Scales from the eyes

Ever since Donald Trump caused the scales to fall from the eyes of Max Boot he’s been writing great stuff.  Maybe not quite the zeal of the convert, but it is pretty amazing to see him come to reckon with what his motivated partisanship led him to intentionally ignore for so many years.  If only more people could be like Boot and be honest about their politics.  His latest:

 It would be nice to think that Donald Trump is an anomaly who came out of nowhere to take over an otherwise sane and sober movement. But it just isn’t so.

Upon closer examination, it’s obvious that the history of modern conservative is permeated with racism, extremism, conspiracy-mongering, isolationism and know-nothingism. I disagree with progressives who argue that these disfigurations define the totality of conservatism; conservatives have also espoused high-minded principles that I still believe in, and the bigotry on the right appeared to be ameliorating in recent decades. But there has always been a dark underside to conservatism that I chose for most of my life to ignore. It’s amazing how little you can see when your eyes are closed! …

In 1964, the GOP ceased to be the party of Lincoln and became the party of Southern whites. As I now look back with the clarity of hindsight, I am convinced that coded racial appeals had at least as much, if not more, to do with the electoral success of the modern Republican Party than all of the domestic and foreign policy proposals crafted by well-intentioned analysts like me. This is what liberals have been saying for decades. I never believed them. Now I do, because Trump won by making the racist appeal, hitherto relatively subtle, obvious even to someone such as me who used to be in denial… [emphases mine]

The ascendance of extreme views, abetted in recent years by Fox News, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and the tea party movement, increasingly made the House Republican caucus ungovernable. The far-right Freedom Caucus drove House Speaker John A. Boehner into retirement in 2015. His successor, Paul D. Ryan, lasted only three years. Ryan’s retirement signals the final repudiation of an optimistic, inclusive brand of Reaganesque conservatism focused on enhancing economic opportunity at home and promoting democracy and free trade abroad. The Republican Party will now be defined by Trump’s dark, divisive vision, with his depiction of Democrats as America-hating, criminal-coddling traitors, his vilification of the press as the “enemy of the people,” and his ugly invective against Mexicans and Muslims. The extremism that many Republicans of goodwill had been trying to push to the fringe of their party is now its governing ideology…

That’s why I can no longer be a Republican, and in fact wish ill fortune on my former party. I am now convinced that the Republican Party must suffer repeated and devastating defeats beginning in November. It must pay a heavy price for its embrace of white nationalism and know-nothingism. Only if the GOP as it is currently constituted is burned to the ground will there be any chance to build a reasonable center-right party out of the ashes. But that will require undoing the work of decades, not just of the past two years.

Yep.  This is why these 2018 Midterms are so important.  If Republicans are not soundly defeated, it simply confirms and validates them as the party of white ethnonationalism (and authoritarianism to boot).  We need two strong parties.  But not if one of those parties is anything like the current incarnation of the Republican party.  It needs to die a fiery death.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: