The divisions within the #Republican party due to the proposed repeal of Obamacare also raise an issue that is at the heart of politics. The role of a political party and in particular the position of the President of the #United States within the Party.

Politics

It is almost banal to state that Politics is the art or representing the people and for this reason political parties were formed to bring together people with similar ideas to be able to present political agendas in line with shared philosophies and aims. Developments in #American Politics make us wonder whether or not the Republican Party still follows this ideal to the full.

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While divisions within parties are normal, the Republican Party now finds itself with divisions on fundamental issues that will affect the very philosophies that formed it. Some of these divisions may be due to philosophy, others due to the role of lobbyists for major corporations and on some issues even on pressure from various religious groups. This has led to the impression of a Party affected by divisions in a way that is not conducive to smooth government.

Added to this confusion is a Presidency that has a direction of its own that in many ways goes against the beliefs of many within the Party. Proof of this is in the various reactions to the allegations of Russian interference in the presidential campaign with some pushing for more investigations and others who believe they may not be necessary.

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Representation

The question that developments over recent months forces us to ask is does the President represent the Party, or does the Party represent the President?

Donald Trump ostensibly represents the Republican Party and is it titular head and yet many of his aims are not in line with the Party. Obamacare is one such issue where they agree in wide terms, but the details of the repeal and replacement are still undecided. Paul Ryan’s proposal on Tuesday has only led to more heated debate within the Party that may risk its approval in the two Houses.

At the same time the President demands that the Party works for a “beautiful” or “terrific” solution in line with his tweets and declarations. These differences in attitudes must make the country wonder how the decisions are being made and on what basis.

In other countries political parties hold national conferences to set up party agendas that become the basis for electoral campaigns, but in the United States this procedure does not occur and effectively the party’s official agenda is set every four years by the candidate who wins its primaries.

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As we are now seeing the results are not necessarily beneficial to the country as a whole. .

The real question

Yet as the Party squabbles the Republicans seem to have forgotten one vital detail. They are voted to represent their constituents and the town hall protests against the repeal of Obamacare are a sure sign that many constituents are opposed to the Party’s proposals. The refusal of some Senators and Congressmen to attend the town hall meetings is not a sign of representation by them.

As the Party struggles to resolve its internal differences the real question should not be whether the President represents the Party or vice versa, but simply who does the Party now represent?

For many citizens the answer seems to be that they are not relevant to the Party’s decisions and it seems unlikely that this was the intentions of its founders. In the midterms the citizens will have the opportunity of reminding their ostensible representatives of the reality that many of them seem to have forgotten.