Few political activists have had a bigger impact on the direction of public opinion than Grover Nordquist. Over the past 30 years, he has successfully shifted public opinion—at least conservative perspectives—on two major topics. First, tax cuts. He has made tax cuts the sole conservative solution to the economy in whatever condition it may be in. If the economy is good, we need tax cuts; if the economy is bad, we need tax cuts. He joins others radical conservatives, such as Arthur Laffer, in promoting the idea that tax cut increase government revenue. Nordquist has famously convinced the majority of congress to sign his tax pledge not to raise taxes, which has made it very difficult to manage the deficit, especially during a tough economy.
The second idea that Nordquist has had a major influence is in deifying Ronald Reagan. He has successfully convinced dozens of cities across the country to put the former president’s name on street signs and other monuments to this conservative icon. He has promoted revisionist history of the former president. He has even attempted to have Reagan’s face on the ten dollar bill and added to Mount Rushmore. Strangely, Nordquist gives Reagan a free pass on his own tax record—Reagan raised taxes between 8-11 times (depending on how you define a tax increase). In the clip below, you will find Nordquist expressing his view that Reagan should get a pass on his tax record, because he did not sign his tax pledge.
Nordquist has undoubtedly contributed to the crippling environment that we now have in Washington, and the radicalization of the Republican Party.
Enjoy all three parts of the recent Jon Stewart interview with Nordquist.