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Is the Right’s Lack of Introspection Holding It Back?

Something is fundamentally wrong with the party at the national level.

by
Rick Moran

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March 22, 2013 - 12:11 am
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It is unfortunate that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus named his after-action report of the 2012 election an “autopsy.” Since autopsies are performed on the dead, it seems out of place to refer to a political party that raised a billion dollars to elect a president, and hundreds of millions more to elect senators and congressman, as having passed on. Money may not be everything, but it is a telling marker relating to the commitment and enthusiasm of the party faithful.

This is especially true when one looks at the 11 races for governor, where the GOP actually picked up a statehouse in North Carolina. Republicans now control 30 governorships to 19 for the Democrats (Rhode Island’s Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican, won as an independent). In addition, 24 Republican governors preside over legislatures controlled by the GOP to just 12 for the Democrats.

Does this sound like a political party needing an autopsy?

The GOP is alive and well at the state level and has a deep bench of Republican governors, some of whom will almost certainly enter the race for president in 2016. But what marks many of these state executives is a pragmatic approach to governance that has been utterly rejected by many on the right as “Democrat-lite” and hence unworthy of consideration for the highest office in the land.

Regardless, Priebus commissioned the report based on the idea that something was fundamentally wrong with the party at the national level; in this, he hit the mark. As Thomas Edsall points out, the report was brutal in its frankness:

The G.O.P. report is an extraordinary public acknowledgment of internal discord and vulnerability, which has intensified the battle between the deeply committed conservative wing and the more pragmatic, pro-business wing for control of the Republican Party. With just a few exceptions, it does not mince words.

At the federal level, it says, the party is “marginalizing itself,” and, in the absence of major change, “it will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win a presidential election in the near future.” Young voters are “rolling their eyes at what the party represents.” Voters’ belief that “the G.O.P. does not care about them is doing great harm.” Formerly loyal voters gathered in focus groups describe Republicans as “ ‘scary,’ ‘narrow-minded’ and ‘out of touch’ and that we were a party of ‘stuffy old men.’ ”

Alas, the report was dismissed as soon as it was published by the very people who had the most to gain by reading it. What should have sparked a serious discussion and an introspective look at the party’s failings became just one more attempt by the “establishment” to marginalize the right.

The problem with Republicans is not their stance on immigration reform, gay marriage, or abortion. Few believe that supporting the president’s immigration reform agenda will draw Hispanics to the party, or that doing a 180 and supporting gay marriage will mollify young people and result in them embracing the GOP. The problem with the party manifests itself in exactly the way this thoughtful report was received: with closed-mindedness and a paranoia about the motives for issuing it bordering on the pathological. What should have set off a round of serious debate about why voters don’t believe that Republicans care about them, or are out of touch, or are scary and narrow-minded actually resulted in a slugfest of vindictiveness and name-calling that only served to prove that the former GOP voters were right.

Noemie Emery writes:

When things worked less well for conservatives who lacked Reagan’s luck and his genius, they decided their failure was explainable only by sabotage — after all, how else could they lose? On the way, the Right developed a sense of entitlement (the Republican Party owed them a nominee of their liking); an embrace of victimhood; a habit of translating their tactical failure to win over more voters into a moral failure on the part of those voters for not sensing their value; and a belief that they can manage to win more elections by purging all factions (and people) not wholly in sync with their views.

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Top Rated Comments   
The problem at the national level is that the GOP isn't pro-conservative. They are pro-staying-in-their-cushy-positions so they actively cooperate with the Demorats in making policies that are detrimental to the party but helpful to themselves.

