Sunday, August 10, 2014

The war on whites

Hey, maybe I'm getting caught up? This only happened last week:
Since Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) claimed on Monday that Democrats have launched a "war on whites," he has continued to explain how he thinks Democrats inject race into political issues.

Brooks initially made the remarks on Laura Ingraham's radio show.

"This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else," he told Ingraham, referring specifically to the crisis at the border.

Brooks stood by his characterization and told Monday that Democrats have been "attacking whites based on skin color." ...

On Tuesday, Brooks told USA Today that "if you look at current federal law, there is only one skin color that you can lawfully discriminate against. That’s Caucasians — whites."

OK, this is an Alabama Republican complaining that the Democratic Party, currently led by our first black president, is waging a "war on whites." How racist can you get? (And how stupid?)

But I'm seeing this more and more in the Republican Party, and I wonder if they're not just trying to tap into that crazy "white discrimination" sentiment I blogged about in January. As I said then, it's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. But given the GOP these days, it's likely to seem like a winner within the party.

Today's Republican Party was built by deliberately wooing white racists after the Democrats made the principled and courageous decision to support civil rights in the mid-20th Century. That infuriated the southern wing of their party, the so-called Dixiecrats who'd controlled the entire South for more than a century.

This "Southern strategy" was wildly successful. All those racist Dixiecrats became Republicans, giving the GOP the political power to cut taxes on the rich and otherwise turn America to the right, economically.

But it changed the party, not just because of all the new members flooding into the GOP, but also because of the people they lost. African Americans fled the party, and so did others who were uncomfortable with the deliberate attempt to woo racists for political advantage.

As the Republican Party lost their better people, the remainder just got crazier and crazier. (Racists aren't exactly rational when it comes to other issues, either.) The party has also become older and whiter. Right now, that's leading to increasing hysteria about Hispanic immigration, among other things.

But meanwhile, demographic changes in America seem to show this as a losing strategy over the long-term. But there's not much the GOP can do about it, given their frightened and fanatic base. Even when the crazies lose a primary battle, they continue to push the party further to the right.

This "war on whites" bullshit is a perfect example. It plays well to the Republican base, but it seems crazy as hell to everyone with any sense. And non-whites in particular recognize how crazy - and how racist - it is.

But who knows? We don't have a government of the majority in America. We have a government of the minority who vote (and the even smaller minority who contribute large sums of money to candidates - Republicans continue to have a huge fund-raising advantage).

If this "war on whites" stuff can get the Republican base to the polls, they'll win elections, just because fear and anger will increase participation. It won't matter what the majority thinks, as long as the majority is too apathetic, too ignorant, or too lazy to bother.

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