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Perspective: Republicans at the fork in the road

Oliver Roos

The wise philosopher Yogi Berra advised, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” In their June primary Republicans took that advice literally. One wing of the party, consisting of pro-life, pro-gun, alienated populists concentrated in rural areas and central and southern Illinois, followed Darren Bailey down the path that led to the right.

Another constituency, composed primarily of moderate urban and suburban voters reflecting middle class and professional interests, followed Richard Irvin down the other path away from the fork.

The contest was literally defining. What is the essence of the Republican Party? The immensely greater number of voters who followed Bailey down the path that led to the right provided a crystal-clear answer.

More than a contest between Republican candidates, this was a bitter battle to define their party. The many millions of dollars spent, much of it by Democrats attempting to tilt the balance, testify to the profound importance of the race.

I’m Bob Evans, and that is my perspective.

Robert Evans is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics, Business and Accounting at Rockford University and Associate Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship. He is actively involved in the Rockford University public policy program, trains managers on law-related topics, is a political consultant and analyst, and also serves on non-profit boards.