They need to be fired and replaced with people who aren't careerists.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If Priebus thinks calling this report an "autopsy" would convince conservatives to read it and take to heart its conclusions, he's just adding insult to injury. We live in a media world in which we're marginalized as freaks, where Christians are the only people whose religion can be ridiculed and all of us are referred to as "stuffy old white men" and now we're being told by the pragmatists in our party (a group that I used to think of myself as being part of) to shut up and accept trickle-down liberalism. No, thanks! Until we can have a respectful conversation with those in the GOP who disagree with us no truce can be reached.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
>>The GOP is alive and well at the state level and has a deep bench of Republican governors, some of whom will almost certainly enter the race for president in 2016. But what marks many of these state executives is a pragmatic approach to governance that has been utterly rejected by many on the right as “Democrat-lite” and hence unworthy of consideration for the highest office in the land.<<

No, Moran, as usual, you have that pretty much exactly backwards. The Republicans leaders on the state level are the ones who are much more likely to be actual Republicans/conservatives who govern on more conservative principles (low taxes, frugal spending, pro-business, pro-job creation, pro-personal freedom, etc.) than are the creatures who call themselves Republicans at the national level, but who act just like Democrats-lite whenever a time to stand up for conservative principles and against liberal nonsense comes up. The national GOP gang are members of the Incumbent Party and not what the real GOP is supposed to be about (and claims to be about), and they've done their best to ruin the brand of the party by being Democrats-lite, especially on the issue of runaway government spending. In this article, you're essentially saying people like John McCain and Lindsey Graham and their ilk are less "pragmatic" (translation in Moran's dictionary = go along with whatever Dems want) and more "conservative" than people like Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal are. This makes you sound either completely clueless or like you're just another Dem shill in the media.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (153)
All Comments   (153)
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What the GOP needs is a bunch of Olympia "dont want to stand in the way of Socialist Obamacare history" Snowe's, to attract voters to actively support them in their non-opposition.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The GOP battle? My personal battle sees it like this. The Rino establishment elites need to Bow out, Go willing, or be voted out. And some of them need to be impeached. Since I have personally had it with these Rinos I see no need to support a single one ever.

Few Reasons for personally dissing these establishments controlling the Party and the GOP:
1. Compromise our freedoms by compromising with votes to pass, because for the sake of compromising to get along with liberal radical left. Which btw produce nothing but socialistic policy law? True republicans would not do this. Compromise is not for or about America. Compromise is about chaining Americans to social compact chains. Compromise is about rules that strip Americans of freedom, our God Given Rights. My, Our Pursuits have been limited by compromise. Compromise regulates America in the Wrong direction. This is the path of the GOP and Republicans (rinos).

2. Closed door rino meetings. Insist meeting behind closed doors to get something done, and before a vote on the floor, the public never sees, never knows, never knew it was a Secret meeting, What goes on behind those doors with a small gang of #”?, Not the entire congress involved just a gang of 4, or gang of 8.... By the time we know there is a bill on the floor, if you’re watching the floor on CSPAN. Now the big ‘But,’ But for me and other citizens, it IS To Late to Call Congress. Really? Out from under the radar, now its time for a press conference (but only if under the raider was caught). I’m watching and it really gets ‘my personal’ citizen nerve because now there they are with the theatrics. They didn’t even read the bill but the gang of 4, or 8 or 12 did. More importantly, the people never got to read, all of congress had not the time to read. Or days pass and after the fact, a leak, we find out this monster passed and it includes bs compromises. No wonder they kept it secret. Once again ‘We the People’ are infringed upon, more liberty down the drain complements of RINOS and Compromise tactics. Their process and methods are unconstitutional. This is not how congress was designed in the constitution to act. But they will continue repeating secret meetings, closed door deals and keep us all in the dark for as long as they can and more so until each bill passed is too late to rebut.

3. There is no leadership, just Rinos with agendas of their own, forget the people who they work for. The are not conservative or republican. They are rinos.

4. Funding the stupid h.care was a huge mistake. Why doesn’t the house just block the lefts agenda for the next four years? Why, because they are Rinos? They are rinos; Real Republicans would not be doing what they are doing period.

