The New Right

Another one-time member of the Reagan administration expresses his frustration with the state of the right:  My break with the extreme right.

Key line:

All of today’s right-wing darlings got there by mastering what Burke feared most: screaming “J’accuse! J’accuse!” Turning people against each other. Taking seeds of fear, anger and hatred and planting them to grow a new crop.

Indeed.  This is certainly the behavior of people of like Limbaugh, Breitbart’s progeny, and any number of  bloggers and radio talk show host.  Is it rampant anit-intellectualism based primarily in mindless opposition to “liberalism” (whatever that may mean).

h/t:  Bruce Barlett’s FB feed (with a reminder that I wanted to note it via Stephen Bainbridge).

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. al-Ameda says:

    Wow, just wow.
    Fumento pretty much nails it.
    There is nothing to add to that (for the moment anyway…)

  2. Peterh says:

    I suspect that, like Fumento, the main bloggers on this site feel the same way and probably a huge factor in seeing less and less wingnuts commenting on this site. You’re right of center, but you don’t fling the red meat….you’re just more likely to offer up a palmface instead. Yet, in saying that, you, like Fumento, will still likely vote crazy rather than send them out to wander the desert for 40 years….

  3. walt moffett says:

    when a movement hits that j’accuse! moment, its not too far from being consumed by the mean streak they’ve been playing to.

  4. jukeboxgrad says:

    An important article, and it reminds me of what Mike Lofgren wrote last year: “Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult.” But I think Lofgren cuts sharper and deeper:

    … both parties are not rotten in quite the same way. The Democrats have their share of machine politicians, careerists, corporate bagmen, egomaniacs and kooks. Nothing, however, quite matches the modern GOP … If Republicans have perfected a new form of politics that is successful electorally at the same time that it unleashes major policy disasters, it means twilight both for the democratic process and America’s status as the world’s leading power.

    “Mike Lofgren retired on June 17 after 28 years as a Congressional staffer. He served 16 years as a professional staff member on the Republican side of both the House and Senate Budget Committees.”

  5. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    All of today’s right-wing darlings got there by mastering what Burke feared most: screaming “J’accuse! J’accuse!”

    Not to be too nitpicky but that is painful to read. “J’accuse” was one of the stellar moments of European intellectualism and moral integrity, not rabble-rousing. It can probably be read as the iconic defence of 20th century liberal, secular and human rights oriented thought against a military and religious collectivism.

    US politics would probably be much improved if more conservatives had the moral integrity for a proper “j’accuse” every now and again.