Prominent right-wing blogger Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs announced that he renounced his affiliation with the right wing of American politics. In his ten-point manifesto, Johnson cited the rise in outright baseless hatred of President Barack Obama, homophobia, conspiracy theories, Glenn Beck & Rush Limbaugh’s dominance, racism, and betrayal of core conservative values. Johnson also cited the rise of Sarah Palin and the anti-intellectualism that surrounds her brand of populism.
The Atlantic‘s Andrew Sullivan, who considers himself to be a libertarian conservative, joins Johnson in his revulsion of the American conservative movement. Before echoing and expanding on Johnson’s complaints, Sullivan wrote:
I have no deep loyalty to either American party in my bones or family or background, and admire presidents from both parties. My partisanship remains solely British—I’m a loyal Tory. But my attachment to the Anglo-American conservative political tradition, as I understand it, is real and deep and the result of sincere reflection on the world as I see it. And I want that tradition to survive because I believe it is a vital complement to liberalism in sustaining the genius and wonder of the modern West. For these reasons, I found it intolerable after 2003 to support the movement that goes by the name “conservative” in America. I still do, even though I am much more of a limited government type than almost any Democrat and cannot bring myself to call myself a liberal (because I’m not). My reasons were not dissimilar to Charles Johnson, who, like me, was horrified by 9/11, loathes Jihadism, and wants to defeat it as effectively as possible.
To paraphrase Reagan, I didn’t leave the conservative movement. It left me. And increasingly, I’m not alone.
But despite Johnson and Sullivan’s flight from the right, it still appears that the Republican Party is intent on shrinking itself further with ideological purity tests for candidates.