Salon Writer: GOP Now Embracing the ‘Kind of Characters Who Used to Make Up the John Birch Society’

Several decades ago, there were plenty of right-of-center Democrats and left-of-center Republicans. These days, however, almost everyone agrees that the Democrats have become a distinctly liberal party and the GOP a distinctly conservative party. One who disagrees in part is writer Conor Lynch, who in a Saturday article for Salon claimed that Republicans have transitioned out of true conservatism and now are “extreme nihilists” who have “embraced Bolshevism of the right.”

Lynch noted that pundits such as George Will and David Brooks “have widely condemned Donald Trump as a fake conservative, and they’re not wrong. Trump is clearly not conservative—but neither is the Republican Party...[which] has become an increasingly friendly place for…the kind of characters who used to make up the John Birch Society…For the sake of John Boehner’s mental well being, he is lucky he got out when he did.”

From Lynch’s piece (bolding added):

In a candid and often funny interview…Boehner [let] everyone know how he truly feels about the state of [the Republican] party…

…The former Speaker’s opinion of [Ted] Cruz wasn’t even the most telling. That came when he mocked his party’s almost religious worship of former president Ronald Reagan, especially by the more radical members: “I love these knuckleheads talking about the party of Reagan. He would be the most moderate Republican elected today.”

Indeed he would be.

Of course, Reagan was by no means a moderate…But he was not an extremist — or, perhaps a better word for today’s Republicans, a nihilist…

The GOP’s degeneration into a party of extreme nihilists and egotistical showmen can be traced back to the ’90s, when Newt Gingrich virtually led the party as Speaker of the House. [Gingrich] was Ted Cruz’s spiritual predecessor, a loud, hypocritical, destructive, egomaniacal demagogue…

The ’90s were just an appetizer for Republican nihilism. The GOP truly jumped the shark and embraced Bolshevism of the right, so to speak, after the election of Barack Obama…

From day one, everything Obama touched or supported was considered treasonous…The stimulus package —  which even the right-wing business advocating Chamber of Commerce endorsed — was universally opposed by Republicans out of spite…The Affordable Care Act, which was directly modeled after Mitt Romney’s “Romneycare”…was universally scorned by Republicans as socialism…

…The George Will’s and David Brooks’ [sic] of the Republican party have widely condemned Donald Trump as a fake conservative, and they’re not wrong. Trump is clearly not conservative—but neither is the Republican Party...[which] has become an increasingly friendly place for…the kind of characters who used to make up the John Birch Society…For the sake of John Boehner’s mental well being, he is lucky he got out when he did.

Congress Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Salon History David Brooks George Will John Boehner Ronald Reagan Ted Cruz Newt Gingrich Barack Obama Donald Trump


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