By: Jonathan S. Hogue ~Opinions & Editorial Editor~
What the hell is wrong with the GOP? After the 2012 loss to President Obama, Republican leaders convened to discuss ways the party could modernize its message in the next battle for the White House. Leaders agreed that the party would need to reform taxation and improve its outreach with minorities.
President Obama won in large part due to his campaign’s outreach to minorities. Romney and the Republicans believed in a Reagan version of America: more white, more conservative and more Christian. What Republicans in 2012 and today still do not get is that the nation is beyond their outdated model of politics.
Recently, firebrand Donald Trump barked that America should stop accepting Syrian refugees, monitor Muslims and put them on a list that is checked periodically by the government. In a similar insensitive fashion, neurosurgeon Ben Carson compared refugees to rabid dogs, and other GOP candidates encouraged ideas that Syrian refugees are a grave threat to national security.
What happened to the GOP that saw the need to change?
Today’s GOP leaders harken back to a time when Gov. George Wallace ran for office. Donald Trump’s rallies focused not just on bashing refugees, but supporters go so far as to fight Black Lives Matter protesters and spit on a Latino attendee who disagreed with Trump’s hurtful comments on Mexican immigrants.
What does this do? Personally, as a Black American, it makes me not like or trust this GOP. Sadly, I now fear the party.
I get afraid when old white Americans scream that we need to “take back our country” while encouraging the mass exodus of immigrants different from them. I get afraid when Ben Carson likens refugees to dogs when our gravest security threat is gun violence devised and executed by Americans on Americans.
Today’s GOP, like Gov. Wallace, uses fear of the unknown to encourage the crazies to keep the nation from truly progressing.
If the GOP was truthful, it would understand that Syrians are fleeing their country because of years of failed American policies that disrupted peace within the region.
A rational GOP would look at actions taken in the last 60 years that disrespected the rights of Latin American countries and supported coups that let lawlessness take hold in the region.
Finally, a just GOP would understand that institutionalized racism created the marginalized situation Black Americans now face and force the community to disrupt political rallies because leaders ignored the calls for reform that the community has fought for since the end of Jim Crow.
What a shame that Republicans let their minority become the voice for the majority. When I view the party, I see a group of white people that are afraid of a changing country. I hear leaders praise division for the sake of an election.
Also, I want to say that I am not a completely happy Democrat. The
Democratic Party takes for granted that minorities, in some cases, are afraid of the GOP and vote Democratic partly because voters see the party as the only rational choice. Obama, Clinton and other Democratic leaders have failed in several cases to address policies that the government passively accepts as the norm in dealing with minorities’ issue in America.
What the Democratic Party does well is allow discussions on diverse issues to reach the light of day and facilitate an environment where people of color feel welcome to debate.
Anyone who watches the almost all-white, male Republican debates notices that the GOP is not ready to act in such a way today.
Personally, I give the Republican Party, in its current state, another 40 years. By 2050, the nation will be majority Latino, more economically diverse and less conservative.
If the GOP wants to remain the party of Reagan, it will not last in the 21st century.
GOP leaders and voters: Want to win the White House? Stop scaring people. Moderate GOP voters should limit the manner in which crazies like Carson and Trump dominate debate. When these fools say something blatantly racist, call them out!
The GOP can be a party of compromise and diversity if it stops spewing hateful rhetoric on the individuals that are crucial to civic life in America.