The Bulwark: The GOP and Conservative Media Now Resemble the Communists of My Youth

Written by someone who lived under Communist rule and saw the end of it makes an interesting comparison between the Communist leaders of his country and youth with today’s GOP and their media cronies.

And many times it has been asked when the GOP started down the path they are on and the answer has been, many times, Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House. Mr. Klavana found a much earlier indicator of where the party was going: Ronald Reagan, 1964.

…”as much as I admire Ronald Reagan and his role in the defeat of communism, I must start with his 1964 speech in support of Barry Goldwater, “A Time for Choosing.” The speech’s impact on conservative politics was enormous and largely laudable, but it also contained an early sign that something might have been a bit off with the movement he was helping to build. It was like watching small shoots of weeds that over decades were allowed to grow, eventually killing the crops of an honorable party.

In 1964, Reagan and Goldwater redefined politics on the right, making it more idea-driven and goal-oriented instead of just pragmatic. The strategy would succeed beyond the Gipper’s wildest dreams. Still, Reagan’s address includes this paragraph:

I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down: [up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.

The mode of thought to which this passage opens the door is dangerous. It implies that the other side is not just wrong on specific matters of contention, but dangerous—that it is pushing in a potentially deadly direction. No longer do we have the realm of democratic politics in which two parties spar over the right course of action yet, regardless of who wins, the system remains intact.” (Emphasis added)

22 thoughts on “The Bulwark: The GOP and Conservative Media Now Resemble the Communists of My Youth

  1. Interesting post. The Republican Party is a crucible of hate and discontent looking for scapegoats behind every lamppost. At the same time defining enemies as other Americans who disagree.

    The autocrat handbook was a best seller among the last principles in the administration and its cohorts in Congress. The very idea that voting should be universal, easy and with high rates of participation is an anathema to the modern GOP.

    It started with Gingrich and was nurtured to full bloom when President Obama took office. Out came the haters, the racists and the extremists. And of course, the GOP had planned to just prevent any policies to come forth. Culminating in the year long vacancy on the Court to thwart the President just because.

    Trump killed what little cooperation there was left. Then proceeded to apply the autocrat handbook of denigrating any and all news that was critical, rejecting a fair election, stacking courts and inciting an attempted autogolpe.

    Pence was the only barrier. A thin one at that, but at least he accepted the Rule of Law and we moved on.

    “It Can’t Happen Here”, the novel, almost did…play by play.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a bunch of crybabies.

    For most of my adult life, the left has had exclusive control of the media. Now they only have 90%, and they are whining about the small share of conservative oriented media.

    For decades, the MSM simply ignored anything favorable for conservatives a droned on and on about anything that pulled at the heartstrings for the left.

    I well remember CBS running a special on gun control, titled “Murder and the Right to Bear Arms” and it went downhill from the title. It was an hour long, and had one 5 minutes segment pro-2nd Amendment. The spokesman? An unshaven hillbilly with missing teeth, a wife beater undershirt to display a Nazi tattoo, standing in front of the Battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. His statement was incoherent.

    Fair and balanced?

    Now there are voices of balance, and you just can’t stand it.

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    1. What a bunch of BS.

      Conservatives think anything that does not praise their agendas to the highest is a media version of “Mom,Mom, they are picking on me.” They were bad before the ex-president, but he brought mandatory ass kissing to a new level that is being copied by his cult followers.

      Conservatives have owned talk radio since 1990. The have the biggest media conglomerate with NewsCorp.

      They lie, obfuscate, and had a solid hand in the insurrection. They lied about the pandemic early and often.

      But, despite all that, they commanded huge audiences.

      Grievance politics based on nothing by whining.

      (PS: I guess the representative for the 2nd Amendment was not to your liking. Hannity used to do that crap regularly. Find some loony, left wingnut and get him babbling while Hannity, smug and smiling, would look “brilliant”.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is hard to tell the difference between The Bulwark and, say, The Onion. That’s the problem with satire: In a crazy world you can’t be sure whether crazy ideas are sincere, or a put on.

    The Bulwark cannot be taken seriously. It is just too stupid. Here, for example, it labels a “mode of thought” as “dangerous,” but only stupid people think this way.

    It is actually impossible for modes of thought to be dangerous. Anyone can prove this to himself just by trying, say, to move the coffee mug on his desk with his mind.

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    1. “It is hard to tell the difference between The Bulwark and, say, The Onion. ”

      Once again you attack the source and not address the issues brought up in the essay.

      The Bulwark is a lot less “satirical” then say, FPM, Zero Hegde, or MISES Inst.

      And the author is not on staff; he is writing from his own personal perspective and you attack the entire site because of it. Wrongheaded and further proof that anyone that disagrees with YOUR world view is “too stupid”, dangerous, or just plain sill. Once again proving the point of the essay.

      Thank you for your continuation of showing how simpleminded you are.

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      1. RE: “Once again you attack the source and not address the issues brought up in the essay.”

        I wrote: “Here, for example, it labels a ‘mode of thought’ as ‘dangerous.'” I then explained why the idea is foolish.

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        1. You are entitled to your opinion. I am just as entitled to tell you I think you are full of IT.

          The only FOOLISH think I see is your contempt for and dismissal of all things that do not agree with your world view.

          And I stand by my contention that you are attacking the site, not the author.

