Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Phyllis Schlafly's advice to the GOP

Phyllis Schlafly has always been crazy, and old age certainly hasn't improved her any. But this is really something, isn't it?

There's been a lot of talk in the Republican Party about trying to appeal to Hispanics (71% of whom voted for Barack Obama in November). But Schlafly says they should forget about that and focus entirely on white voters.
"I think the propagandists are leading us down the wrong path. There is not any evidence at all that these Hispanics coming in from Mexico will vote Republican."

First, it's blatantly racist to run your political party based on race or ethnicity. (Note that Hispanic Americans aren't necessarily Mexican in origin. And, although 'race' is a very nebulous social concept, anyway, they're not necessarily non-white, either. But we'll go with Schlafly's view of 'white' here.)

So why wouldn't Hispanic Americans vote Republican? What's so different about Hispanics that they wouldn't vote like any other Americans? Indeed, from what I've heard, they tend to be socially conservative. And they tend to be Catholic (which evangelical Protestants might not like, but the Catholic Church itself very definitely favors the GOP).

So why must the Republican Party just write off Hispanic Americans? Well, why have they written off African Americans? Rather, why do more than 90% of African Americans support the Democratic Party, instead of the Republican Party? What's different about them?

What's different, in both cases, is that they're not 'white.' That's it. That's the only difference.

Note that African Americans, at least (I don't know about Hispanic Americans), used to vote Republican,... when they were allowed to vote at all. The white South was solidly Democratic in the mid-20th Century, and had been that way for more than a century. Southern white Dixiecrats were racists, so African Americans tended to support 'the party of Lincoln.'

Not surprisingly, the Republican Party lost that support when it adopted its notorious 'Southern strategy' of deliberately wooing white racists. Democrats had repudiated the racists in their own party, so Republicans eagerly snapped them up. They filled the GOP with racists, taking the entire South for themselves. Today, the South is the Republican Party base.

Politically, that was a master-stroke. Cynical, yes. Despicable, yes. But taking the South from the Democrats gave the Republican Party the power to dominate American politics in recent decades. It gave them the power to shower tax cuts and other benefits onto the wealthy (which was the whole point - obviously, establishment Republican leaders were just attempting to use those racists for their own purposes).

They lost the African American vote, true. But taking the South more than made up for that. However,... what happens when you fill your political party with racists? Well, by and large, those people don't like anyone who's not white, and that includes Hispanics. As America has continued to become more racially diverse, that's become a problem for the GOP.

Schlafly demonstrates the problem. She's a hero to the far-right Republican base, and like them, she sees no reason why real Americans should have to put up with Hispanics. Why should the Republican Party even bother with anyone who isn't white? And, like many elderly white Republicans, she doesn't seem to have a clue how racist that is.

But Hispanics do notice that. Last month, the head of "Latino outreach" for the Republican Party in Florida switched parties, because:
It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today. I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them.

Studies geared towards making – human beings – viewed as less because of their immigrant status to outright unacceptable claims, are at the center of the immigration debate. ...

We are not looking at an isolated incident of rhetoric or research. Others subscribe to motivating people to action by stating, “In California, a majority of all Hispanic births are illegitimate. That’s a lot of Democratic voters coming.” The discourse that moves the Republican Party is filled with this anti-immigrant movement and overall radicalization that is far removed from reality. Another quick example beyond the immigration debate happened during CPAC this year when a supporter shouted ““For giving him shelter and food for all those years?” while a moderator explained how Frederick Douglass had written a letter to his slave master saying that he forgave him for “all the things you did to me.” I think you get the idea.

When the political discourse resorts to intolerance and hate, we all lose in what makes America great and the progress made in society.

Although I was born an American citizen, I feel that my experience, and that of many from Puerto Rico, is intertwined with those who are referred to as illegal. My grandfather served in an all-Puerto Rican segregated Army unit, the 65th Infantry Regiment. He then helped, along my grandmother, shatter glass ceilings for Puerto Rican women raising my aunt to become the first Puerto Rican woman astronomer with a PhD in astrophysics (an IQ of a genius as far as I’m concerned). Puerto Ricans, as many other Americans still today have to face issues of discrimination in voting and civil rights.

Note that that discrimination in voting is a deliberate attempt by the Republican Party to discourage and disenfranchise Democratic-leaning constituencies, which very definitely includes anyone who isn't white.

You know, there were protests in America when my Irish Catholic ancestors starting immigrating here in large numbers. I don't know if there were similar issues when my German ancestors arrived decades later, though I wouldn't be surprised. (I know that Eastern Europeans - especially Jews, though not just them - faced a great deal of opposition.)

Certainly, my German ancestors settled together in certain areas of our country. They had German-language newspapers, German-language schools, German-language social organizations. I doubt if that made the "real" Americans of the time very happy.

But all of these groups assimilated just fine. And it's just astonishing to me that their descendants, many of them, are so viciously opposed to immigrants now. Well, Hispanics - 'those people' - are different, right? Obviously, they just want something for nothing, unlike your own dirt-poor ancestors who came here to make a new start.

Well, this is great, as far as I'm concerned. You know that the Republican Party has no intention of changing any of their policies, anyway. They're just trying to find a message appealing to Hispanic Americans. It's just PR, and they merely want to use Hispanics for their own purposes.

Indeed, with a base filled with racists, it's hard to see how the party could change much, even if it wanted to. Well, you reap what you sow.

But sure, forget about trying to appeal to Hispanic Americans. Forget about trying to appeal to African Americans. Forget about appealing to anyone who isn't white, anyone who isn't Christian, anyone who isn't straight. And forget about trying to appeal to women, too (who they're also losing, though not in such dramatic numbers).

Instead, just concentrate on your core demographic:

USA under 'seige'
(Re. Daily Kos)

Note: I would have used the following photo, but I think this guy is too young to be part of the GOP's core demographic. However, picture him at Phyllis Schlafly's age and you'd get it exactly right.

1 comment:

jeff725 said...

Schlafly's comments are one of those you kinda smile wryly and say, "Thank you for being honest....I think."

As far as telling the GOP to forget about the Hispanic vote, just don't tell them Sarah Palin is Latina (according to George Lopez, that is). :)