If you’re the type of conservative who thinks that being called out for homophobia is a form of bigotry or censorship, dealing with the liberal crowd on Facebook might be too much for you. Until now, Republicans’ main alternative has been the Tea Party Community, a writhing nexus of reactionary lunacy that seems aptly tuned for today’s crop of radical reactionaries. But old-school paleoconservatives can now flock to ReaganBook, a Ronald Reagan-based Facebook clone which Faith2Action founder and leading crazy person Janet Porter announced at the Ohio Liberty Coalition this past weekend.
Or not. ReaganBook would be funny if it wasn’t such a sad monument to the intellectual deprivation of its creators, who apparently are so out of touch they don’t realize its intended demographic doesn’t even exist.
In addition to having a logo that is literally Ronald Reagan’s face, the front page is littered with exalting Reagan quotations and boasts about how membership will help you tear down walls (presumably your old Facebook one). While the Tea Party Community is a fascinatingly active blow to the cerebrum and claims to have over a hundred thousand users, ReaganBook’s a slow, laggy mess which seems to be mostly populated with trolls.
It will never take off. Instead, if it remains online at all, it will be as a dusty, forlorn reminder of how the Republican Party fractured into two separate and completely different entities.
One, the “wacko birds,” is for better or worse its future (hint: it’s worse). The bastard children of the Reagan revolution, they’re really looking to start their own. They are leaner and meaner than the old conservatives, lack their demographic advantages, and are eating the GOP from the inside out.
Then we have the left-behinders, a mix of Phyllis Schlafly-era paleoconservatives and senile anti-Soviets, who are quite literally dying. A lot of angry white people fall somewhere in the middle, but in general the party of John McCain is on its way out while the party of Rand Paul is on its way in.
Since Republicans can’t unify around anything these days, they have to retreat headlong into the lowest common denominator. It just so happens that Reagan is conveniently so passe that he’s practically mythological.
A plane got shot down? Ronald Reagan rushed to the scene, unlike Obama, who lackadaisically attended some fundraisers. Reagan cut the deficit, while Obama grew it! When Hezbollah bombed a U.S. Marine barracks in 1983, Reagan didn’t hesitate to call it an act of terrorism like (quite possibly Muslim, I might add) Obama. Welfare queens are a thing now again, because why not. It doesn’t matter to American conservatives that all of these claims are blatant lies, because they are a smokescreen designed solely to distract from the GOP’s inability to appeal to anything but a shrinking cabal of angry white people who are slowly but surely vanishing. This meaningless caricature of Reagan’s presidency will never change or evolve because he’s dead, so the Gipper is the perfect vehicle for right-wing projections. A GOP that has nothing to offer from the present instead offers Reagan, and soon even that will lose its limited appeal.
Here’s a history lesson: the youngest possible person to have cast a vote for Reagan on Nov. 6, 1984 would now be 47 years old. The Gipper himself — whose fans are supposedly the target demographic of the new site — has been dead for 10 years and hadn’t spoken in public pretty much since 1994. What’s more, Reagan’s signature “Let’s Make America Great Again” campaign ads were themselves a throwback to the idyllic 1950s.
Nowadays, minorities, who were never part of the Reagan revolution, decide who becomes president. The gay people Reagan abandoned to HIV will likely soon have the right to marry nationwide. Marijuana is now so mainstream it’s not even cool. And ReaganBook will never, ever take off, because nothing could ever be more out of touch with the world we live in today.