Originally published via Armageddon Prose:
Michael Pence is exactly the brand of Republican ditz who is physically incapable of delivering a single speech on his own two feet without resurrecting Ronald Reagan’s corpse, dragging it out onto stage, and shoving his hand up its cavity to serve cynically as a ventriloquist puppet – which is what Pence did at a recent speech delivered to an audibly unenthusiastic audience at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire.
All this lackluster performance was missing was the infamous “please clap” line.
The thesis of Pence’s speech, to the extent that any signal could be sussed out through all the platitude noise, was that “populism” is a moral abomination and the polar opposite of “conservatism.”
Here’s what Pence had to say on that score:
“Should the new populism of the right seize and guide our party, the Republican Party we’ve long known will cease to exist and the fate of American freedom would be in doubt…
The future of this movement, of this great party, belongs to one or the other — not both. That is because the fundamental divide between these two factions is unbridgeable…
Today, another strain of this ideology challenges conservatism not from the Democratic Party, but from within, for control of the Republican Party. It takes the form of what’s known as “populism,” rather than “progressivism,” but make no mistake about it. Those ideologies are fellow travelers on the same road to ruin…
The Republican populists would abandon American leadership on the world stage, embracing a posture of appeasement in the face of rising threats to freedom. Republican populists would blatantly erode our constitutional norms. A leading candidate for the Republican nomination last year called for the “termination of all rules regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” His imitators in this primary have demonstrated a willingness to brandish government power to impose their will on opponents.”
There is a lot that could be dissected from this rhetoric, but let’s zero in on the semantics:
Ben Bartee, author of Broken English Teacher: Notes From Exile, is an independent Bangkok-based American journalist with opposable thumbs.
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