Jeffrey Hart, a professor emeritus of English at Dartmouth College, joined the National Review as a cultural critic in 1962 - two years before Goldwater's Presidential campaign, which is considered one of the important catalysts for the rise of the modern conservative movements. Many of you have heard that Hart came out in support of Obama this year.
Well, Hart goes even further today with an article in The Daily Beast titled "The Republicans Are Now the Stupid Party":
On November 4, two thirds of voters under 30 voted for Obama. That’s the future. A large majority of voters with college educations voted for Obama. That represents the best informed segment of the electorate. So, how did everything go wrong for the Republicans?
Hart goes on to argue that the heart of the GOP's descent is related to their full-embrace of Christian fundamentalists. Hart's hero, Barry Goldwater, was a Western libertarian who hated Jerry Falwell and supported Roe vs. Wade. Nixon and Reagan played the Southern Strategy but mostly gave token support to the fundies. George W. Bush with the help of Karl Rove, on the other hand, took the fundamentalists quite seriously and made the Republicans a nearly purely Southern fundamentalist party:
Does any reasonable person not believe that gays and lesbians deserve respect and equality? Not today’s Republican Party. Expert translators from Arabic have been dismissed for being gay. And applicants for the post of certified public accountants in the Iraq Green Zone have been asked about their view of Roe v. Wade.
Both Obama and McCain supported federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. An embryo is a cluster of cells the size of the period at the end of this sentence. It takes a strange mentality to equate that with a seriously ill human being. (Bush, August 2001: "It’s wrong to destroy life in order to save life.")
But science never sleeps, and embryonic stem cell work has been going on around the world in advanced nations, as well as in state or privately funded laboratories here. Harvard is planning a new billion-dollar science campus, with a major cell-research laboratory. Promising advances of various kinds are being explored world-wide.
So here we are in 2008. With its indispensable Southern and, more widely, evangelical base, the Republican Party has become the stupid party.
Hart goes on to rip Sarah Palin, her ignorance and the fact that the Republican base fully embraced her. I recommend everyone read it. It's a piece written not by a liberal Democratic blogger, but rather one of the pioneers of the conservative movement. It's a damning indictment of the present Republican Party.