Remember the good old days when George W. Bush was an extremist, willing to spy on Americans, hide secret legal reasoning, and torture people? Ah, those were the good old days. Most of that stuff is now considered reasonable and moderate.
Along comes Donald Trump, the new extremist. The Bush family hates him. So do most Americans. The Bushes slide to the new left and Donald Trump pushes the pendulum to the right. Once-extremist Republican polices become moderate — normalized.
How far to the “right” or to reactionary side can the pendulum go? It helps to know where we started. Ronald Reagan was considered an extremist when he ran for president in 1968, but by 1980, he obtained the nomination and won in a landslide. Ronald Reagan policies: giant tax cuts for the rich, destruction of unions, sabotage of government agencies, deregulated international trade, expanded international clandestine “deep state” operations, reactionary Supreme Court nominations like Watergate cover-up man Robert Bork and master of reversion Antonin Scalia, etc. All eventually normalized.
One extremist appears to moderate another. Former extremist Ronald Reagan was not merely considered a moderate against George W. Bush: thanks to so much propaganda, he was a “great” president to some, and to others, he was a far left extremist. Once Donald Trump snuck into the White House on an unbelievably big loss of the popular vote — nearly three million Americans — George W. Bush was put up as the new icon of moderation, and as expected, reactionary Republicans whined that Junior was liberal.
Which brings us to the word “leftist.” Leftist used to be used in general conversation to describe those on the far economic left — socialists and communists — actual socialists and communists that is, not what passes for such labels today. They were people like Fidel Castro and the Sandinistas. Today, anyone who disagrees with a thing or two in the Republican agenda is a socialist, a communist, or a leftist, and George W. Bush qualifies.
In what appears to be a coordinated national campaign, suddenly “red states” are rushing to pass anti-abortion laws that plainly violate Supreme Court rulings. Alabama is the center of the controversy, with its restriction that does not provide exceptions to rape and incest.
Long time reactionary evangelist Pat Robertson has come out to oppose the extremist law in Alabama. Guess what that makes him? A moderate. Next, Donald Trump provides his own New Moderate statement, via his favorite platform, Twitter:
So there we go. Donald Trump is the New Moderate. It won’t be long until reactionary Republicans start calling The Donald a leftist, a socialist, a communist.
Finally, it is interesting that the campaign to ban all abortions spreads like wildfire among the Republican controlled states all at once at exactly this time. Did they suddenly discover that abortion was murder in 2019? Or could it be that there is just enough time to pass these laws for political purposes and keep the perennial issue of abortion in the media until the 2020 election but not enough time for the Supreme Court to issue a significant ruling on the issue? A good campaign requires lots of suspense.