Modern American Republican: More Extreme Than British Conservatives And Former Republicans

In recent years the Republican Party has fallen under the control of extremists who would never had been considered viable candidates in the past–and who are too extreme for most other countries. The Osterley Times compares Republicans to British conservatives:

There simply is no British equivalent to the Republican party, unless one reaches towards the BNP and other extremists. The Tories might sound like them on matters like tax cuts and deregulation, but when it comes to social policy they simply wouldn’t dare make the arguments that are regularly made by the American right wing.

Any British politician who proposed teaching creationism in schools would instantly be regarded as on the outer fringes of intelligent debate, but Bush argued for that very thing and was seen as playing to the base, rather than as someone who had blatantly lost his mind.

The notion that David Cameron could hope to get elected by opposing abortion is silly on it’s face, and yet the Republicans put forward Sarah Palin as a candidate for Vice President precisely because she held such views.

Imagine what the Republican base would do if McCain, or any candidate for the Republican ticket, said this:

“I stood up in front of a Conservative conference, my first one as leader, and said that marriage was important, and as far as I was concerned it didn’t matter whether it was between a man and a woman, a man and a man or a woman and a woman,” he said.

“No other Conservative leader has ever done that. I don’t think any Labour leader has done that. Even since then. The good thing was that they applauded.”

And yet that is precisely what David Cameron did. The sky did not fall in and there were no calls for his head. Indeed, the Conservatives realised that they needed to change their stance on a lot of these issues in order to have any chance of ever getting re-elected, which is why they applauded.

In the US, the Republican party appears to have been kidnapped by radical extremists.

And, it’s only when one compares them, as Greenwald has done, to right wing political parties in a country like Britain, that one can clearly see just how wacky these buggers really are.

Being controlled by extremists is responsible for the Republicans being thrown out of office. Any degree of a rational foreign policy has replaced by the “wacky buggers” promoting neoconservativism and the war in Iraq.  The dominance by the religious right has turned the party into one which cannot handle the twenty-first century world or appeal to modern voters.

The extreme social conservatism of the Republican Party is a recent change. Barry Goldwater rejected the religious right and in his later years considered himself a liberal in response to the changes in the conservative movement. Secular Right has also pointed out that the battle lines of the culture war are a recent development:

Remember that Ronald Reagan signed a bill which loosened abortion laws in California in the late 1960s. George H. W. Bush had supported abortion rights until 1980, and his father had close ties to Planned Parenthood. This is not to say that I deny that those who oppose abortion do so sincerely. Rather, my point is that the “Culture Wars” which we see around us today may seem clear, distinct, and natural, but their shape was far different even a generation back.

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3 Comments

  1. 1
    Eclectic Radical says:

    The ‘Culture War’ itself is a reactionary invention. The original ‘kulturkrieg’ was the campaign of the German state against the Roman Catholic Church under Otto von Bismarck, himself hardly a liberal. The premise was that the Catholic Church was imposing foreign values and morals on the German nation at the expense of German culture.

    Today’s ‘Prussian Protestants’ (I apologize deeply to all German Lutherans and members of the Reformed Church for that comparison) are waging the same war against secular humanism. They possess a parochial and narrow view of American culture and see humanist ideas as ‘foreign’ and thus dangerous. They would use the very argument in this piece as proof that American must be defended from ‘European’ thinking that threatens American morality.

    I have a friend in Israel who believes that the United States is a nation of ‘hicks’ (her word), for the very reasons named in the piece.

  2. 2
    Jim Z. says:

    What’s so amazing is that there is a large portion of the US population that still adheres to the entire wingnut GOP wing.  And they still have sufficient numbers in the Senate to block what is frankly a moderate Obama agenda.  It’ll take ongoing work and diligence to prevent a resurgence in ’10.

  3. 3
    kuzotz says:

    It is indeed a culture war. There is a clash of values currently.  REmember the 1960s was a time of change, and upheaval. From that many groups that were formerly disenfranchised are now being incorporated and allowed to fully participate in society.  I think its good to remember  this part of our history. This is when a lot of other things happened, and when evangelist, and many other right wing extremist started to show their ugly face.  PRetty much today’s culture war is partly a rejection of the changes made in the 1960s and 70s.  Think of it as a huge backlash, and think of the Tea Party movement as the Virus disguising itself as an Anti-Viral program about to fuck the computer over..  Basically they want to go back to the 19th century, but I think the conservatives that are this radical are on a losing side, and its because too many people enjoy having rights, and enjoy having opportunities that their parents and grandparents simply didn’t have when they were young.  The backlash will fail, but not without societal damage being done.  If the backlash successful then the US  falls. Plain and simple. Nothing wrong with that. The world economy will go hay wire for a minute and then realize they don’t need  the US consumer base anymore, and will continue to progress without the US.   I think what is fueling it is the US’s decline, but it is also safe to say they were the cause of this decline. Banning a lot of 21st century research base on religious belief. Seriously? Who buys that?  The US is a country that allowed an asshole to put a patent on life itself. Stem-Cell research isn’t unethical. It can be done so if they kidnap women and do force abortions. I mean but we aren’t the PRC and the CCP isn’t in power in the USA. But even in the PRC I think money can be earned, but the problem there are many, and they’re still developing thus not comparable. Other than that the US system is one of the best, most organized, and most developed modern democracies on the planet. People think there is too much bureaucracy simply haven’t lived in Asia before.

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