5. Thanks to republican Senators includes Lindsey Graham, we have Two sitting SCOTUS Judges who will legislate from the Bench. Unconstitutional, that is a perfect example of what Republican (rino) Politician compromise hands the America People to live with.

6. Personally disappointing GOP/RNC sponsors Faux Republicans to run on a republican ticket. Therefore, I personally have No faith in the GOP/RNC EVER turning out true conservative republicans. Of course, I'm fed up with the rino establishment with it because they are not representing true republicanism.

7. - 100. I’ll stop here and spare the rest.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oh, and something else so many like you forget! NO congress is bound by the actions of any previous congress. However, there must be a consensus among enough legislators and senators voting, to repeal the actions of a previous congress.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Compromise is not for or about America."

Obviously, you have NO allegiance to the constitution or its processes!

By design the founders of the constitutions electoral process for the 'peoples' representatives, district by district and state by state, the process of congress is come together, debate the issues and come to some consensus compromise. Otherwise, the constitution would have devised a system of dueling (guns) representatives in congress and the last man standing -- wins the issue.

Our constitutional process of many, coming together in compromise, is what makes America unique from tyrannical religious and otherwise zealot poltical dictators, etc.

Is it posssible you're in the wrong country?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Congress does not even read the Bills. Unconstitutional. The public is left in the dark, Unconstitional. Closed door secret meeting of gangs of 4,6,8... is not the entire congress debating much less compromising together - no it's the GANG behind closed doors, under the publics radar legislation passing, Unconstitutional. This congress is mismanages the people money, Unconstitutional. rogue, Unconstitutional. and we the people are infringed, Unconstitutional.

I'm in America, Zeke1. Is it possible that you're needed to move to euro?
If the consensus of compromise consist of pass bills that harm Americans then compromise should be out of the question. The Congress along with this sitting chief of do nothing has created, run up not 17trillion But actually 100 trillion dollar debt... Funded us in to a disasterour future, devising bills that the people cannot pay and this is not: imposing on, infringe on, gross neglect, or violations of public trust?
It certainly is!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obviously I have an Allegiance to America and protecting my rights from infringements. Obviously this congress have passed harmful legislation repubs shouldn't be compromising with the left liberal socialist thugs but according to you congress should compromise I'm guess for the sake of compromise we should all just give in to social compacting this country and let congress continue: habitual disregard of the public's interests; infringe the rights of the people; the inordinate extension of power, attempts to subvert the Constitution; gross neglect; the abuse or violation of public trust; political malconduct and ill behavior, mismanagement.....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Listen to the first half of marks show and get back to me on Congress: Check out Mark Levin's Friday show: click "3/22/13" under "Audio Rewind" to listen from this page http://www.marklevinshow.com/sectional.asp?id=32930
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And if the compromise consist of unconstitutional legislation then is that compromise part of what the founding fathers designed?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've observed national politics since 1968--and I have noticed a major change come over the GOP of late:

Unlike the GOP of the 1970s, today's GOP has turned inward.

It is less interested in reaching out to new blocs of voters--the base scornfully dismisses that as "pandering"--than in preaching to the choir and continuing to turn out its (gradually shrinking) white married Christian base.

In the late 1960s and in the 1970s, Nixon and Reagan made special efforts to win over the Italian-American and Irish-American blue-collar urban ethnics. They became the beginning of the so-called "Reagan Democrats." Reagan even made a special effort to appeal to orthodox Jews who were worried about Carter's views on Israel. The GOP actively appealed to these groups, focusing on issues important to them. Yet at the time, no base Republicans criticized Nixon or Reagan for "pandering" to these groups. After all, that's what politics is about: You have to SELL yourself to the voters. If you find the concept of selling yourself demeaning, don't go into politics.

Today's GOP base just doesn't want to do that anymore. They want every Presidential election to be all about *them*: The GOP should always try to win by turning out the base--who cares what the other half of the electorate thinks? And if the GOP loses, well, that's just because the base didn't turn out in large enough numbers!

