher income earners, maybe a trader on Wall Street or someone working in the oil industry. This sector of today's GOP represents the Republican party that most Americans remember. When Ronald Reagan came into office in January of 1981, [url=http://mises.org/daily/1544]he brought "supply side" economics, or "Reaganomics,"[/url] into mainstream America. With the promise of prosperity for all, Ronald Reagan and his administration sold the idea that giving tax breaks to the wealthy will, in the end, "trickle down" to the rest of the country. The problem with Reagan's economic polices were that they didn't work. Ronald Reagan dropped the top tax rate from 70% when he came into office in 1981, down to only 28% by the time he left the White House in 1989.
Tea Party supporters participate during a 'Hands Off My Health Care' rally at the Upper Senate Park March 27, 2012
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images During Reagan's time in office, he tripled the national debt and was forced to raise taxes 11 times, primarily on the middle class, including the 1983 gas tax increase andraiding the Social Security trust fund. Reagan's policies and ideology were repeated during the Bush administration and in 2008, the bottom fell out. Just two years after President Obama was elected, he signed into law sweeping financial regulations to prevent a repeat of the recession that was caused the policies of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. President Obama has pushed forinvestments in alternative energy and creating additional revenue through tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. With these attempted changes by the president, rich Americans "hate" the president for trying to get them to pay their fair share and level the economic playing field.
The second faction within the GOP is the Tea Party. Conservatives supported the Bush administration even as they pushed the constitution to the limit with the "Patriot Act," engaged in two unfunded wars and created the Medicare part D plan that was never paid for. With the debt skyrocketing and an economy spiraling out of control, conservatives still supported George W. Bush. Once President Obama was elected, conservatives finally found themselves upset with the national debt and "big government." The Tea Party finds most of their supporters in the south, where cries of high taxes and government spending is all the rage. Many states that are considered "swing states" have been overwhelmed by the Tea Party and their billion dollar backers like the Koch brothers.
President Obama [url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/fl.htm]won the "purple" state of Florida[/url] in 2008, but since the election, the president's popularity in the state has dropped significantly. Florida elected Tea Party favorite, Rick Scott, to become governor in 2010 and has taken the state to the right of the political spectrum ever since. Many "Tea Party" members get their information primarily from the likes of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and have a skewed opinion of the president and his record. While the president has advocated for polices that will benefit the majority of the American people, if voters don't get accurate information, they will never know who is truly acting in their best interest.
The final group within the Republican party are evangelical Christians. The radical religious right has exploded since President Obama moved into the White House and have used every trick in the books to smear his name. The message from conservative Christians has been anything but consistent, first attacking the president for attending a Christian church they didn't agree with, to allegations of President Obama being a Muslim. Far right Christians in the Republican party have also attacked the president over his stance on women's rights, such as abortion and birth control.
President Obama was hit hard by many within the Catholic Church who were upset over President Obama's health care law. Under the new law, hospitals that are run by churches will be mandated to at least make birth control available in some health care plans for their employees. President Obama dealt with another harsh criticism when he came out in favor of same-sex marriage, going against the ideology of the conservative Christian.
Whether it's the wealthy CEO on Wall Street, the southern Tea Party member or the conservative in church, their common hatred for President Obama will be the driving force in getting them to the polls in November. If President Obama wants to win re-election, he will have to continue to get his message out to the middle class, educate the independent voter and light a fire under his base.
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