The Higher a Monkey a Climbs…

I have to respectfully disagree with D.R. Tucker about the Berkshire Eagle’s decision to open its op-ed column to the local Republican party, leading to the publication of this stunning bit of racist rant.

There remains a widespread belief – supported by journalistic convention – that the country currently has two mainstream political parties, holding different views but equally able to govern. That belief is false. Of course there are lots of decent Republican voters, and lots of responsible Republican elected officials. But the party as a whole is now dominated by its lunatic fringe, well represented by Mr. Nikitas. The failure of the Republicans who are actually running for President to denounce Donald Trump’s nativism is the best recent illustration of that point.

So I want to thank the Berkshire Eagle for doing a public service by helping to reveal the truth. The content of the Nikitas column deserves forthright denunciation. But the decision to print it was fully jusified. The sooner the country comes to understand that the Republican Party has become an extremist organization, the better the prospect for the sort of electoral disaster that might shock it back into respectability.

This country needs two serious parties contesting for power. But pretending that it currently has them is counterproductive.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.