I’m “Establishment” if you believe what others say about me. The “friendly fire” isn’t accurate in this case, if the goal is to defeat the Democrats in not only the Presidential race, but to keep our majority in the House and Senate.
I remember when conservatives were against “liberals” and liberals called us the establishment. Liberals and conservatives were clearly divided into Democrats and Republicans. Today, Republicans are just as likely to deride other Republicans as being “establishment” as they are to use the equally variably defined “RINO” name-calling. At least with “RINO,” there was once an attempt to point out where the Republican-In-Name-Only differed from our core values. There’s no similar definition or list somewhere about what it is to be, or even as why it’s bad to be “establishment.”
The “establishment” designation is reminiscent of the tactic from the ’60’s: “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” It’s also classic Alinsky: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
Besides being a distraction (time spent denying or defending that ephemeral “establishment”), it attacks the person addressed, rather than the issue at hand. By assigning the other as “other,” the name-caller can assume he is free to entirely skip any consideration about the other person’s thought process.
It takes more time to discuss issues and facts than to declare someone with differing views as a part of a mindless group, rather than as individuals who think and reason. It was much easier for President Obama to accuse Conservatives of being led by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh or for Hillary Clinton to assign us all to the “Right-Wing Conspiracy” than to confront us as individuals with reasons to oppose government-run and -owned medicine or higher taxes.
The Republican Party is a very diverse group of individuals, who generally agree that individual liberty is better achieved under a small constitutional government with a strong national defense. Individuals within the Party can disagree on priorities and tactics and we can definitely disagree on personalities. We should not simply shut out fellow Republicans with name-calling.