Republican Hatred Is The New Party Line

Even some republicans, conservatives, have questioned what values, if any, the Republican Party retains today.  Ever since 2008 when Barack Obama was elected to the highest office in the land and the racists came out in droves to object to one of “those people” being elected, I have questioned what the GOP actually stands for today. From where I sit, it appears they stand largely for hate, for bigotry, for cruelty.  And money.  Let us not forget that profit is their ultimate goal, at the expense of all else, even our lives.  An article I came across yesterday seems to confirm much of what I’ve thought.  Paul Waldman is an op-ed columnist and senior writer for The American Prospect, as well as a contributor to The Week and a blogger for The Washington Post‘s Plum Line blog.  Take a look at his view of today’s GOP …


Hatred of liberals is all that’s left of conservatism

Paul-WaldemanOpinion by

Paul Waldman

Columnist

Dec. 11, 2020 at 12:45 p.m. EST

If you were dropped in from another country without knowing anything about the United States and surveyed our current political moment, what would you conclude about the Republican Party and the broader conservative movement it represents? As 2020 comes to an end, what is conservatism about?

After nearly four years of Donald Trump’s presidency in which no misdeed was too vulgar or corrupt for conservatives to defend, now culminating in an outright war against democracy itself, you might be tempted to answer, “Nothing.” Though that’s not quite true, the real answer is not much more encouraging.

Some years ago, I wrote a book arguing that Democrats should learn from the things Republicans did well. One of these was that the GOP had a simple foundation of shared beliefs that could be easily communicated to voters. Ask a Republican running for any office from dogcatcher all the way up to president what it meant to be a conservative, and they’d tick off some version of the same four pillars: small government, low taxes, a strong military and traditional social values.

Conservatives still believe in those things. But no one could seriously argue that they are any longer the animating purpose of the Republican Party. Instead, the one thing that unites the right and drives the GOP is hatred of liberals. That hatred has consumed every policy goal, every ideological principle and even every ounce of commitment to country.

haters

“But Democrats hate conservatives, too!” you might say. Indeed they do. Negative partisanship — being more motivated by your dislike of the other party than by affection for your own — is a key feature of contemporary politics. But when 18 Republican state attorneys general, more than half of House Republicans and multiple conservative organizations all demand that the results of a presidential election where no fraud was found be simply tossed aside so that Trump can be declared winner, something more profound has been revealed.

The Republican Party has proved that its hatred of liberals is so foundational that it will abandon any pretense of commitment to democracy, if democracy allows for the possibility that liberals might win an election. They have come to regard Democratic voters as essentially undeserving of having their will translated into power, no matter how large their numbers.

They might have believed it before, but now they’re willing to proclaim it even after they just lost a presidential election by 7 million votes and a 306-232 electoral college margin. Forget all that inspiring talk about the genius of the Framers and their vision for democracy; if having an election means that the people we hate might win, then the election must simply be nullified.

You might say that the Republican officials signing on to this deeply anti-American crusade are doing so out of fear as much as conviction, but the two are not mutually exclusive. All elected officials worry about contradicting their base, but in today’s Republican Party, that worry is almost completely divorced from policy. Yes, you’d get flak if you voted to raise taxes, but the greatest danger comes from failing to fight the left with sufficient vigor.

That danger, furthermore, is not only electoral but physical; the Republican leader in the Pennsylvania state Senate said this week that if she refused to sign a letter demanding that Congress toss out her state’s votes in the presidential race, “I’d get my house bombed tonight.” It might not actually happen, but the point is that Republican officeholders understand well what their party values above all else and what kinds of transgressions will not be tolerated.

Trump has often cited the extraordinary loyalty he has received from his party’s voters; it’s one of the few things he says that’s true. But it isn’t because Trump signed a corporate tax cut and slashed environmental regulations.

When you ask the typical Trump supporter what they love about him, they don’t mention some substantive policy position; what they say is that he is a fighter. The petty squabbles, the insulting tweets, the deranged conspiracy theories — the things that the Never Trumpers and most other Americans find off-putting are exactly what endears him to the Republican base.

