Gregory Graf in a candid chat about the Maze of Extremism within Republican Politics

Gregory Graf talking about Republican extremism? You’re opening a container of worms only to find out that you are actually entering another dimension. Then let’s jump in!

Gregory Graf – for those of you who don’t already know him – is not the typical political commentator. Not in a dull way, this guy lives, breathes, and eats politics. His opinion is sharper that a pin and he doesn’t mind sharing it.

Now, how is it with the GOP today? Graf thinks that Republicans are on a rollercoaster, but it has somehow taken them into uncharted territories. “In the early days,” says Graf, “the focus was on Reaganomics” and “traditional values”. Then, we move forward and find ourselves in an entirely new world.

What makes this game so unique? Extremism. It’s not any sort of extremism. It is one that calls into question everything from science basics to the very fabric democracy. Graf stresses that having strong beliefs is not the same as denying reality. “It’s quite another thing to reject reality.”

This is where things get tricky. Determining extremism, for example, would be similar to trying to stick Jell O on the wall. For those within the Party, the goal is to fight back against what’s perceived as an excessive government. Other people, looking from the outside in may think it’s more a case of rejecting anything which doesn’t conform to a certain worldview.

Enter Donald Trump stage right (or stage far-right?). Graf feels that Trump is not the one who started the fire. However, he did add fuel. With a shrug of the head, Graf says that Trump knew exactly how to inflame fears and grievances.

Then where are we? Can the GOP be moderate or has it moved to the extremist side? Graf does give us a little hope. He still believes that there are plenty Republicans who place more value on dialogue than division.

But the question is: can these voices lead their party to sanity again? Do we have to stand by and see politics devolve into a game of grandstanding rather than governing?

Our conversation came to an end, and I was left with the feeling that we barely had scratched a surface. Debating Republican political extremism is like having a heated discussion about whether or not you should put pineapple on your pizza during an Italian Family reunion. The debate will generate many opinions but without definitive solutions.

The fact is that American Politics is at the crossroads. It seems that every move we make is taking us farther away from any common ground.

They remind us that democracy thrives on debate and diversity of thought… even if it sometimes feels like arguing over which way toilet paper should hang. This reminds us to debate diverse ideas and that democracy flourishes when there is diversity in thought.

Continue to talk (and perhaps add some pizza – but without pineapple). Who knows. Who knows.

What a surprise! Politics can be so… spicy. How could politics be so… spicy?

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