By Joe Lowndes
Photos of the small “reopen America” protests, which have made the rounds on social media over the past week, have revealed a spectacle as cartoonish as it is macabre: a rogue’s gallery of right-wing groups coming together to share in the spirit of defiance and, presumably, tiny droplets of mucus and saliva. The protests (and their backing by deep-pocketed funders) invited many comparisons to the Tea Party movement of a decade ago. Unlike that movement, these small protests are likely to die out soon. Nevertheless, they have captured something vitally important about how the right is responding to this fraught moment in our recent history.
As jobless claims have soared past an astonishing 26 million with no end in sight, the Covid-19 pandemic may well push the United States into a profound and long-lasting economic crisis. The countless indices of human misery will put enormous pressure on political institutions that are ill-equipped to respond adequately. The onset of this immiseration has begun to propel bold ideas and movements from the left to demand a reorganization of the economy and a fundamental shift in political power. But the right is swiftly establishing its own morbid template for how to interpret and respond to both the pandemic and its economic effects.
Read the full article: https://newrepublic.com/article/157505/morbid-ideology-behind-drive-reopen-america
Article by Joseph Lowndes and Daniel Martinez HoSang
Former Republican South Carolina Governor and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley launched her bid for president recently in a video that began by describing the racial division that marked her small hometown of Bamberg, South Carolina.
Meanwhile, another presumptive GOP candidate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has continued his crusade against “woke ideology,” most recently on a tour of Pennsylvania, New York and Illinois, presenting himself as a defender of law and order.
Taken together, these events present a fundamental question about the future of the Republican Party.
Does it continue to move rightward, exciting its base by stoking white racial grievance?
Or does it pursue a multiracial strategy that can expand the party’s reach?
Recent trends in the GOP suggest that it wants to do both – and that indeed the two strategies are not so much at odds as it might appear.