The Republican Party rightfully needs to be excoriated for not following its own ideals and fighting for them.
Mitt Romney is the perfect example of why the GOP base hates their elites. He wants to fight the best and most successful president since Ronald Reagan, rather than fight the left and re-institute American ideals. After being personally destroyed by the Democrats, he still believes the problem is not capitulating enough to them.
Mitt needs to understand one thing: The Democratic Party is no longer a party of loyal opposition; rather, it is the party of obstruction, destruction, and hatred—a party that is unrecognizable from what once was the party of JFK, Hubert Humphrey, and Scoop Jackson. Not only are they not honest opposition, but they are also no longer a party that sees the United States as great within its founding principles. It’s been remade into a party that wants to “fundamentally transform America.”
Let me translate Obama’s phrase. He learned to hate America.
He learned it from his mentors when he was young, he learned it in college, and from Reverend Wright. When he ran for the Democratic nomination, many Democrats had already adopted those beliefs: that America was fundamentally flawed, unfair, unjust, and wrong. Now, to their discredit, Democrats knew he couldn’t say that and win, so they coined the dog-whistle, “fundamentally transform America.” The hard-left knew what that meant, and the center-left found it acceptable—including their voters who believe a better America happens by voting Democrat.
To the hard-left, America is wrong in everything. They want to change it all. In other words, they want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. And they did, with Obama being their instrument. The good things of America were going to be thrown out for a new start—a new start like Venezuela, Cuba, the Soviet Union, and China.
I know, I know, many of you think I’m exaggerating, overstating the case, and creating windmills to tilt at. Indulge me as I lay out some history.
John F. Kennedy believed in the American dream. He believed in economic growth—in making a better economy for all. His slogan of “High tide lifts all boats” and his tax-cut policy were the forerunners of what we call supply-side economics. He believed in a strong military. He was anti-communist and anti-socialist. He was, first and foremost, a believer in America as a force for good. Optimism was his key quality. Complain about his foibles, his mistakes, but this man was as pro-America as Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan.
Humphrey was more liberal, but far from wanting wholesale change. He loved America. The same goes for Jackson. Let me say this plainly: none of them could be part of today’s Democratic Party.
It was Reagan, once a Democrat, who said he didn’t leave the Democratic Party; they left him. Trump was a registered Democrat for more than half his adult life, when they had not yet gone anti-America, and pro-socialist. Many of his policies have been those of Democrats just 15 years ago.
The morphing into the Hate America party began with the Clintons, who were ’60s radicals—the first to be elected to high office. Bill perhaps less than Hillary. Certainly, he was more pragmatic than she, and he would likely never have considered running an anti-America campaign. But they were pushing left, particularly Hillary. She was an early believer in Howard Zinn, Saul Alinsky, and America’s sinfulness.
Moveon.org began with the Clintons, when the internet was young. Then, the leftist “net-roots” started, and the Huffington Post, the Daily Kos, and Media Matters were born. And they all pushed hard to the left. They were the heralds, while Zinn was the ideological underpinning. The media, already far-left, became total lapdogs.
The Democratic Party leadership slowly cooked itself into the America-hating cabal that it’s become. This is not hyperbole about a minority of Democrats who are critical of America—it’s now a fact that we must grapple with. Obama intended his transformation to be total. Socialist. Move away from Judeo-Christian values. No opposing viewpoints allowed, with examples that include climate change, feminist #MeToo, to be ashamed of whiteness and your European background, and that Trump must be vilified daily with no exceptions.
This is what we on the center-right face: a party has morphed from having differences, into literally hating the country where it lives and partakes with. It hates dissenting viewpoints, and hates those on the center-right. It has the over-the-top self-righteousness of a religious cult. It’s a party that can’t accept that voters rejected them, so it blames the Russians, or any of the 100 other excuses Hillary uses. It’s never that they were rejected. They believe power is their right, and that they can say or do anything they want—no matter how vile—without criticism.
So, dear Mr. Romney, I would suggest a change: begin to criticize real wrongdoing, or resign and see if Utah will return you to the Senate as a Democrat. In the meantime, we have an entire party that is obstructing American renewal, because they have accepted hating America as their most important reason for existing—besides hating Trump.
There are a lot of things the center-right needs to do to combat this poison. There is no easy fix, because our cultural institutions have allowed, and fostered, the belief that America is at fault for so long. An entire generation has been brainwashed to think that America is inherently bad—at home, and in the broader world. Education, entertainment, and the media have all pushed this construct for a long time.
Many are recognizing the turn in the culture; it’s why Trump was elected. Many on the center-right are looking for ways to combat this hatred the left has adopted. Some are fighting well (Dennis Prager comes to mind), but a major reset must happen to combat this issue.
The most important strategy is to reach and educate those voters in the Democratic Party about the consequences of playing with this fire of hating the country you live in. Some on the center-right, such as Romney, need to be challenged too.
This cold civil war is a reality. To avoid becoming hot, we need to change the minds of a lot of people. Our messaging needs be better, or what is great about our country will simply be gone. Our policies must be better. Our way of messaging about this “hate-America” problem must be urgent, smart, constant, and consistent.
A lot of the Democrats’ voting base has accepted the “America is bad” thesis from its leaders, particularly millennials who have grown up with this construct as truth. Realizing many Democratic voters are cultural voters is important. It means they have voted that way all their lives, and don’t understand what the leadership is doing. Many actually don’t think of the Democratic leadership as hating our country and its ideals.
Democratic voter perception needs to be challenged, because the leadership’s America-hatred is demonstrably true. Their voters are the ones who need someone to point out how awful Democratic leadership has become. What is called the “Walk Away” movement needs to be multiplied 10-fold, all the while explaining that the current center-right policies have the ideals that made them vote Democratic in the first place.
Messaging, messaging, messaging. Newt Gingrich did it to win the House. Reagan did it to win the American public. Trump does it really well, but to combat this new form of America-hatred, it will take a huge effort of all on the center-right. A hope we experienced this week was the GOP pushback against Romney’s absurd first move as senator. The opposition Mitt found, and the unity and passion behind it, is what the center-right needs now against the America-hating Democrats.
David Prentice is a writer and novelist from the Midwest.