reply to post by OccamsRazor04
True that "public trust" was low in 1960-70's (culturally, there was the "don't trust anyone over 30" said by the growing vocal under 30).
Lyndon Johnson was often referred to as a "baby killer" over Vietnam. "Impeach earl Warren" signs (courtesy of the John Birch Society)
proliferated, Civil Rights and Medicare made some expound on Big Govt, Watergate and Nixon's resignation, CIA involvement in other countries, living
in a world where the press of a govt button could bring nuclear doom.
Unlike an emotional public response to criticize govt, what Newt Gingrich proposed was a deliberate attempt to achieve political victory by
destruction of the enemy, as he called Democrats “the enemy of normal Americans.” In effect, Newt was declaring war.
Note his list of words for fellow Republicans to use
“Often we search hard for words to define our opponents. Sometimes we are hesitant to use contrast. Remember that creating a difference helps you.
These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, their record, proposals and their
abuse of power
anti- (issue): flag, family, child, jobs
“compassion” is not enough
punish (poor …)
Civility and warfare do not coexist. This was not just "public opinion" denigrating govt, this was a battle to rule. One could no longer refer to
"The good gentleman/gentlewoman from ...." on the floor of Congress. Gone was the idea of the loyal opposition. Over time was gone friendships among
Add this to the distribution of party money only to those politicians keeping strictly to the increasingly far right partly line, and the GOP culled
its ranks first of liberals, then of moderates, and now even those not "right enough".
To save itself, the GOP must purge itself of the poison it drank when offered by Gingrich and his ilk.