The Republican leadership, and far too many of the party faithful, have abandoned conservatism in favor of radicalism.
What does “conservative” mean? According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, conservative means “tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions.” And someone who is a conservative is someone who adheres to “a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change,” aka conservatism.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t see any much conservatism in today’s Republican leaders and far too many of the party faithful.
Sure, Republicans are all about tradition, but these days that tradition is racism, xenophobia, sexism, and outright misogyny. But social stability? The Republicans are engaged in widespread social Darwinism with respect to the poor, minorities, and women as they pass reverse-Robin Hood tax “cuts” that hurt the poor and help the rich, eliminate health care insurance, reverse 40 years of environmental regulations designed to improve public health, and put more and more powerful firearms into the hands of domestic abusers and the mentally ill, to name a few. That’s not conservative.
Republicans are attacking the free press, tearing down the FBI and the Department of Justice, have already gutted the State Department, attacking US intelligence agencies. Ruining “established institutions” isn’t conservative.
Republicans are rushing forward to make all of these changes as quickly as they can so that, if the Democrats take over the House and/or the Senate in November, the changes are already in place and are harder to reverse. That’s not “preferring gradual development to abrupt change,” and it’s not conservative.
Republicans are even attacking American values as enshrined in the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Values like equality, the rule of law, free speech, freedom of religion (unless you’re some flavor of Christian – then you’re free to practice your religion), and due process.
What the Republicans are today is radicals. Radicals are “associated with political views, practices, and policies of extreme change” and “favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions.”
If you’re a true conservative, you can’t be a Republican any more. And if you support Donald’s presidency, support the Republican agenda in Congress, support Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, you’re not a conservative – you’re a right-wing radical.
And if you don’t like being labeled that way, then start behaving as a real conservative does.
There is no longer a Republican Party.
It turned into the Antidemocratic Party.
If you haven’t already watched American Horror Story: Cult, I highly recommend it. They addressed this very point in a scene, but the scathing commentary leveled at the so-called “conservative” from a character raised by Reaganites was the he was nothing more than a reactionary. The dictionary definition doesn’t do it justice insofar as it helps conflate being reactionary with being conservative. That may have been true (or not) when the definition was written, but today’s sort is a whole new breed.