Opinion articles written in the style of their author." These texts are to be based on verified facts and must be respectful towards people, even though their actions may be criticized. shall feature, along with the author's name (regardless of their greater or lesser renown), a footer stating their office, academic title, political affiliation (if any) and main occupation, or the occupation related to the topic being assessed

Tea Party for Al Qaeda

We asked where the moderate Muslims were. Now we have to pose a new question: where are the moderate leaders of the Republican Party?

Where are the moderate Muslims? Where are the leaders who do not share the theological corruption, or the objectives, or much less the homicidal and suicidal passion of Al Qaeda? This is the question that began to be asked after September 11. Now, 10 years later, there is an equally valid question: Where are the moderate leaders of the American Republican Party? This party has likewise been hijacked by an extremist minority which, according to the surveys, does not represent the ideals, objectives and methods that have always defined the Republican cause. Obviously, the Tea Party extremists are not murderers, their influence being due to support that they have garnered within the democratic system. But the fact is that this group of influential radicals is - for reasons far different from those of Al Qaeda - a source of international instability. Not long ago the leaders of the Tea Party nearly set off a catastrophe in the world economy and, if they could, they would put an end to any initiative aimed at attenuating global warming. These are only two examples; there are many more.

This is why the rise of moderate leaders in the Republican Party, capable of counteracting the Tea Party influence, is just as important for world stability as the emergence of Muslim leaders who repudiate terrorism.

September 11 produced three American reactions: military reprisal, territorial defense and national reflection. The first led to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars; the second, to a massive effort to fortify the US borders and to defend the people against further attacks. Both implied the expansion of intelligence activities aimed at obtaining, by whatever means, the information needed to jail or eliminate the terrorists. The third reaction was one of trying to understand the causes of Islamic terrorism, and of thinking about how to prevent the spread of Al Qaeda's ideas and methods. One hope is the emergence of "moderate Muslim" leaders who would serve as a counterweight to the nihilist fanatics.

There is indeed room for hope that, thanks to the Arab Spring, we are going to see the rise of leaders more concerned with the fight against poverty and injustice in their own lands, than with killing innocent people in New York, Madrid or London. This does not mean that Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists have ceased to be a threat. But to this threat we must now add another: the influence held over the world's most powerful country by a minority group who preach obscurantist ideas and public policies that, if adopted, would destabilize the superpower and the rest of the world.

Rick Perry, for example, is governor of Texas, and a Republican presidential hopeful. He opines that the American Social Security system is unconstitutional and ought to be abolished. He has also said he has no doubt that the 234 people sentenced to death in Texas during his mandate are guilty, and that no innocent person might have been convicted and executed by mistake. He does, however, feel nagging doubt about the conclusions of the overwhelming majority of scientists who consider that the planet is warming up. To be influential in the Republican Party nowadays, you have to question Darwin, insult Keynes, repudiate any attempt to make it harder to buy a machine gun, and preach abstinence as a reasonable means of preventing teenage pregnancies.

The paradox is that the Tea Party is far from representing the majority of the Republican Party. The Republicans are in urgent need of leaders who, while maintaining the party's conservative values, would modernize them, moderate the radicalism that now prevails, and offer proposals that would inspire more confidence in the rationality of one of the most powerful political forces on the planet.

Follow me on Twitter@moisesnaim

Tu suscripción se está usando en otro dispositivo

¿Quieres añadir otro usuario a tu suscripción?

Si continúas leyendo en este dispositivo, no se podrá leer en el otro.

¿Por qué estás viendo esto?


Tu suscripción se está usando en otro dispositivo y solo puedes acceder a EL PAÍS desde un dispositivo a la vez.

Si quieres compartir tu cuenta, cambia tu suscripción a la modalidad Premium, así podrás añadir otro usuario. Cada uno accederá con su propia cuenta de email, lo que os permitirá personalizar vuestra experiencia en EL PAÍS.

En el caso de no saber quién está usando tu cuenta, te recomendamos cambiar tu contraseña aquí.

Si decides continuar compartiendo tu cuenta, este mensaje se mostrará en tu dispositivo y en el de la otra persona que está usando tu cuenta de forma indefinida, afectando a tu experiencia de lectura. Puedes consultar aquí los términos y condiciones de la suscripción digital.

Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS