Die-hard conservatives take control of the Republican Party
Conservative Republicans only care about themselves.
Still in my early thirties, I had no particular interest in politics and no identification with any political party. More attention developed as a result of time spent with Scott Matheson, a proud Democrat, prior to his successful bid for governor in 1977. He was my boss during his brief stint as a regional councilor for one. major mining and metal fabrication company.
When I accompanied Scott to a Democratic Party event at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City, I observed that many in attendance were dressed casually, looking like blue collar workers feeling a little uncomfortable in the prestigious setting, whose food, mostly casseroles, was served at a buffet line at the end of which were, among other drinks, several half-gallon bottles of inexpensive wine.
Shortly after, I attended, this time with Scott invited in his capacity as corporate lawyer, a Republican Party banquet at the same location where the attendees, almost all men, wore dark suits and ties. . They were served individually at tables of 10 neatly organized, carrying on polite and smiling conversations. No wine. My conclusion, later supported by many other observations, was that the Democratic Party was a loose organization trying to advance the interests of a diverse group of what I would call ordinary people and that the Republican Party was the party. of the privileged.
What has happened since?
The Democratic Party hasn’t changed much. Its main problem is the makeup of too many groups, often under-represented individuals and organizations with different concerns and goals that do not necessarily align when formulating party platforms. Yet the unifying factor is the concern for individual citizens and the programs designed to meet the needs of society and correct the shortcomings of society.
I consider that the Republican Party, traditionally the party of the privileged, has brilliantly attracted hitherto disorganized staunchly conservative voters into a large constituency by concentrating peripherally on social issues. We could describe these right-wing idealists as “die-hard conservatives,” predominantly white men and women whose attitudes on political issues are generally intolerant and impatient. They emerged in force with the rise of Donald Trump.
Those who buy into this perspective have been popularized as the Trump / Republican base. What was not expected by the traditional suffocating Republican leadership was the numerical power of this base. The party leadership was overwhelmed by the previously subdued constituency of disgruntled voters united in their poisonous contempt of powerful elitists who imposed on them “politically correct” rules, regulations and standards that they deemed to be both reprehensible and oppressive. . The power wielded by this base translates into submissive attitudes of Republican politicians as to whom bipartisan perspectives can lead to defeat in the party primaries.
While there are multiple gradations and variations in this unconditional conservative base, there are some commonly held positions on current national political issues. A vengeful stance on both legal and illegal immigration. Opposition to indefinite social assistance programs. Disease prevention, social distancing and vaccination masking guidelines rejected. Conscious disbelief or disregard for the threat of man-made climate change. Opposition to broad-based environmental protection initiatives. Rejection of proposals to limit possession and display of small arms. Imposition of access restrictions on voters. Political positions based on confessional interpretations of biblical passages. Support for exclusionary policies affecting LGBTQ people. Support for uncompromising law enforcement mandates.
Through it all, there is a common theme. Hard-line Conservatives do not want to be told what they can and cannot do, or to make sacrifices or accommodations to improve unfavorable conditions that do not directly affect them. This contrasts with the approach of the so-called “liberal Democrats” and more flexible moderate Republicans who are prepared to craft government policies that deal with societal issues that do not lend themselves or have not been adequately addressed by the government. Free market.
Perhaps diehard conservatives should be more concerned about the drift into oppressive authoritarianism stemming from intolerance that would ultimately result in losses of freedoms, including their own, at all levels.
Clayton parr, Draper, is a retired natural resources lawyer who tries to maintain a balance by avoiding social media platforms in favor of reputable mainstream news sources.