Well, we got the Rosetta Stone for Mandarin Chinese (levels 1-5) today and I started into that. The adventure of learning Chinese has begun. Given the conversations I’ve had I think I should be able to substitute Chinese as a research language for my Ph.D. program, which is going to involve taking classes at a university somewhere, but I figure that Rosetta stone is a good place to start… that and the books that I already have :). I also think, given the debates that I’ve seen and the very, very public open-ended internet brawl between the top candidates, that we might be in the process of watching the Republican party tear itself apart. At the moment there seem to be three major wings of the party: 1) the political and economic conservatives–embodied by the mainstream party and its candidates who seek to compromise where possible with democrats; 2) the extreme conservatives–embodied by the Tea Party and outsider candidates like Ted Cruz who seek to institute specific social, political, and economic policies and often go to extreme measures to do so; 3) the homespun political conservative–embodied by the supporters of Donald Trump who see someone to blame for their problems and are buoyed by the flamboyancy, ferocity, and crass honesty of their candidate.

Polls thus far have shown that white collar moderate religious and non-religious Republicans tend to favor the mainstream party to some degree, though they will not always support all mainstream candidates, but they seem to be quickly losing ground to the other two groups. I will argue that Marco Rubio was the candidate of this group, and we’ve seen how he did and why he is no longer in the running. White collar extreme religious and libertarian Republicans tend to favor the more intelligent, but hard-nosed section of the party and Ted Cruz is clearly their candidate. Blue collar Republicans tend to favor the more flamboyant and crass candidates like Donald Trump, and they are thus far the majority of the party currently represented in the voting. I’m curious to see where this goes, but I would not be entirely surprised in the next eight or twelve years to see the Republican party break down as these groups become more frustrated with one another. This is your challenge today. It’s a little bit political philosophy, and little bit sociology, and a little bit prophecy. Do you think the party will stay together or break apart? If so, when? Why and what might the split look like?

As always, write me a story of 1000 words that presents your position.

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