If the Republican Party is any indication of the state of things within the conservative movement, there are some real problems for folks on the other side of the cultural aisle. The most cohesive position that folks on the “right” seem to be able to take is in opposition to what they regularly refer to as “woke” culture (see Ron DeSantis). This involves making it illegal to refer to someone as “Latin-x”, attacking drag queens as “groomers” and exporting asylum seekers to other states. Oh, and let’s not forget the biggest bogeyman of them all… “CRT” (Critical Race Theory) that seems to find itself at the center of almost as many legislative agendas as anti-transgender bills and policies.
Conservative Republicans want a big tent as long as they can control and anticipate who is coming inside…and what they do once they are there.
A lot of this anti-woke rhetoric came to full flower during the worst of the resistance to the emergent Black Lives Matter movement and echoes the ignorant media point-scoring narratives spewed by the former president and his biggest supporters. But therein lies the rub. With so much to complain about, there is precious little that we actually know of what conservatives want. They don’t want abortion…but who does? Progressives want the right to determine the decision to have one without government intervention (i.e. small government…but not so small it fits in a uterus). They don’t want immigration of rapists and drug smugglers…but who does? Progressives want a clear and legal path for migrants and asylum seekers to have a way to participate in our country without adding to their trauma (i.e. fair and humane government based on reason and facts). They don’t want heterosexual cisgender identity to be compromised…but who does? Progressives just want a place for those who sit outside of that definition to have a way to be recognized as fully human (i.e. actually living into the 14th Amendment…you know the big tent). In truth, the Progressive agenda and what progressive Democrats have clearly stated they want to see in our world sounds an awful lot like the lost goals and ambitions of conservatives of a bygone era.
This is the problem. Conservative Republicans want a big tent as long as they can control and…