Republican Party Must Broaden Its Outlook
There are many excellent and deserving Republican men and women who have been lost in the avalanche of ultraconservative misconceptions that marked this year's presidential campaign.
These good people are not racists, hatemongers or clowns. They are people who have much to contribute to our nation's future.
But they are drowned out in the cacophony of animosity and loathing that has gradually overtaken the GOP since 1968, when Richard Nixon put forth his "Southern Strategy" during his second and successful run for the presidency.
Although this approach works to some degree at the state level, such as was demonstrated in North Carolina's strong Republican showing, it was a total failure at the national level this time around.
The Archie Bunker types, most of whom are elder white folks, use stereotypical, incorrect generalities to depict minorities as those who take, take, take while all of the good, upstanding Caucasians of America pay the taxes to feed welfare programs for African-Americans, Latinos and other minorities.
In reality, the old white folks of this wonderful country, me included, are on the take much more than any other single group in the nation. We are on Social Security and, when necessary, we are using Medicare to assist us in paying medical bills. The seniors of our nation consume more government outlays than any other folks.
I do not know of a single one of these seniors, rich or poor, who returns his or her Social Security check uncashed or refuses Medicare assistance in order to pay entire medical bills out of his or her own pocket. Take away those two programs that were created by liberals, and these conservatives would scream like stuck pigs.
There were major issues that got addressed almost tangentially during the recent ugly presidential campaign. Unfortunately, serious debate was lacking while negativity won the day as millions and millions of dollars were poured into messages of hate - on both sides.
But in the long run, the Koch brothers lost buckets of cash betting on the losing horse in the race, as did many other conservative rich folks.
Big corporations that are now classified as people by the conservative majority on the Supreme Court also threw away tons of money by backing Romney. The next thing you know, that court majority might give the vote to robots, but only if they are conservative robots.
Trickle-down economics has never worked and never will work. Thus it lost in this presidential election.
Attempts to disenfranchise minorities through Republican-led state voter suppression laws did not work and, in fact, generated such resentment that the un-American process enhanced the turnout for Obama. This proved once again how adept the GOP is at shooting itself in the foot.
Repulsed by the old white men of the GOP insisting that women do not have the right to decide what is proper for their own bodies and that rape is no worse than a case of the flu, women voted overwhelmingly for Obama. The GOP stand against a fair immigration policy led Latinos to vote more heavily for Obama than they did in 2008.
The race card failed nationally as the repugnant words of a once- disgraced White House chief of staff, John Sununu, fell on deaf ears. Those two buffoons of the right, Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh, could only stir up the already-angry conservative base. Thus, birthers and the like were of no help to Romney.
The result of all of this is that a good and honest man, born in the USA, is still our president while the lies and hate of the racist right are seriously threatening to destroy one of the two major political parties in our country.
I am and always have been a very proud liberal and usually vote Democratic. But one of the worst things that could happen to us all is to have our political system reduced to where there is really only one major party.
The disintegration of the GOP has been gradual and even unnoticed by many as the Democratic Party, despite not controlling both houses of Congress at times, has won the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. This trend is very important.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party is beginning to dissolve into nothing much more than a Southern white man's religious cult of some sort. The GOP must broaden its outlook, include minorities, end obstructionism, rid itself of racism and hatred as policies, and admit that government is the only viable entity to handle recovery after disasters such as the super storm Sandy and admit only government can manage Social Security and Medicare.
Well-led government is good. Racism is a cancer. The Grand Old Party can't be led by the likes of Archie Bunker, who once said, "Things go bad when the whole neighborhood turns into a smelting pot."
Gordon White served 43 years as a sports reporter for The New York Times. His email is sports@ thepilot.com.
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