Gregory Graf discusses the extremes of today’s GOP

How can we possibly begin to describe the political roller coaster in which Republicans find themselves today? Even if it’s been a while since you watched the news, or even if not, the debates over what people call “extremism,” in the GOP are still going on. Gregory Graf has a lot of experience in the political world and so I spoke with him.

Greg (I insist I call him Greg) gave me an unexpected curveball by saying that “extremism is one word that can slip as easily as a greasy pig. It’s possible that what makes one person a little hot under the collar is just another normal workday for another. Now, this isn’t just a group of funny-hatted people; it’s a look at what makes the Republican Party tick today.

When was the last time you argued about tax breaks over dinner as a Republican? Times have changed. New people are in the city pushing all of their buttons: climate change is a fake, raise that wall, don’t even get started with healthcare. Greg says that many people are wondering where they went wrong.

What’s more, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Greg argues that the extremists are not the only ones who can be a problem. Even though it may make for interesting headlines or Twitter fights, there are many Republicans still trying to keep the ship from hitting icebergs. The Republicans are like the friends that prevent you from texting an ex at two in the morning. They provide a necessary voice of reason.

Talk turkey. How does all the ruckus in Washington affect getting anything done? Try herding cats. The task of getting two extremes to agree is a child’s game compared to bringing them together. Budget discussions can turn into standoffs before you say “government closure,” and everyone is left wondering if compromises have gone out of fashion.

Let me clarify: extremes are not exclusive to one political party. This is like the glitter that gets everywhere at craft fairs. Greg gave several reasons why it has been the focus of GOP discussions lately.

You shouldn’t get me going on social media. That’s just like throwing gas on a fire. All the likes are going to extreme views these days. That makes it hard for moderate voices. The sheer number of videos makes you want throw your phone out into the water (but don’t).

Now, where do we stand? Greg – who is more experienced in this business than I am – says it’s all about people getting their socks dirty and deciding which party to join. It’s about voting for people who know how to listen, and can come up with common ground even without GPS.

Greg’s final comment (and how quickly the conversation went by!) was that “politics is like making a sausage” – it may not be pretty, but can sometimes be necessary. It might depend on whether the Republican Party continues to define itself by extreme politics.

It’s a great way to get a taste of the extremes in Republican politics without having to wear scuba equipment. It’s amazing what the internet has to offer.

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