How We Got to this Point

Garrett Snedaker
4 min readDec 9, 2021
Photo by Nicolas HIPPERT on Unsplash

Medium author Lauren Elizabeth asks, “Why is Lauren Boebert still in Congress?” And this is my response:

Trump, Boebert, Greene and the rest are the natural consequence of allowing right wing extremism to fester for half a century. White supremacy and right wing extremism have obviously been around much longer than that, but — given sociocultural evolution — those features of our society could have been minimized by now (the US started moving in that direction in the 1960s). Plutocrats, though, continue to find them to be very useful tools. Nixon’s Southern Strategy, the Powell Memo, Moral Majority and the Reagan Revolution were all a response to social progress and a decline in wealth inequality. The writing was on the wall and plutocrats were desperate to erase it before it was too late.

When the GOP recognized that their policy positions were becoming increasingly unpopular, the culture war became their focus. You can’t really run on the following message: “We want to make the wealthy wealthier, eliminate all labor and civil rights protections, privatize every public service and entitlement, and serve those interests that will make the planet uninhabitable. Furthermore, we oppose any and all efforts to guarantee access to high quality health care and higher education.” That’s clearly the Republican agenda (and, in large measure, the agenda of neoliberal Democrats), but it’s not going to sell. And, if you don’t feel comfortable relying solely on an increasingly anti-majoritarian political system, you must find a way to ensure that millions will vote against their interests and the long-term interests of our species as a whole (or not vote at all).

So, they essentially said ‘screw the platform, let’s move the Overton window’. You do that by waging culture war. As time progresses, and you’re faced with demographic changes, you inject that culture war with steroids (the bullhorn replaces the dog whistle). By “culture war,” what we’re really talking about is fomenting and exploiting ignorance, particularly in the form of racism (sexism, homophobia and Christian supremacy are also vital components). Their strategy hasn’t exactly been kept under wraps either. Look no further than what John Ehrlichman admitted about the so-called “War on Drugs” or what Lee Atwater acknowledged about the Southern Strategy (as a prime example, Reagan…

Garrett Snedaker

Poet and essayist living on the left coast of a nation in decline.