Sound familiar?

It should.

It's precisely the stuff that gets posted daily to blogs like PJ Media.

It started as a deliberate electoral strategy by consultants like Karl Rove to get Bush elected just that way: Keep the Red States, and win Ohio by turning out the evangelicals.

Rove got paid to get Bush elected, and he did it that way. But Rove did it with narrow victories--Bush even lost the popular vote in 2000--and by ignoring the future when the Dem's base of minorities, women and public employees might start to outnumber the GOP base.

So here we are in this box. The GOP base reflexively decries any attempt to reach out beyond the base as "pandering". Yet the GOP base is now shrinking as a percentage of the electorate.

David Brooks had the base pegged when he wrote:

"The base would rather keep control of a party that loses, than lose control of a party that wins."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
if moderates were a party with a 'M' next to their name and their party was infiltrated by non-moderates I bet they would have a hiss fit.

But Moderates are the infiltrators, the rinos, not a party.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sinz -- The wealthy special interest individuals and special interest groups have so corrupted and made the electoral process so toxic that the most decent and experienced idividuals will no longer run for office in the process. Only their selected and mentored minions will now run in addition to the lowly policitical hacks. The GOP more recently cemented this corruption into law and backed by supreme court decisions, to the future of the electoral process.

The days of candidate personality and honest messaging being the determining factor for campaigning and election are over. Now its lies, propaganda, misrepresentation of facts, ignoring facts and ignorance that rules supreme.

As for the GOP infighting for party control of ideology, it only is hurting the GOP larger base of moderates and independents. The minority messaging and ideology of the Tea Party 'conservative' movement is not only a party minority position inside the GOP field of supporters but, also a minority positon nationally on virtually every issue. Your last paragraph pretty much sums up the GOP battle today, which has been a historical battle for the party since its inception. Each time in history when this occurs, the progressives -- progress!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dang every comment I've made got reported. Welcome to the world of group think. What a waste of time this blog has become.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Agreed. Mine were reported as well. I rarely agree with you but this is the essence of the site, isn't it? I would *never* "report" a post of yours. Peace.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One or two persons in particular found the 'report' button function and started using it on my posts within a week or two of this new site launch. Maybe PJM can see fit to disable that feature! Pretty sad when any site has allows a poilcy of banning people and otherwise playing childish games with those who disagree and do so following the rules. Talk about dellusional fear!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hey, at least I can still access your posts.

RedState.com banned me outright for daring to disagree (in a polite civil way) with the groupthink.

I never got personal, I never used strong language. But I didn't agree with them. So they just took my account away so I couldn't post anymore.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You most be vondering vy I, Hercule Poirot, hev calt you here together at dis time. It is, my friends, to discover who among you is trying, vith much malice, to keel the conservative movement. Vee vill be revealed!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

At heart, the only support for any politically ideological 'faith' that most people are able to verbalize is a tautology. It is because it is because it is. The facts don't really matter, reality be damned. Critical thinking (which begins with self-examination) is not needed, unless you're examining yourself to make sure that you're following all of the tenets and doctrines and teachings of the 'faith.' This is no less true of the left than it is of the right. The same can be said of most libertarians. In short, they are unable to express any philosophy that could be used as a foundation for their beliefs. The argument supporting most of their positions are self-referential (tautologies) and empty sophistries, at best.

Allow me to use an example. Its just one example of many. Conservatives, particularly fiscal cons, proclaim their disgust at deficit spending in D.C and in their state, and they are profoundly justified in their complaints, on both ethical and moral grounds. The government has a gun stuck up our collective noses and demands, 'Gimme your money, or else!' You're damn straight you oughta complain! My question is this: how many conservatives are free of debt, themselves? How many of them have credit cards? School loans? Car and mortgage payments? Furniture and appliances that aren't paid for? Wardrobes? How many have more than a couple of thousand bucks in a savings account or a safety deposit box, or even in a coffee can buried in the back yard? Yes, complain about government spending. It's a travesty and it is a crime. otoh, mebbe you might want to try to live your 'faith,' yourselves.

