Big tent

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The Big tent in American politics is a political party or movement that incorporates diverse viewpoints.

Lee Atwater is considered the father of the Republican party big tent strategy that married social conservatives and economic conservatives in the late 1970s and culminated in the election of President Ronald Reagan, and the first Republican controlled Senate in nearly 25 years.

Log rolling, or various interest groups pushing each other's agendas, is an important component of the big tent strategy. Thus, pro-lifers for tax cuts or rich people who oppose abortion becomes a vital element in coalition building. In the Democratic party, movements such as environmentalists against war and racism are an example of log rolling.

Sometimes big tent coalition groups can have competing or conflicting agendas, such as environmentalists who wish to restrict carbon emissions, and labor unions, like auto workers, whose livelihood is dependent on carbon emissions. The challenge of the Democratic party leadership is to smooth out and pacify these contradictions while keeping voters loyal and enthused. In the Republican party, immigration poses a problem between law and order patriots wanting strict border enforcement, and practical businesspeople wanting to provide services to the public at an efficient labor cost.