Trump fights and fights, angrily, bitterly, endlessly driven forward by his hatred of the people his supporters hate. That’s what the base loves, and every other Republican knows it.

Everything about the election that just ended reinforced for conservatives that nothing is more important than hating liberals. The rhetoric of the 2020 campaign, starting with Trump but going all the way down the ballot, was that if Democrats were elected, then it would not be suboptimal or bad or even terrible, but the end of everything you care about. Towns and cities would burn, religion would be outlawed, America as we know it would cease to exist. These horrors were not presented as metaphors, but as the literal truth.

In the face of that potential apocalypse, who could possibly care about mundane policy goals? So no Republican argued that if we didn’t cut the capital gains tax then it would be the end of life as we know it. They want to cut the capital gains tax, sure — but its importance pales next to the urgency of stopping the cataclysm that would engulf us all if Democrats were to hold power.

To be clear, there are still thoughtful conservatives out there trying to advance a coherent ideological project. But seldom have they mattered less to their movement and their party. They may produce white papers on free-market health-care solutions or innovative tax plans, but no one really cares.

If it doesn’t Own the Libs, it doesn’t matter on the right. That’s what the Republican Party and the conservative movement are about today, and it might take a long time for them to change.

28 thoughts on “Republican Hatred Is The New Party Line

  1. Hatred, yes, but the real motivator is fear, fear that their way of life is no longer viable. There is no room for capitalism in a post-republican world, we must work together for the good of all, not individually for the good of the very very few. Money cannot be hoarded, it does no good sitting in untouchable bank accounts. How does winning the money race do any good for anyone once you are dead?
    Having the biggest, most beautiful houses just magnifies the opulence of the wealthy, over the plight of the poor. Worshipping the One True God isolates them from other religions, while atheism scares the bejesus out of them: How can anyone not believe in their all-powerful all-knowing god and still survive? They (liberals) should believe just because, but so many do not.
    Fear, Jill, fear. They have to be right, pun intended, or they are going to be left behind, second pun intended too. And not just left behind, but eradicated.
    We Social Justice Warriors prove them wrong by our very existence, and to them that means war.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Each time the Republicans / Extremists move further over that line, they create a new line in the sand it’s impossible (at present) to retreat back over, since their (armed and dangerous) base would scream betrayal. I wonder what today will bring when the Electoral College finally endorse Biden as president.

    At least, I assume they will…

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are right … and with that new line in the sand, the two parties grow further and further apart. I can no longer see the way that the two sides can find common ground and work for the good of the nation, its people, and the world. From today until January 20th, some 36 days, I think life here will become even more chaotic. The violence has already started, and Trump is encouraging it. Not a good situation, my friend. Sigh. Yes, they will and they have … the six states that Trump had tried so hard to overturn have already voted for Biden, and only two states are left, California and Hawaii, both shoo-ins for Biden. The law held … this time.

      Liked by 3 people

      • In 37 days time the Republicans have what may be their last chance of redemption. As soon as Trump is dragged out of the White |House, he is no longer their leader in any way, shape, or form. Will they have the courage to retract?

        Liked by 3 people

        • I don’t know, Mick. Everything that was once ‘normal’ and expected, is turned topsy-turvy today. I think the Republicans will continue to obfuscate as long and as much as they can, rather than try to compromise and work with Biden to get something accomplished. But, time will tell.

          Liked by 1 person

            • I hope so, Mick, but his ‘faithful followers’ have been brainwashed and still believe that he was “sent by god” and that the election was “stolen” from him. They are also, as it happens, the ones who have arsenals of weapons stored in their garages and basements. At least one of Trump’s lawyers, and at times Trump himself, are encouraging them toward violence. I fear things will not calm down here for some time yet, but I am truly hoping that Biden/Harris can pull a rabbit out of their hat and begin to heal the wounds that divide us.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. What a bunch of rabid dogs the Republicans now are. The GOP no longer makes any pretence at governing engaged as they are in these acts to subvert the will of the people. It’s no longer politics but open warfare on Democracy. They’re happy to have the Proud Boys provoke violence and attack the innocent on Trump’s behalf for voting Trump out. No acceptance that maybe Trump is wrong and is certainly not the leader the US needs. Perhaps Vic is right that a time for drastic change is here.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 4 people