Pick an issue. You'll see this type of thinking and behavior everywhere you look. We see this type of behavior on the left. We see it on the right. We see it in the middle. We see it in so-called libertarians.

We all complain about the politicians who keep screwing us over, and rightfully so...but we keep electing and re-electing them, or electing others just like them.

Conservative, liberal or independent, we, the American people, have been screwing up by the numbers. The problems start with us. The problem starts with the person who looks back at you from your mirror.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And sadly, most all of them are ignorant of the fact that ALL of their fiscal irrespnsiblity and hypocrisy transfers to the national economy and government liabilities.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I get it, you have contempt for people of faith, no matter what the faith may be. Utopianism on the left, Christianity on the right, it's all the same to you - stupid, dumb, hypocritical. You exist for yourself and yourself alone. Fine, Great, But if that's such a perfect place to be, why do you seem so angry?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't understand why you're taking his post that way, as it is pretty much spot on. Our politicians are a reflection of us. We are part of the problem. I recall just 28 short years ago, it was no easy task obtaining a credit card. Now, they practically throw them at you. There is a blatant case out there of a distinct erosion across the board in ordinary discipline. Think about the kids; years back most of them were well behaved in public. Not so much anymore. Think about the illegitimacy rates; they have skyrocketed. Kids as young as 11 are having babies more frequently than ever. The list goes on......
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Certainly there are things in his post that most people would agree with. There's much irresponsibility and has been for quite some time, but the people who bought houses they couldn't afford with money they didn't have didn't do so out of "faith" - unless it's faith that money falls from the sky. Having been associated with the luxury retail business I've seen what consumerism does to people, but that has nothing to do with faith, either, unless it's absolute faith that if you outdo your neighbor you'll feel good about yourself (at least until the bill arrives). Blaming the muck that people are making of their lives on faith is nonsensical. What does lack of personal responsibility have to do with faith? One could argue that perhaps some of this decline is due to a cultural debasement of faith.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Also, he seemed to be indicting fiscal cons as more than likely spending just as irresponsibly as those in Washington do. But I don't see any similarity between parents having a mortgage to house their kids or a student accepting a loan to try and get educated and the buffoons in DC who spend OUR money, money THEY didn't earn, on self-aggrandizement, political hand-washing and (mostly on the left) politically motivated grants, never-ending "studies" and enlarging the size of government unions.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Blaming the muck that people are making of their lives on faith is nonsensical."

Depends on the nature of "faith" you're referring to; you might be assuming that WB is referring to religious faith? I don't believe it's the case though; I think he's referring to the proverbial "zeitgeist."

As for the parents with the mortgage & the kids with student loans, that typically is not the whole picture; they are often also fettered with large credit card debts as well. Low expectations people hold for themselves readily transfers to those which apply to the politicians they elect time after time after time. Again, any hope of being governed by strong leaders has to start with us living with a strongly self-disciplined mindset within ourselves.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
art -- "Your" claim to 'any' money is soley dependent upon what somebody determines as your value for labor or service is to their free enterprise. Other than that weekly, bi-weekly or monthly paycheck, you have NO claim on the more than one trillion USD currency in circulation. Likewise, you have NO claim of ownership for the money that goes to the government other than what you personally paid in federal taxes and didn't get back in a cash return credit.

Except for DOD, government employees, their benefits and foreign aid, all the money the government takes in revenues are returned to the people direcltly or indirectly. So, would not, your legitimate arguement not be with the people and their failures of responsiblity, less the aged and infrimed?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He wasn't speaking of religious faith, but political ideology, and these are not the same thing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I see - faith in a political ideology guiding one's life . . . I find the thought alien, unthinkable. Who could be that gullible?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As a republican I reckon we need to dump large sums of cash into the DoD, that's part of my ideology, but it doesn't have anything to do with guiding my life. I see this as a fundamentally correct ideology and my "faith" in the correctness is that it results in an advanced defense (read strategy of technology) and this also results in technology filtering into the public sector, providing opportunities that create jobs.

