What the right is going through now is something that the left has faced in the past, and overcome. Namely, an effort by a powerful but covert outside group to hijack their passion to serve an agenda not in the country’s interest.
The grassroots of the right are formed of people who believe in individual responsibility, hard work, entrepreneurship, limited government, and Jesus. And they’re now being led around by rich libertarians whose agenda is just to take all the money and not pay any taxes on it, and who care nothing for responsibility or hard work or The Lord. (Especially not hard work.) The propaganda resources and superior organization of this covert wing of the right is distorting the agenda of the entire conservative side of politics.
It might be instructive for both sides to remember that this has happened before… on the left. We faced the same challenge of a well-organized covert influence trying to distort our agenda.
I saw them in action when I lived in the Berkeley area. The classical left always had Soviet influence behind it, and even after the Berlin Wall came down, there were still awfully well funded and well organized communist groups at work… many of them were Maoist. Any time there was a legitimate mass protest, they ran out to the front of the crowd, acted like leaders, and made the whole thing look like it was in support of a Red agenda. Some of them were antithetical to everything a progressive liberal really stands for — I ran into one in a laundromat once who told me right out in the open that she believed that once her party led the revolution, they would have every right as the “vanguard” to take over power without recourse to democracy.
The progressive left managed to shrug off most of this communist influence without losing anything of its heart and drive in the process. It is stronger and more honest now, I think, without that distorting overseas influence. I just hope conservative America can do the same, and return to its true base values, which are a legitimate part of America and deserve representation.
I just fear that the naturally greater tendency of conservatives — especially religious ones — to more frequently be followers instead of independent thinkers may undermine their ability to break free, and many of them may be doomed to follow a corrupt and failed oligarchic movement to its self-destruction. Some might come out of it enlightened and converted to the other side, but if the mainstream of the Republican party stays stuck in the old pattern, a lot of people will just be hurt, confused, directionless, and without a home in the political system, because neither party can speak for them. That’s a dangerous and unstable ingredient in politics, ripe for misuse.