Ronald Reagan is constantly invoked by Republican politicians, as well as conservative media talking heads. Inevitably, Rush Limbaugh or the current members of the GOP primary field will refer to themselves as “Reagan conservatives” – despite the fact that he would almost certainly be seen as a raving liberal lunatic under current conservative standards.
For his time, Ronald Reagan’s administration was certainly far to the right. He waged a war on unions, appointed conservative judges like Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court, and pledged to reverse Roe v. Wade.
As conservative as Ronald Reagan was, the Republican Party has drifted so far to the right that he wouldn’t stand a chance in the 2016 GOP primaries. This was pointed out by his daughter, Patti Davis, in an interview with Michelangelo Signorile at The Huffington Post:
A long-time liberal who disagreed with her father’s views during his presidency, Davis became estranged from the former president, but the two reconciled in later years, an experience she recounted in her 2004 memoir, The Long Goodbye.
Responding to a question about Sen. Ted Cruz often positively invoking her father’s name on the campaign trail and during debates, Davis said, “It may be this week he’s doing it more than the others. But they all kind of do it. But yet, they are so not like him. My father would be so appalled at what’s going on. He would be so appalled at these candidates. I don’t think he would be a Republican. And if another Ronald Reagan came along right now, I don’t think the Republican Party would accept him.” (Source)
Let’s consider the fact that the current leading Republican candidate has called for killing the families of terrorists, and Ted Cruz has signed a pledge to support a constitutional amendment banning many forms of birth control.
In the 1980s, any politician who was seeking the White House would have shunned the endorsement of white supremacy groups, but Donald Trump has refused to denounce them because the angry white vote is what has given his campaign the wave of momentum it’s still riding.
The Republican Party has become a political organization that Ronald Reagan wouldn’t recognize. It is no longer the party of Ronald Reagan or William F. Buckley, having been turned into the party of snake handlers, political grifters like Ben Carson and gun fanatics.
Gone are the days of bipartisanship when Tip O’Neill and Reagan fought bitterly over political issues, but still cared enough about each other as human beings that O’Neill was at the bedside of Reagan after he nearly died in an assassination attempt.
Currently, Donald Trump is launching misogynistic attacks on Hillary Clinton’s bathroom habits. Ted Cruz is cozying up with white supremacist gun groups, and Lindsey Graham, the closest candidate to Ronald Reagan, has dropped out of the race.
Patti Davis is right, Ronald Reagan would be abhorred by today’s Republican Party. Bobby Jindal warned them about being the “stupid party” back in 2013, but even he couldn’t take his own advice. The GOP is rapidly becoming irrelevant as a national party, and only gerrymandering and liberal apathy is keeping them from extinction.
Latest posts by Manny Schewitz (see all)
- It Looks Inevitable, Donald Trump Will Eventually Be The Republican Nominee - January 17, 2016
- Donald Trump Is Now Using Ted Cruz’s Canadian Birth Against Him - January 14, 2016
- Hillary Clinton’s False Statements On Bernie Sanders’ Healthcare Record Are Disgraceful - January 14, 2016