Rockefeller Republican

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In the United States, the term Rockefeller Republican refers to those members of the Republican party who hold moderate views similar to those of the late Nelson Rockefeller, governor of New York from 1959 to 1973 and vice president of the United States under President Gerald Ford in the mid-1970s. In other words, Rockefeller Republicans are quite moderate (or even "liberal") in their positions on domestic and social policies but often conservative about foreign policy. The "Rockefeller Republican" label is also applied to such modern-day politicians as Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee, a liberal in both cultural and international respects, but generally "pro-business" in terms of economic policy.

Beginning in the early 1970s, as the Democratic party (which might otherwise have been a natural home to Rockefeller Republicans who were disaffected by their own party) became more liberal and the leadership of the Republican party grew more socially conservative, Rockefeller Republicans became less influential within their party.

As a result, a significant number of them ceased to identify as Republicans, and instead became independent voters, Democrats, or members of the Libertarian party. There are still, however, some Rockefeller Republicans in high political office, such as U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe. To be sure, the term "Rockefeller Republican" today sounds somewhat dated, and such Republicans are probably more apt to call themselves "moderate Republicans."

The departure of U.S Sen. Jim Jeffords from the Republican party in 2001 dramatized the still-existing tension between the "Rockefeller wing" of the party and what is today its generally more influential socially conservative wing.

See also

External Link

  • SavetheGOP.com (http://www.savethegop.com/) - Organization dedicated to opposing Rockefeller Republicans
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