To the Editor:
Political labels are constantly used to characterize, and in some cases demonize, individuals and political parties.
The term “liberal” has for some become a pejorative, and the term “conservative” has come to embrace a wider and wider range of right-wing positions.
The term “reactionary” is used seldom, if ever. The actual definitions of these terms are as follows:
• Liberal: Open-mindedness, not bound by strict observance of orthodox or traditional ways
• Conservative: Advocating preservation of existing ways or advocating slow or gradual change.
• Reactionary: Advocating a return to a former social order or policy.
The current Democratic Party is best described as consisting of liberals and moderate conservatives.
The Republican Party is made up of a small number of conservatives and a controlling faction which can best be described as reactionary. The Republicans’ agenda includes the elimination of the Affordable Care Act, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the minimum wage, food stamps, the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of Consumer Protection, and controls on Wall Street, to name a partial list.
Some even advocate the repeal of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees that all people born in the United States are U.S. citizens, and assert the right of states to secede.
The reactionary faction continues its attempt to purge the few remaining true conservatives from the Republican Party.
Theirs are not conservative positions. They fit perfectly within the reactionary definition, and we should stop characterizing the Republican Party as conservative and call it what it is: the Reactionary Party.
Sanford J. Dean