by Newt Gingrich
Despite its political and ideological faults, the modern Democrat Party has ironclad discipline. No matter how outrageous or unpopular the Left’s issues are with voters, the party bosses regularly keep the rank-and-file in line and impose the agenda.
But this is a relatively new phenomenon. Just several decades ago, the Democrat Party was in chaos. In fact, what is now the ideological core of the party started out as a revolutionary force that tore the party apart and then spent decades rebuilding it.
The radical change in the Democrat Party was a two-step process. In 1968, the old order collapsed. The establishment lost the ability to define the party. Then, in 1972 the radicals took over and began to shape the party into the party of Big Government Socialism, woke cultural values, and weakness and appeasement in national security and foreign policy.
The Republican transition from the old Eastern establishment dominated party to the new conservative dominated party was a decisive event in 1964. As I wrote in the last essay, the rise of Barry Goldwater and the disarray of his moderate opponents led to what Theodore H. White called “a coup.” The Goldwater movement had taken over the core of the GOP in one decisive campaign.
The Democrats, who had been the dominant party since 1932, had a longer, messier – and in some ways more painful – transition.
Author’s Note: The complex patterns that have led to the greatest crisis of constitutional government and rule of law since the Civil War are far bigger, involve far more people, and are ultimately more dangerous to American freedom than the personal dishonesty and criminality of the Biden family. This “American Despotism” series in The American Spectator will provide a clear history of the weaponization of government, which has violated the Constitution and corrupted the rule of law. While each article will be complete and stand-alone, together they will combine to fully describe the patterns that now threaten to destroy the foundation of individual freedom — the hallmark of the American system.
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