Lynn Evans: State GOP leaders should realize that extremism is risky

Last month, a GOP task force co-chaired by Mississippian Henry Barbour released what’s been dubbed the Priebus Report, after GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, on why the party lost the presidential election. The conclusions boiled down to a loss of support by women, minorities and the young — all who felt the party was antagonistic to them and their issues.

The report calls for support instead of opposition to immigration reform, whistleblowing at “corporate malfeasance,” and a muting of the extreme views on gays, abortion and rape that characterized the views of some of last fall’s Republican candidates.

They might have revisited Barry Goldwater’s 1964 GOP acceptance speech. Goldwater most famously said, “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

A lot of people since have taken these words as an excuse for extremism of all stripes.

Clarion Ledger