Not for the first time, earlier today I read of the idea that the Republican party of the US (traditionally the right-wing, conservative party in their political system) is actually more ‘lefty’ than it is right-wing (and this was intended very much as a slur against the GOP). Is there actually any truth to this?
Not, it would seem, if we look at the stances of the key candidates currently vying for leadership of the Democrats and Republicans in the race to decide who gets to be Presidential nominee. A comparison of the players (such as Sanders, Clinton, Trump, Rubio and Cruz) would suggest that the Democrat candidates and the Republican candidates have opposite views across a wide range of positions – from gay marriage to economic issues and military spending. It would seem the Democrat candidates line up more or less along the same lines, and the Republican candidates do likewise.
What does this mean? Well, it means that if the Republicans are now apparently left-wing, and their key players are all in agreement (more or less) with each other, whilst opposed to the Democrat candidates (who are again, more or less in alignment with each other), then are we to consider the Democrats right-wing? Of course not.
The anger directed at the Republican party by some of its own members and supporters is understandable, but the reasoning for that anger is also a denial of where the responsibility for their shortcomings comes from – Donald Trump is doing so well and galvanising the Republican membership so much precisely because he is right-wing – he is tapping into their values, and doing so with an intense, hardcore approach. He has claimed that ground and done so quite thoroughly.
So instead of blaming the evil lefties, the conservative right needs to take a long hard look in the mirror and consider that maybe, just maybe, it’s time to start taking responsibility for its own failings, instead of projecting them.