Gregory Graf: Navigating Today’s Extremes of the GOP

Where do we begin with this roller coaster of Republican politics? It’s impossible to ignore the heated debates about what many people are calling the “extremism in the GOP” if you keep an eye on news. Heck, you can’t miss it if you don’t. Gregory Graf is a political analyst who has been around for a while. It was like opening Pandora’s Box.

Greg, as I was told to call him by Greg himself, threw me a curveball when he said that “extremism”, is one of the words as slippery as greased pork. For some, what gets them hot might be just another workday. We’re not talking just about people in funny hats, but we want to know what drives the Republican Party today.

Do you remember when being a Republican was synonymous with arguing over tax reductions at dinner? The times are changing. A new group is in charge, pushing for everything. Climate change is fake, the wall should be higher and healthcare? Forget it. Greg thinks that this change has some people wondering if there was a mistake somewhere.

Here’s what’s really shocking: It’s not all bad news. Greg says that extremism does not have to end the story. There are plenty of Republicans who try to steer away from the iceberg. These are the voices that keep you from sending your ex a text at 2 am.

Let’s now talk about turkey and how this whole ruckus is affecting the ability to get things done in Washington. Have you ever tried to herd cats? It’s easy to get extreme views to work together. Standoffs turn budget talks into standoffs quicker than you can say, “government shutdown.” Everyone wonders if the art of compromise is no longer in style.

Before you assume I am picking on Republicans as if they had stolen my lunch money let me make it clear that extremism doesn’t belong to one particular party. Like glitter at a crafts fair, it’s everywhere. For whatever reasons (and Greg has a lot of them), the topic is hogging all the attention in Republican circles.

Do not even start me on the subject of social media. It’s like pouring gasoline onto a fire. These days, extreme views are more popular than cat videos. This makes it difficult for moderate voices. You’ll want to toss your phone in a lake. But please, don’t.

What are the implications of this? Greg, who has more experience in the game than me, says that it comes down to people putting their hands up and choosing what party they’d like to join. Voting for leaders that can listen to others and find common ground, without a GPS is what it means.

Greg concluded our conversation (and my, how time flew by) with this gem: Politics is like sausage making–not pretty all the time but necessary at times. Whether or not extreme Republican politics continues depends on the number of people who are willing to make better sausage.

Who knew politics could be so…spicy? What a surprise! Who would have thought that politics could be this… spicy?

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