The tendency to valorize “traditional” Republicans is understandable. (We’d like our politics and our culture to be less insane.) Valorizing them seem harmless especially if they are merely people whose hearts are stirred by ideas of a “strong defense”, “NATO”, patriotic fervor, low taxes, limited government, and “free trade.”
But does this REALLY make sense?? What makes such “traditional” Republicans as described above so much different from “Moderate” Democrats? What would compel such a beast to actually HATE democrats?
Does the answer that the Democratic Party is trending more “Progressive” (more in favor of reducing racial, gender, and economic inequality) REALLY explain the hatred? Does it REALLY explain why anybody would accept (or turn a blind eye to) the seditious incorrigibility of trimp and the nihilistic bedlam of the insurrectionist cults that uplift him?
I don’t really have an answer. But I suspect that the “threat” of reduced inequality is at the heart of it. Yes, the dangerous and damaging surface of this FEAR manifests as racism, sexism, classicism, and nihilism, but it may simply come down to FEAR itself - and an associated fragility.
Progressives need to move ahead with determination as well as prudence, diligence as well as understanding, ferocity as well as forgiveness. Destabilizing inequality may be the primary fuel for the growing sense of precarity that feeds cultures of fear and hatred. “Traditional” Republicans have no recent record of facing or understanding this.
Fear itself may be the unreasoning reason for the reactionary surge associated with trimp (and which will doubless survive him). Fear and fragility in the face of calls for justice and equality may be associated with guilt. They are surely associated with a sense of deprivation and emptiness. The most frightful idea is that they are associated with a lack of imagination: the kind of imagination that envisions humans as capable of being MORE than merely savage even in the face of mortal threat.
But our imaginations are filled with all forms of beauty and savagry.