Frankly I have *no* idea WTF you're on about.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Randomeer: Ah-ha, I DO know "what you're on about" ( a phrase I feel ridiculous using, not being as connected to trendy vernacular as you obviously are) and that is this: you are not, nor have you ever been, a Republican.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I reckon that your toxic litmus test assessment of my voting pattern is precisely the subject matter of Moran's post. One needn't have *your* reasons to vote GOP. Most GOP voters are moderates, not "conservatives" as you would define them. So why are there so few of us here? Most moderates aren't political enough and/or not ideologically wedded enough to pay that much attention. And when they do, why, true blue patriots -- such as yourself -- engage in name calling ("you're a baby murderer") or shout them down ("you're no republican") and otherwise try to run them off. And so they simply don't bother.

Read Moran's post again and do your best to develop a clue.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I find it very hard to believe you're what you say you are because of your intolerant name-calling and vicious personal attacks directed at most of the other posters here. It's been my experience that most Republicans are polite and using four letter words, as you do often, isn't usually associated with people on the right.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Let's make a quick comparison. Liberals want gun control and are willing to do everything they can to shove it down our throats, constitution be danged. Liberals wanted Obamacare and did everything they could including trying to influence the chief justice to shove that down our throats. Name me One F'n thing the Republicans have done that merited half that effort? There's your problem. We have Welterweight amateur boxers going up against our own brand of jihadists on the political left. Oh, BtW, that was a backhanded compliment, lefties.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sadly, you picked the two most worse example you possibly could. The 'majority' do want reasonable and logical gun control reforms. Likewise, the 'majority' do want Obamas ACA though most agree that it needs a lot of tweeking -- please do refer to legitimate and current polling on both issues.

That said, when posing the 'question' in a general sense of the ACA a near majority will rebuke it. However, when you break it down into the ten major 'components' the polling then shows and 'majority' in favor of the ACA.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You're exactly right on the level of effort. Standing up to the Left takes the courage of convictions. Since ~99% of the GOP at the national level have no convictions, they don't have any courage either. The Libs/Dems know that all they have to do is hold out for what they want for about 15 minutes and the GOP will cave (and Boehner will cry and McCain will go on all the Sunday talk shows to talk about how great the "bipartisan compromise" that gave the Dems everything they wanted is). And, of course, we'll then get the usual spat of articles on PJM all saying roughly, "See! This is what Republicans need to do to be popular! Give the Dems whatever they want!"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"知彼知己,百戰不殆;不知彼而知己,一勝一負;不知彼,不知己,每戰必殆

It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle." Sun Tzu via Wikiquote.

This quote is in defense of PJ Media and the above post.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
PJ Media: The place to come if you enjoy being insulted by the writers. What an intelligent strategy!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Emery knows nothing. Anyone calling Krispy a conservative instead of a (R) proves it. As for candidate, conservatives will know when the (right) candidate appears even though we may not be in 100% agreement. We sure don't need help from the (R) party. They pick losers. The voters pick winners. Maybe the conservative won't always win, but we've not had a conservative presidential candidate since 1984.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's sort of analogous to an infected fingernail. At the very top we have the infected part, all cruddy and in need of treatment for it's removal. Below, we have the healthy nail growing the in the nail bed waiting to grow and be strong. It takes time, it's a slow process, and has to be treated properly. But it is worth waiting for if all the infected area is replaced and the entire infection eradicated.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Except, randomengineer, that it's the CENTER LEFT (don't even have to go FAR), that promotes government control over the lives of its citizenry. That is closer to the dictionary definition of authoritarian, I think.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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