Former Republican senator says Ronald Reagan wouldn’t identify with today’s GOP
For many months now, I’ve been arguing that the Republican Party has moved so far to the right that Ronald Reagan couldn’t win a GOP primary election these days. And seemingly with each passing day, another prominent Republican expresses much the same opinion.
The latest of these is former GOP Sen. Chuck Hegel (above) of Nebraska, who SAYS “extremists” now hold sway in his party:
“Reagan wouldn’t identify with this party. There’s a streak of intolerance in the Republican Party today that scares people. Intolerance is a very dangerous thing in a society because it always leads to a tragic ending,” he said. “Ronald Reagan was never driven by ideology. He was a conservative but he was a practical conservative. He wanted limited government but he used government and he used it many times. And he would work with the other party.”
The situation today is similar to where the GOP found itself in the early 1950s, when there was a battle for the direction of the party over the party’s identity, Hagel said. Dwight Eisenhower and his moderate allies won that fight, diminishing the influence of extremists like Joe McCarthy, Hagel said.
But today, the extremists are winning.