Political party

Noam Chomsky says GOP ‘is not a political party’ but a ‘radical insurgency’

Political philosopher Noam Chomsky argues that the Republican Party has become “not a political party” but a “radical insurgency”.

He made his comments just as the GOP splits over two recent developments: former President Donald Trump’s admission that he intended to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and the Convention national republican referring to the Capitol riots of January 6, 2021 as a form of “legitimate political speech”.

“Over the past 30 or 40 years…the Republican Party has just strayed from the spectrum. It’s not a political party in the traditional sense of the word,” Chomsky said during a recent broadcast of the program. Al Jazeera Network news discussion board. In the front.

The party has since become “a radical insurgency that has abandoned any interest in participating in parliamentary politics,” Chomsky said. He took the phrase from the 2013 book It’s even worse than it lookswritten by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, two leading policy analysts for the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

The party’s drift to this position began with the use of the “Southern strategy” in the 1960s, Chomsky said, when the Republican Party began to use cultural issues, such as gaining popular support from white supremacists while by passing legislation that promotes corporate power and private wealth. .

Political philosopher Noam Chomsky said the Republican Party has become a “radical insurgency”. This photo shows Chomsky in conversation at the British Library, London, UK, March 19, 2013.
David Corio / Redferns

In the 1970s, Chomsky said, abortion became a cultural issue, helping Republicans win support from conservative Christians. Since then, guns and LGBTQ issues have become topics around which the party has built popular support, he added.

He went on to say that by capitalizing on these issues, former Republican President Donald Trump has built and mobilized “a grassroots cult of loyal followers” who support everything he does. This group “took control of the Republican Party,” Chomsky added, and brought the party to a point where Trump has since openly declared that he was seeking to overthrow the Democratic system by ignoring the results of a national election.

In the last two Democratic presidencies, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said his party’s main focus was to make sure Democrats can’t do anything to “make sure the country is unsalvageable, and then the blame can be placed on the Democrats who happen to have power,” Chomsky said. “Republicans can come back to power doing the exact same thing now.”

“It’s not a political party,” Chomsky said. “It’s a radical insurgency. No interest in democracy.”

“There are hundreds of bills and state – Republican – legislatures working on various ways to make sure they can become a permanent dominant minority party by excluding votes from the wrong kind of people,” Chomsky added. , noting that Republicans have introduced at least 262 bills in 41 states to interfere with the election.

In the 2020 presidential elections, state and nationwide Republicans accused Democrats and election commissions of illegally expanding voting access through pandemic measures that circumvented the legislative process.

State Republicans have defended their voting reform efforts since then, saying they seek to prevent possible voter fraud, though national incidents of voter fraud are very rare, according to Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School who tracks voter fraud cases and spoke to Reuters. .

Republicans have also long criticized Democrats for pushing a “radicalized” agenda that would expand government oversight of businesses, police forces and civil liberties. More recently, right-wing Republicans have criticized Democrats for prosecuting the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters but not doing more to prosecute those arrested during the summer 2021 racial justice uprisings.

While Chomsky said Republican policies since Reagan have helped concentrate wealth among a small number of economic elites, he also noted that the Democratic Party ceased to be a party of the working class by the end of the 1990s. 1970.

Chomsky noted that studies have shown that representatives’ views rarely align with those of their constituents. Instead, a candidate’s re-election aligns strongly with where their “focused strategic campaign funding comes from,” he said.

“Lobbyists, corporate lawyers, representatives of investment firms” overwhelm the collaborators of the legislator with constant communications. Ultimately, these groups help write laws that lawmakers end up signing into law.

“It’s a bit cartoonish, but not too much,” Chomsky added. “Something like that is basically how a lot of the system works. So it’s a democracy in many ways, there’s a lot of freedom, but the representative system is limited.”

Nonetheless, Chomsky said he has hope because of a younger generation of political activists who have risen up against racial injustice and environmental destruction.

“It’s very hard. They don’t have wealth, concentrated power, media support, but they are there, and they can become the wave of the future. So it’s up to us to support them, to participate with them.”

Last Friday, the Republican National Committee (RNC) approved a statement censuring Republican Representatives Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming. In censorship, the RNC called the Jan. 6 Capitol riots “legitimate political speech.”

While the RNC later said the statement only referred to protesters who had broken no laws, some prominent Republicans took issue with that phrase. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan all called the RNC for wording.

After Trump recently slammed his former Vice President Mike Pence for failing to help overturn the 2020 election results, Trump’s allies – Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz and former advisers Roger Stone and Steve Bannon – all supported Trump’s criticisms.

However, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Pence aide Marc Short disagreed with Trump’s criticisms.

The disagreement over Trump’s hold on the party is evidence of a “civil war” unfolding within the GOP.

On the one hand are those who believe that former President Donald Trump and his outspoken, unapologetic style represent the future of the Republican Party. On the other, Republicans, who view Trump and his demands as dangerous to democracy, alienating voters and distracting from political battles.