Healing the Wounds of the Conservative Civil War

The acceleration of the Republican presidential primary race and Donald Trump’s entry into that contest has exposed rifts within the conservative movement that have since deepened. Wounds within the movement that have their origins in the earliest years of the tea party ascendancy — wounds that lingered and festered — have grown putrescent. They can no longer be ignored. Conservatism is in the midst of a civil war and, like all wars — even the figurative variety — the differences over which they are fought will not be resolved until one side emerges unambiguously victorious. Only when there a clear victor and an admitted loser emerges can there be reconciliation. It is wise, however, to expect reunion, not bifurcation, will be the result of this contest of ideas. After all, the Grand Old Party has survived greater schisms than that which is currently roiling its ranks. It is wise to prepare for the moment when conservatives meet at their Appomattox Court House and forge a new path forward.