Asking Conservative Political Action Conference attendees for their views on conservatism is like asking arsonists to lecture on fire safety, Michael Gerson writes.
For decades, the fondest hope of the kind of agitators attracted by this annual event has been a Republican president who shares the breadth of their grievance, the depth of their anger and the fervor of their conspiratorial delusions. In Donald Trump, they finally found their man.
He will be welcomed this year — as he will be for the rest of his life — as the god-king of Crazy Town.
The problem is that Trump has extended his realm to include state Republican Party institutions across the country, which now see their primary role as the censure of sanity. The vast majority of elected Republicans have demonstrated their cravenness by falling meekly into line. And the vast majority of Republican voters seem to view Crazy Town as preferable to what they believe is the other place: the socialist, “PC,” police-free Republic of Liberalistan.
There is no doubt that negative partisanship — the making of political choices mainly out of contempt for the other side — has increased the power of activists in our system of government.
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(📸: Joe Skipper/Reuters)