GOP Has Gone Freaking Mad!

whatYou are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost its savor, how shall it be salted? it is thereafter good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Matthew 5:13

The Republican party has gone insane. Not whacky-but-basically-harmless, Uncle Joe Biden insane. We’re talking remorseless-sociopath insane.   The conservative shift to ever more extreme, ever more fantasy-based ideology has ominous real-world consequences for American Society.

A William Voegeli essay, entitled Extremism in Defense of Liberty1, explains why the Republicans haven’t been worth their salt – so to speak.

There is a  reason why the Republican party is failing to hold the interest of its base – or anyone else.  It doesn’t stand for anything.  For all their wailing over the claimed pernicious influence of those evil tea-partiers, it is actually the so-called centrists which end up polarizing the debate.  Voegeli’s point:

“In the absence of a satisfactory account of its essential principles, however, centrism stands revealed as an “-ism” without an -ism, the chief reason that ultimately became a -wasm.  Lacking a telos, centrism’s logical base is to collapse into split-the-difference-ism, rendering it not only incoherent in theory but counterproductive in practice.  That is, insofar as centrism is a political force that matters, it ends up inciting rather than restraining extremists.  If centrists can be relied upon to embrace the middle position between two extremes, the partisans of each extreme have every incentive to make their positions more extreme, not less, before the centrists calibrate and then endorse the half-a-loaf resolution.  For all their hopes and exertions, moderates not only do not moderate the political process and policy outcomes, but actually intensify and polarize fights over the nation’s future course.”

If or to the extent they were conservatives,  Republicans embraced an utterly domesticated conservatism that prepared them, in Jonah Goldberg’s words, to “gladly serve as Sherpas to the great mountaineers of liberalism, pointing out occasional missteps, perhaps suggesting a slight course correction from time to time, but never losing sight of the need for upward ‘progress.’

This is but one of many interesting observations that Voegeli makes during the course of his essay.  It is impossible to summarize his thoughts  so therefore I suggest that you read the entire piece yourself,  at this link.    It is to be highly recommended.

I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!  And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no viture!



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