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        2. You also wrote this:

          “The Bulwark cannot be taken seriously. It is just too stupid.”

          Now if you think the staff at The Bulwark is “stupid”, maybe you should take a quick look around at who they are. Never heard anyone refer to Bill Kristol as “stupid”. And Charlie Sykes is still a bastion of ACTAUL conservative thought. Just because they are anti-T****, does not qualify them as “stupid”. (It makes them a lot smarter than those who blindly follow the orange g-d king) However, those who stoop to use that kind of language to describe those who disagree with them… well…

          Also, if you weren’t so immersed in the fringe media sites you post from, you might have seen they actually had contending thoughts on HR1; one in support and one opposed. The discussion and thoughts posted on The Bulwark are not always in line with my own personal beliefs, but they do help get out of the bubble. You should try it with an open mind. If you are capable of doing that.

          You have lowered yourself to T****ian levels by calling those you disagree with ‘stupid”. 😮 (Not surprised though. It just takes some longer than others to fall so far down the rabbit hole)

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        3. RE: “Also, if you weren’t so immersed in the fringe media sites you post from…”

          Most of the sources I post for discussion rank in the first 50 of the top 100 conservative web sites. For example:

          The Wall Street Journal (no. 7)
          ZeroHedge (no. 12)
          PJ Media (no. 19)
          The Washington Examiner (no.21)
          National Review (no. 23)
          American Thinker (no.30)
          Mises Institute (no. 42)
          The American Conservative (no.48)
          Frontpage Mag (no.49)

          Click to access Top-100-Conservative-Websites.pdf

          The Bulwark doesn’t make the list at any level. And, yes, I have heard Bill Kristol called many things, including stupid.

          If you like The Bulwark, more power to you. Based on the samples you have provided here in the Forum, I’m not impressed, and based on the ranking linked above, other conservatives are not impressed, either.

          You are free to post anything here that you wish. Your audience, however, cares less about your source than what you have to say about it. You only limit yourself when you expect your source to carry the burden of your post.

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          1. With the exception of the WSJ and MAYBE National Review, those sites have been completely co-opted by pro-T**** supporters and cheerleaders. Not one of them has done anything except promote, defend or praise T*** with ZERO condemnation of the many condemnable things he did.

            The explanation for those fringe sites appearing in that list shows the level to which T**** has eaten the conservative movement.

            The Bulwark was founded by former members and staff from The Weekly Standard. They have maintained the core principles of real conservatism and have not given in to the populist narrative that your sites have. It is also newer in the pantheon of websites and has yet to gain footing, but it continues to grow and in time will rise in the lexicon of conservatism.

            You can help by taking the time to read some of what they have to say instead of denigrating them as a satirical site. It MAY broaden your mind a bit and get you out of the T**** bubble/conspiracy mindset you live in.,

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          2. RE: “You can help by taking the time to read some of what they have to say instead of denigrating them as a satirical site.”

            No thanks. I have taken the time to read the Bulwark items you have shared. Without exception I have found them stupid.

            But again, you are free to post anything here that you wish. In the end, what matters is what YOU have to say.

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          3. ” I have taken the time to read the Bulwark items you have shared.”

            I have only shared the items I felt strongly about and that made VALID points about things from the conservative perspective that I agreed with. BUT they are coming from the opposite side of my personal beliefs.

            I am so sorry that you are afraid to expand your websites to those that don’t ALWAYS agree with you.

            If you’re scared then say you’re scared. 😇

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          4. RE: “I am so sorry that you are afraid to expand your websites to those that don’t ALWAYS agree with you.”

            I post stories that interest me for one reason or another. I don’t always agree with the stories I post or the web sites they come from. I don’t read or post Bulwark stories because they don’t interest me.

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          5. RE: “You don’t read or post Bulwark stories because they don’t fit your narrative. Being closed minded is not healthy.”

            You can read my mind?

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          6. Mind reading not required. Your words are enough to tell me what I need to know.

            I stand by my contention that your lack of interest is due to not finding what you want on the site.

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          7. RE: “I stand by my contention that your lack of interest is due to not finding what you want on the site.”

            I have no interest in stupidity, if that’s what you mean.

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          8. Funny. I see most of your posts to be stupid. So stupid is in the eye of the beholder.

            And I contend that you think it is stupid because it does not feed into your preconceived notion of right, wrong, good, bad, red blue, etc.

            And I really could not care less what you think about my opinion, but I still think you are too closed minded for your own good.

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  4. “It implies that the other side is not just wrong on specific matters of contention, but dangerous”. Isn’t that EXACTLY what you are pushing now? More left wing drivel like claiming Obama is conservative. Reagan or Goldwater communist? I just peed my pants laughing, thanks.

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    1. “I just peed my pants laughing, ”

      Grown ups know how to hold it until they get to a suitable location. Put your depends back on and try to come up with some sort of meaningful contribution.

      Bottom line is you can’t see past your own biases. Any opinion differing from your own is worthy of your derision without any meaningful thought put into it,

      Like

      1. Grown ups know how to not spread childish drivel. There is no “meaningful thought” in your nonsense. It’s laughable trash. Get over it.

        Like

        1. Childish drivel? Well, you ARE the expert on that level of thinking.

          Come out and get some fresh air and new insults. Your routine has grown old, tiresome, and even more idiotic.

          Like

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