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Chances are you’ve heard the myth about the extreme right’s rise to power and their successful hijacking of the Republican Party. You’ve probably heard about how these Koch brother-funded radicals and their political weapon, the Tea Party, have caused a deep rift in the GOP between the reasonable old-school Republicans and this dangerous new strain of conservatism. And so — the fable goes — there was a great battle between the forces of moderate and extreme evil. Eventually the forces of extreme evil pushed the moderately evil GOP establishment to the brink of destruction and forced them to embrace their radical views as part of the party platform. And that, the story concludes, is the story of why Ronald Reagan would no longer be welcome in the Republican Party.
Only that’s not it, at all. Like most of the cute bedtime stories told to by the mainstream media to their intellectual children, this myth is not only false but completely backwards. Let’s start with the charge that the views of the Tea Party would make Ronald Reagan and other Republican presidents unwelcome in their own party. To be clear, when liberals talk about “extreme” views they are talking about social issues. This maneuver is clever, as the continued advancement of liberalism relies upon the cultural shunning of any who oppose them. Essentially, what the left is really talking about is marriage, abortion, feminism, and guns. Now, find me the Republican president who is pro-choice, advocates same sex marriage, and rejects the Second Amendment? Cue the chirping of crickets.
Indeed, there is a rift between within the Republican Party, but it’s the establishment that has changed. Over the past 50 years, the left has succeeded in dragging the country leftward. So much so that many within the Republican establishment have felt it necessary to capitulate on social issues in an attempt to stay relevant. There are many prominent voices within the party who do not agree with Reagan on issues like marriage and abortion. As such, the schism within the Republican party is better characterized as the struggle between pragmatism and principle, with the Tea Party occupying the space of the latter. They are the proverbial William Wallace, cheered on by the common man while undermining the efforts of Scottish nobility to barter with Longshanks. The schism and splintering is the natural result of an expanding progressive majority that seeks to crush traditional America under its boots. What we have is a party divided by those looking to survive to fight another day and those that feel backed into a corner and see no choice but to stand their ground. This dynamic is manifesting before our very eyes as a vibrant debate for the 2016 Republican nominee.
Now, let’s flip the narrative and see how Democratic leaders of the past compare to its leaders in the Obama era. For starters, the old leaders were all white men, which already makes them unwelcome in the contemporary party. In the 2016 book of liberal sins there is but one entry — the sin of White Male Privilege — from which all of the injustice in the world flows.
Second, the Democrats of former days all believed in a traditional definition of marriage. I admit that I have not personally scoured the JFK Library, but I can say with confidence that there exists no footage of President Kennedy standing up for the plight of transsexuals, either. Nor are you likely to hear his successor, Lyndon Johnson, speaking about the fundamental right of women to receive birth control on the taxpayer’s dime. Presidents like Kennedy and LBJ also believed in challenging ideas like protecting our borders with a functional immigration system. These views, along with others, make the prior Democratic presidents not only grossly out of touch with their party in 2016, but likely to be booed off the stage as bigots. And as diversity of thought on identity politics is not permitted by the Democratic party, their dismissal from the conversation would be both swift and harsh.
As the left continues to reshape America around the ideas of Frankfurt School radicals like Marcuse and Alinsky, our Constitution grants them to right to speak as though they are making progress. Thankfully, the Constitution grants us a similar right to debunk their numerous faulty narratives. Upon examination, the myth of the extreme right’s hijacking of the GOP prove to be completely bogus and as is usually the case, laughably so.Published in