If Nelson Rockefeller was alive today and still involved in public service in some way, whether it was in public office or working for non-profits, which he did both in his very long and distinguished career in public service. What party would he be affiliated with? I think it’s clear that maybe outside of the Northeast and of course he was from New York I believe GOV. Rockefeller would’ve had a very hard time getting elected as a Republican today. Especially in a Republican Party that’s now dominated by the Christian Right and to some extent Neoconservatives.
But neoconservatism has lost a lot if influence in the Republican Party, at least in the last two elections. Which I believe is a good thing, but the Religious-Right is still there and powerful there. And of course now with the Tea Party movement that’s now run by economic Conservatives and Religious Conservatives and with GOV. Rockefeller being fairly liberal at least to some extent on social issues except for crime and punishment, I don’t see how Nelson Rockefeller gets elected in the Republican Party today. He would probably be a better fit as a Democrat today with his liberal views on some social Issues. And his beliefs in public service and infrastructure investment, but probably like a Joe Lieberman.
Nelson Rockefeller was a social Liberal and somewhat progressive on economic policy. But more conservative on crime and punishment and foreign policy. I mean the Rockefeller Drug Laws aren’t called that for nothing, GOV. Rockefeller played a big role in advancing the War on Drugs in America. And also served as President Ford’s Vice President. Mr. Rockefeleller clearly had conservative leanings, but not enough of them for him to be successful in the Republican Party today. So where would Nelson Rockefeller go politically or maybe he would work on a third-party Movement instead.
I don’t see Nelson Rockefeller as a centrist, but an independent and they are different. A centrist is someone who’s pretty much middle of the road on most major political issues. But Rockefeller had clear political views, some conservative which is why he was a Republican. But also some liberal and progressive which is why I don’t believe he would be a Republican today. So maybe the Independence Party or a movement for that would’ve taken off with Rockefelller and George Wallace as their Leaders.
Nelson Rockefeller would be a prototypical Independent candidate and perfect for that type of political party as well. Someone who could help advance an Independence movement and would’ve been a great third-party candidate today. I don’t think he would’ve gotten elected President this way, but definitely been a factor as a presidential candidate. Sort of like George Wallace in 1968, Jack Anderson in 1980 and Ross Perot in 1992. And perhaps because of this we could’ve ended the two-party-system that under represents a lot of American voters and we could’ve had more choices in who to vote for.