Why America would benefit from the GOP breaking into two
Now is the time to put the Republican Party out of its misery.
The fractured GOP is turning into a nightmare for the establishment, country club wing of the party.
Its all-too-frequent episodes of racial insensitivity is a nightmare for a whole different reason.
Republicans have allowed extremists to hijack their party and turn it into a White Citizens’ Council, a white nationalist organization in the mold of the Southern segregationist Dixiecrats of a bygone era.
If the so-called party of Lincoln wants to prevent what appears to be its imminent death–and become a moderate, mainstream party that will once again appeal to blacks and Latinos–it must cast aside the House Freedom Caucus—also known as the Tea Party or the Fight Club.
Now wait, no one should shed a tear for the dysfunction, cannibalism and even anarchy taking place within the party, particularly with the Freedom Caucus, which controls only 16 percent of the Republican House yet seems to be willing to do whatever it can to bring down the GOP. These people who are in politics but hate everything about government, and want to destroy government and take everyone down with them. No one has seen anything like this ever in politics.
Aside from the implosion in Congress, look at what is passing for the Republican presidential field. Donald Trump, the frontrunner, is a favorite among white supremacists such as David Duke, neo-Nazis and Southern secessionists because of his xenophobic rants and scapegoating of Latinos, immigrants of Mexican descent. In second place is Ben Carson, who is making a name for himself among the base for his homophobia and Islamophobia, including his statement that a Muslim American could never become president. Carson then said he could support a Muslim who denounces Sharia law.
Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, recently suggested people should be sold into slavery for stealing, while Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said the #BlackLivesMatter movement is “ literally suggesting and embracing and celebrating the murder of police officers.”
Meanwhile, look at some of the Republican-controlled states such as North Carolina, a leader in the rollback of black voting rights, and Alabama, which had the nerve to require photo identification under its voter ID law, then closed the DMV offices in the blackest areas of the state.
In this campaign season, the GOP establishment finds itself on its way to losing the presidential election, and rightfully so, short of stealing it outright or preventing enough blacks and Latinos from voting. The situation in which the Republicans find themselves has been a long time coming. After all, this is the monster that Richard Nixon created with his Southern Strategy.
The country club, Wall Street establishment of the party made a deal with the Devil when it brought in Southern white segregationists who fled the civil rights-loving Democratic Party. The GOP had a good run of it, winning elections by appealing, in dog whistle fashion, to Southern white racists and their hatred of black people and resentment of the gains black people made in the civil rights movement. Hatred of government, smaller government and wasteful government programs were code for the n-word. From Reagan’s “welfare queen” to the first Bush’s “Willie Horton” ad, the Republican Party gave a wink and a nod to the poor and working class, the disaffected whites in their base, in a display of white skin solidarity.
Then the black boogeyman of the Republican racist mind became a real live political opponent named Barack Obama. They vilified him, scapegoated him as a fascist, socialist and a Communist, a Muslim-Arab foreigner with a radical black Christian pastor, and the bad black man who was going to destroy America. The GOP, the NRA, Fox News and hate groups have united against Obama, each using the man to raise money and attract new recruits. The Tea Party-Birther coalition had to stop Obamacare, the president’s signature achievement, in the way that racists cannot allow black people to succeed in anything.
Currently, the Republican Party is hostile territory for people of color, except for the few who are running for president. And people such as Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Bobbly Jindal are designed strictly for white rightwing audiences, as black and brown folks simply don’t know what to make of them.
And yet, the GOP is a shipwreck waiting to happen, making enemies of everyone except angry, straight white men, at a time when a majority of the babies being born in the U.S. already are of color, and marriage equality and abortion are the law.
Democracy cannot function with one legitimate party, however imperfect, and another which stands for nothing except racism, dysfunction, and destroying everything and everyone in its path. If the GOP breaks into two it can save itself, and we will be better off for it.
Follow David A. Love on Twitter at @davidalove.