In 1984 Ronald Reagan ran for re-election on a platform that focused on standing up to Russian aggression. The implication was Democrats were not standing up as aggressively as we should. They were not maintaining the strength we need to stand up to the Russian bear. Reagan’s republicans prided themselves on being leaders in national security.
So Reagan led a build up of the U.S. military. He even threatened to take this build up into space with his plans for a Strategic Defensive Iniative (or SDI). The communist Soviet Union crumbled under the strain of this pressure. Reagan became an icon of the republican party. He is remembered at the Brandenberg Gate in West Berlin saying, “Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall.” Gorbachev eventually allowed it to come down.
This image of the Republican party was captured in an ad used during the Reagan campaign in 1984 that referred to a bear in the woods. “For some the bear is easy to see. Others don’t see it all.”
Well, the republican party has come along way. In fact, it has come so far the term “republican” is now misleading. We really need to be more specific. George Will felt the same thing. He used the term “vichy republicans” to distinguish the followers of Trump from the followers of Reagan.
Romney and other defenders of Republican traditions are trying to prevent a stampede to Trump of “Vichy Republicans,” collaborationists coming to terms with the occupation of their party.
One way to distinguish a Reagan republican from a Vichy republican is the Bear Test. Reagan republicans stand up to Russian aggression; Vichy Republicans do not. A recent article by CNN explores this tension emerging in the republican party: “GOP on the brink of a new Cold War over whether to work with Russia.”
Vichy republicans allow someone to be president who allows Russia to take Crimea, who praises Putin, who says he “might” support our NATO allies, who uses Russian financiers to fund his business projects all around the world, who includes in his cabinet individuals with business and professional ties to Russian businesses and government officials, who selects an individual to be secretary of state who has received the Russian Order of Friendship from Putin.
Vichy republicans are quite happy to let the bear roam through the oval office. In fact, if you happen to mention to these republicans we might consider investigating how the bear came to have such freedom to roam through our corridors of power, Vichy republicans will turn on you and call you anti-American. In the video below, the Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro says investigating Russian interference is unpatriotic. She serves as example A. Using the bear test, we can see she is a Vichy republican. Lyndsey Graham and John McCann have already made it clear they are not.
The calls to investigate Russian efforts to influence the election will force all republicans around the country to take the bear test. In the process, the face of the republican party in the 21st century will be revealed.
Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro says investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election is unpatriotic. video here
Reagan Republicans Vichy Republicans