    • You’ve got that 100% right. They are … driven by unrelentlessness and undeserved hate, and that is the sum total of their ‘platform’. Their desire is to squelch our voices, our voices that call for equality for all, that call for civil rights for all, that call for helping those who need help. Those are not their goals. Their goals are to create a white, straight, Christian, male-dominated society, and those of us with ‘liberal’ (read humanitarian) ideas, must then become the enemy, meaning their only platform becomes to destroy us, to destroy the ideology of everyone being equal and deserving equal rights. Let them just try to overturn the voices of the People in this nation … they want a Civil War? They may well find themselves with one that they are ill-equipped to handle. We the People have spoken … they can hear our voices or not, but if not … I have a rolling pin and I will bash heads with it!
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

    • As I just said on a differently-orientated blog: you cannot fix the unfixable. You must start completely anew, and since there is no will to do that, the destruction of life as-we-know-it is inevitable. If, IF any viable part of humanity survives, only then can there be a possibility for change. This version is unsaveable!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. In the UK the Conservative party has changed over the last few years. Too many moderates including a former PM have been sidelined. It’s now just a radical Nationalist party. THe Labour Party is on the verge of ripping itself apart. The old older has gone. It feels like the Republican Party is going through the same process. The results are dangerous.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Well said by Mr. Waldman. It’s all about “owning the libs.” That’s what it’s always been about Jill. Trump simply says out loud what they all believe. They hate that we’re an inclusive bunch. They hate that we have empathy. They hate that we think we’re all in this thing together. Because they only think in individual terms, not the greater good. I’ll fight for those things until I’m no longer on this earth.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Jill, I like to keep it simple. The Republican Party did not pass a platform at their nominating convention. A reporter noted on NPR that the platform is whatever Donald Trump wants. This was the ceremonial anointment of the Trump Party and the official demise of the Republican Party. So, what does it mean to be a member of the Trump Party:

    – truth is a commodity only to be used if it works in our favor; lying is perfectly acceptable
    – conspiracy theory is permissible if it helps to win seats
    – retrenching from global leadership and relationships are fine
    – protecting our planet and environment is secondary to short term profit
    – civil rights matter more for some than others
    – competence in governance is secondary to loyalty to the leader

    As conservative SE Cupp noted, what is being passed as journalism on Fox Primetime and other places is actually “fan fiction.” For some reason, the fact the outgoing president and his supporters have lost 55 out of 56 court cases, is truly lost on the MAGA crowd. If the outgoing president was a baseball player, he would have been sent to the minors 30 lost cases ago.

    I encourage folks to call their Republican Senators and Congress people. Thanks the ones who are pushing back on the outgoing president. Tell the ones who are silent to speak up as people are getting death threats and some were stabbed yesterday. And, the ones who are supporting the outgoing president’s efforts, remind them that he has lost those 55 cases. He had his chance and he lost. It is hard for him to lose more than he is.

    Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • Right … of course they could pass no platform, for the one they have declared their ‘leader’ changes his mind from day to day … nay, hour to hour … so all options must be kept open, just in case …

      ‘Fan fiction’ is exactly what it is, and all of your points are apt. I have called and written until I’m blue in the face, and yet I have the next round in process, which will go out early this week. But for what? Thing is, they have forgotten that they work for us, rather than the other way around. I think it would behoove this nation to remove Trump NOW, before he finds a way to do more damage to our nation in the next 37 days. Will those who have the power to do so, do so? Heck no … they are cowards and they are greedy.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. One fantasy this morning is that we do with Texas what the people who requested admission to statehood really wanted, as well as correct the wrongs of what Ulysses Grant called an unholy war: We return everything sough of a line between El Paso and Houston to Mexico, the panhandle to Oklahoma, and the break the remainder into two or three separate states or territories. If sedition is what they want, they could be reduced to the status of Puerto Rico or Guam with no representaton in Congress. That might calm things down a bit.

    Liked by 4 people

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