The words in the title appeared in an article I published yesterday. The words offended some Republicans who wrote me or messaged about their disagreement with my assessment in the comments section. You can read the article here.
One comment particularly caught my eye. It was made by a Chicago Now Colleague and Editorial Writer with the Chicago Tribune. He is a man I have read for years, and have agreed with him at times, and disagreed at times. I hold him in high esteem but we disagree on this point. In fact, I will add one more to the list. Conservatives encourage violence.
If I am reading his view correctly, his premise is that President Trump is the problem. I don’t view President Trump as the cause. I view him as the effect how conservatism has rebranded itself.
Conservatives as racists and bigots.
President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 (PL. 85-315). It was the first civil rights legislation since the Civil Rights Act of 1875. It was mostly a voting rights law. Ike’s support of the Bill was the last tribute of the GOP to Abraham Lincoln’s legacy toward African-Americans.
The Bill was signed before the Southern Strategy came into being. I view the Southern Strategy as the start of the long slow death of Conservatism. It existed to exploit Southern bigotry toward African-Americans and to get them into the party.
Politics is a numbers game. In this game, the GOP was perfectly willing to sacrifice Lincoln in favor of getting the South in the GOP column. It wasn’t a matter of the South Coming to the Party of Lincoln and changing their views. They came to the Party and the Party tossed Lincoln aside except when his memory is used to try and escape the judgment of what the Party has become.
Republicans consistently try to limit minorities right to vote. From North Carolina to Texas GOP State Legislators work to curb voter’s right to vote. Voter ID schemes are the most commonly used tool. Purging voters from the rolls illegally is another tactic. Just last month, The ACLU sued Fulton County Georgia over illegal purge notices. Who is getting purged? Not Republicans. The purges are targeting Minorities who tend to support the Democratic Party.
What could be harmful about voter ID laws, after all, don’t we want to make sure voter fraud isn’t going on? A federal judge struck down a voter ID law in Texas. The State Legislature had passed and the Governor signed into law a bill that put Minorities at a disadvantage in obtaining acceptable ID’s to be presented to vote.
Texas would allow a license to carry a handgun as an acceptable form of ID for voting, but would not accept federal, or state IDs, or student IDs. To compound the problem, DMV offices were closed making in locations that made it harder for the poor to get to the DMV and get an acceptable ID. There was no hiding what this effort was about. It has nothing to do with election security. It had to do with voter suppression and a Federal Judge struck the law down.
Have you noticed for all the talk about voter fraud from the GOP, there seem to be very few cases brought? They are not brought because those cases only exist in GOP propaganda.
Have you noticed the GOP never sides with Minorities when there are wrongful deaths? A party that advocates mistrust of the Government sure sides with cops without even hearing the evidence when an African-American dies under suspicious circumstances while in custody of the police.
The GOP opposes minority hiring programs. Their argument is we don’t correct discrimination with more discrimination. It is a case that can only be made in the court of public relations. The Supreme Court has ruled that minority quotas are Constitutional. It is a very simple reason as to why they are not a bad thing as the GOP likes to argue.
We live in a white dominated world. As has been shown in every case challenging minority quotas, given a choice between hiring a white applicant and a Minority applicant, the white guy gets the job. I said “guy” intentionally because women still do not enjoy full equality with males in the workplace.
When the GOP says they want to go to a colorblind world. What they really mean is they want to go back to a white dominated world.
My dear friend Chris Ladd wrote an excellent essay titled “When Whiteness Fails,” you can read it here. Chris goes into detail about “colorblindness.”
The GOP encourages violence against our own citizens. The head of the GOP, Donald Trump encourages violence against our own citizens. Here is a video from last week when he encouraged law enforcement to rough up suspects and bang their heads around as they put them into cars.
Over and above the Constitutional guarantees those who are arrested hold, what about the laws of civilized society that do not allow such behavior? The Head of State and the Leader of the GOP encourages illegal behavior. What sort of message does that send to minorities who fear the very behavior President Trump is advocating? Where is the GOP outrage at his behavior?
Remember when National Candidate Trump said he would pay the legal bills of anyone who roughed up a demonstrator? What was the GOP reaction to such an outrageous offer? They nominated him anyway. You are giving sanction to violent public behavior with your support for illegal behavior.
Just today, President Trump retweeted a graphic showing a train hitting a CNN reporter. In light of the events of Saturday, with a car running into and killing a young woman in Charlottesville, a case can be made that the tweet is a wink to White Supremacists that his repudiation of them yesterday is not to be taken seriously.
He deleted the tweet, but it was up long enough to be spread round to his White Supremacist friends.
The GOP is now the party of xenophobia. Trump’s wall, and calling Mexicans rapists, drug dealers and gangsters again show conservative’s values. Living in a world of bigotry and stereotypes, where is the outrage in the GOP for the statements? There is no outrage. There is only a stony silence. Polls indicate members of the GOP support Trump. If they support Trump, they support his statements. The two events can’t be separated.
GOP House Rep Steve King of Iowa went so far as to say to a National Audience that the money for Trump’s Berlin Wall with Mexico, our fourth largest trading partner, could come from cuts in food stamps. So deep is the hate for Mexicans by the GOP that they are willing to take food from the mouths of the poorest people in the USA to pay for a wall of hate.
“Oh, that is just one person’s opinion,” apologists will try to say. Really? If so, then where is the outrage from the GOP against his words? Has he been sanctioned by GOP Leadership? Has he been thrown off committees, and had Congressional perks taken away? Of course not.
Just like with President Trump’s behavior it isn’t an issue for the GOP.
The GOP is perfectly willing to throw old people under the bus. This isn’t even a Trump plan. It is too cruel even for him. This is from Speaker Paul Ryan, who wants to privatize social security and to make cuts in entitlements for those of us who are 66 years and above who paid into the system for decades.
I could write for hours on the way the GOP is rebranding conservatism. This is just a taste and is by no means a complete list. That would require a book and not an article.
The GOP loves to point fingers. Who should they point the finger at for the destruction of conservatism? There are a lot of candidates. Certainly, the Libertarians in the party are high on the suspect list. They are why the Libertarian Party has not grown. Why start a new party, when it is so easy to take over the GOP?
That is a lesson for the Democrats, too. Movements are not a political party’s long term friends.
There is a better candidate than the libertarians, or the John Birch Society, or the even the Tea Party. The chief suspect and the guilty person in this destruction of an ideology and a political party can be found by Republicans looking in the mirror and pointing at the image they see.
Following those who hate with blind acceptance is why we have the dogmatic, and hateful party that has replaced the GOP of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ike.
It is painful to type the words. The GOP has become a collection of hate groups. My only comfort is that I am no longer part of the hypocrisy.
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