The Transformation of the Modern Republican Party

THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE MODERN REPUBLICAN PARTY

I see the transformation of the modern Republican Party in five stages: 1) Barry Goldwater and the rejection of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, followed by Goldwater’s strategy of winning the South via race politics; 2) The alliance of the Republican Party with evangelical Christians in late 1970s, capped with Ronald Reagan’s victory which used that alliance to win the 1980 presidential election–thus began the era of the culture wars, including abortion, gay issues, anti-woman agenda, prayer in the schools, flag politics, etc.; 3) The transition of Republicans from small government to anti-government, with a decisive victory led by Newt Gingrich in 1994 through the so-called Contract with America (I called it the Contract on America); 4) The rise of Tea Party Republicans and the alliance of Republicans with white nationalism and other hate movements after the election of Obama in 2008; 5) The global decline of support for democracy and its embrace by most Republican voters who saw Donald Trump as an authoritarian leader who would align with white voters to revive American nationalism as a homogenous culture that rejects America’s growing ethnic, religious, and racial diversity.

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DR. LAURENCE H. KANT (LARRY KANT), MYSTIC SCHOLAR: Engaged Mysticism and Scholarship in the Pursuit of Wisdom; Discovering meaning in every issue and facet of life; Integrating scholarship, spirituality, mysticism, poetry, community, economics, and politics seamlessly. Historian of Religion: Ph.D., Yale University, 1993 (Department of Religious Studies); Exchange Scholar, Harvard University, Rabbinics, 1983-84; M.A., 1982, Yale, 1982 (Department of Religious Studies); M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School, 1981; B.A., Classics (Greek and Latin), Tufts University, 1978; Wayland High School (Wayland, MA), 1974. Served on the faculty of Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), York University (Toronto), and Lexington Theological Seminary (Lexington, KY). Works in many languages: Ancient Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, English, French, Italian, German, Modern Greek (some Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish). Holder of numerous honors and awards, including The Rome Prize in Classics (Prix de Rome) and Fellow of the American Academy of Rome.
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