I think that the Trump tweets about the four Congresswomen and the general silence and support by Republicans in Congress can finally give the proving lie to the faux-contention of Republicans that they're not against immigrants at all, they love legal immigrants, they just are supposedly against illegal immigration. Supposedly.
Of course, all four women who Trump said they should "go back" to where "they come from" are not only U.S. citizens -- three of them were born in the United States. So, sending them back would pretty much require a train ticket or, in the case of Alexandria Oscasio-Cortez,, who represents Trump's own home district -- where she was born -- it would only require getting her a rental car. Furthermore, just to reiterate, all four are elected members of Congress.
And Trump and most of the Republican Party in Congress are okay with all this. Sending them back where they come from.
So much for that whole "We're not against immigrants, just illegal immigrants" thingee.
Yesterday, Trump doubled-down -- or it's more like quintupled down at this point, I think -- when he ranted about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and whipped up the crowd of frenzied Trump acolytes about her, and they then began a Drink the Kool-Aid-like chant of "Send her back!"
It wasn't very amusing, to be clear, but pretty scary for its sickness, stupidity and dangerous risk it puts all four of these women in. And Republicans in Congress not only were silent, but apparently think this is a great campaign strategy. Racism! "Republicans: We're not just against only illegal immigrants anymore."
Happily, led by Democrats -- and only four Republicans -- the House did something unprecedented. It not only voted to official condemn the president of the United States...but voted to condemn him for racism.
There have been a lot of articles over the past six months or so, with more showing up the past few days, that all include the same phrase -- "This is the future of the Republican Party." I would disagree, and strongly. No, this is not their future. This is the end of the Republican Party.
I'm not suggesting that the Republican Party will disappear from the face of the earth in 2020. It won't. Or in the near-future, or perhaps even ever. But as long as this is the foundation of the GOP -- and by "this," we are referring to racism and blatant hatred towards minorities -- it signals the end of traditional strength that the party has operated under for 150 years.
If racism continues to be the GOP's core, there will still be a Republican Party. There are racist pockets throughout the United States. There are racist states. There will still be racist Republican senators, congressmen, governors and local politicians. But their strength nationally will be profoundly diluted. Because it's a really, really bad banner for a political party in the United States which (as much as racism exists here in a very deep way) is a country literally founded on openness and being a melting pot to the world, priding itself on the Statue of Liberty which emblazons "Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddle masses yearning to breathe free. Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me. I lift my lamp upon your gold shore." And it's a really, really bad banner for a political party in the United States because we know that Hispanics are the most-significantly growing minority in the U.S. And that at some point in the near future, the total of all minorities together will be greater than single group of people who describe themselves as white.
It's one thing to be racist, or to have a part of you that's racist. It's another to brand yourself as a racist. Most racists don't even want to be branded as racist and deny that their racist. Even the Ku Klux Klan covers itself in white sheets so they can't be seen as racist. So, when a party brands itself as the Republican Racist Party, it's really a very, very, very bad look.
A new poll shows that 68% of Americans find Trump's statements offensive. Further, 65% of Americans say that the statements are racist. But worse, 59% of Americans say that the statements are...un-American. Now, yes, I know those numbers should be far, far-higher. But we can only deal with what is, not what should be. And what "is" are still horrible numbers for the Republican Party. No American political party really wants to brand itself as "un-American." Yet already, that's how 59% of Americans view the leader of the Republican Party.
And as long as we're looking at polls, let's include one more: after the stories of Trump's racist comments became news, his approval in the Republican Party went up. On the surface, this understandably looks like a truly terrible thing -- and it is. But there's more to the number than I think meats the eye. And it's that one reason Trump's approval within the GOP is because many Republicans have left the party, concentrating those remaining who are much-more and racist. And it wouldn't surprise me if Trump's comments pushed some more, offended, non-racits away, out of the party, which mathematically would push his approval up in the remaining GOP. Moreover, this higher racist-approval even more firmly establishes the Republican Party as the racist party and even more marginalizes it. So, while Trump and remaining Republicans might see his approval within the Republican Party go up, in reality it is a very bad thing for them.
It's no way to have a political party in the United States, branding yourself as the Party of Racism. And we know it doesn't work. Trump tried it in 2018. Before the mid-terms, he did everything he could to terrify Americans that the country would be invaded by a caravan of brown-skinned people from Guatemala and Mexico. He even sent the U.S. Army to the border! And not only didn't it work...Americans in a massive Blue Wave flipped the House of Representative and took a majority of 36 seats. So, with an invasion and sending not working, all Trump has left is trying to scare Americans about four elected Congresswomen, all of whom are, of course, U.S. citizens.
By the way, I'm sure this doesn't play well with...women. I'm sure they notice this. And women are the majority in the United States.
No, branding your political party as "We're the racist one" is a horrible idea. And imagine making it worse by adding that "And we hate women, too."
To be clear, I suspect that at some point post-Trump, the Republican Party will try somehow to shed its foundation as racist. And that will help keep it somewhat viable. The problem is that that's going to take a very long time. And they'll lose a lot of its base support, diluting them even more. Some of these racists will stay in the party, of course. As for the rest, they'll probably go back to the hole they were in before and once again not vote. Eventually, if the Republican Party actually does get dragged into making some sort of effort to not be the party of racism, the GOP will then be able to bring in new views and members from Independents and the far-right of the Democratic Party, and maybe return to being the Republican Party -- not of its early days through the 1960s where they included people like Jacob Javits,Nelson Rockefeller, Margaret Chase Smith, Lowell Weicker, and others -- but at least a party that isn't insane and racist.
If. If they actually, seriously, truly make an effort at some point in the future -- but it isn't happening now -- to divest itself of a racist base. If.
But until then, this is not the future of the Republican Party. If this continues, and even grows into a deeper frenzy, it is the Republican Party's end.
And ultimately, this is why I've been writing for a long time that none of this is about Trump. We know who he is. (Toss in sexual predator, too.) This is about the elected officials of the Republican Party who enable him and are complicit in it all. To the bitter end.
Leave a Reply.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor