Recently, more and more Republicans have joined the call for the Party to distance itself from the extreme right-fringes of the Party. David Frum, a former George W. Bush speechwriter, and other prominent Party figures are going on the record in opposition to WorldNetDaily, an extremely right-wing news website that is tied to the birther movement. These leaders are joining common sense Republicans like us in stating that the GOP allowing the site to have such a prominent role in Party affairs is damaging the face of the Party and making it look much more extreme than it actually is. Many claim that WorldNetDaily sets the fringe agenda and has been tied to conspiracy theories ranging beyond the birther movement. These ties hurt the Republican Party that is trying to win back moderates and independents to the Party, when the people associated with the Party seem like “crackpots”, a term used by McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb.
While the left has it’s share of extremists, they were carefully marginalized as the Democrats worked to take over Congress and then the White House. Meanwhile, as the Republicans reeled from losses in 2006 and 2008, our Party seems to have been taken over by extremists. Looking at the GOP, many outsiders don’t see our positive work on introducing fiscally conservative solutions for health care or the core values of the GOP: they see birthers, they see anti-choice extremists opposing basic birth control, they see the farthest fringes acting as if they are the mainstream.
Frum and his supporters are right, and RRM has been saying this for awhile: tying ourselves so heavily to the far-right and allowing the fringe to set agendas and be cast as the “voice” of our Party hurts us. Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin are polarizing figures that only attract those who adhere to their far-right agenda. Why isn’t the Party working to promote common sense leaders who will attract a far larger base of support; leaders who are focusing on pressing issues of economic stability and security, not banning abortion and other social wedge issues? Allowing our Party to be so closely associated with this fringe that does not represent the majority of the Party in any way will only cause more people to flee the Party as independents turn their backs even on the more moderate candidates – because all Republicans are becoming associated with this most extreme faction.
When even CPAC is distancing itself from WorldNetDaily, it’s time for the GOP as a whole to realize that the fringes of the Party won’t win us elections or the support of voters. It’s time for the Party to focus on groups that tout the true Republican standards of fiscal conservatism, strong national security, and limited government- not the conspiracy theories that has nothing to do with Republican ideals.