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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/7/16

An Indictment of Bigotry Within the Republican Party.

Message John Pagoda
"This party does not prey on people's prejudices. We appeal to their highest ideals. This is the Party of Lincoln." Paul Ryan
On Super Tuesday Donald Trump won a lion's share of Republican voters. Two days later it was "everybody hates Trump" led by non other than Mitt Romney in response to Trump's inability to forcefully disavow the former KKK leader, David Duke.
That lingering stench permeated the air that carries the words coming from those breeding in the Republican establishment sewer when they launched their "anybody but Trump" campaign, giving rise to the possibility of a brokered convention in which the messengers may benefit politically begging the question: just how far divorced from reality is the Republican Party from top to those who prefer the comfortable lie?
Some uncomfortable historical truths are that Republicans stopped being "the Party of Lincoln" when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Up to 1965 the Democratic Party controlled the south precisely because Lincoln was a Republican who destroyed their slave- based economy and it was the Democratic Party that used the infamous "Jim Crow" laws" to control the recently freed black population with well-attended lynchings and other forms of discrimination.
After LBJ the Democratic Party in the south was replaced by the Republican Party - that same prejudice, bigotry and racial animus moved from one host to another. The disease of racism was now perpetuated by the Republican Party using less overt forms of discrimination. The new form of slavery became "The New Jim Crow" with a war on drugs, which conveniently incarcerated more black and brown men and women, and Republican-controlled states no longer limited to south of the Mason-Dixon line passing voter-ID laws primarily disenfranchising people of color. That is today's Republican Party, which sullies the name "Lincoln" while claiming to be its embodiment.
In 1968 the Republican Party presidential candidate, Richard Nixon, used his "southern strategy", which saw the official shift of the Republican Party from the "Party of Lincoln" to the party that embraced white racism towards African Americans to solidify the white vote in the South.
In 1980 Ronald Reagan launched his official race-baiting campaign in the Mississippi county where the KKK murdered civil- rights volunteers Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner in 1964. During Reagan's run he repeatedly used the "Chicago welfare queen" story, perpetuating the stereotype of lazy black women ripping off the entitlement system that was paid for by white tax-paying workers who played by the rules and who were being "victimized" by some "strapping young buck." Once in office Reagan proceeded to push the new Jim Crow laws through his "war on drugs", which resulted in the "land of the free" becoming the world's number-one country in prison population.
In 1988 George H. W. Bush used a racially charged ad about a black felon Willie Horton to establish his racist bona fides and his son, George W., reduced the number of prosecuting civil-rights violations, continued to attack affirmative action and his response to Katrina in New Orleans highlighted the structural racism supported by the Republican Party.
This by no means is intended to absolve the Democratic Party of their embrace of racism from Bill Clinton's welfare reform to Hillary Clinton's "hard-working white people" stump speech in 2008 while 8 years later she panders for and receives the support of that same black community. Nor does it absolve the corporate-controlled media, which repeated the fictional reports provided by police that black residents in New Orleans were "raping, looting and shooting at rescue workers" and their decades-long abject failure to exercise the freedom of the press to expose the racism at the core of Republican ideology.
In 2011 Donald Trump questioned the citizenship and the legitimacy of the first black American president, demanding Obama prove his citizenship. This was a popular theme among a sufficient number of Republicans to reflect an absolute lack of respect for the President of the United States because of the color of his skin.
So impressed with someone who had the courage to speak their racial hatred, the Tea Party base of the Republican Party supported Trump's challenge. Indeed a founder of "Tea Party Nation" said, "The great thing about what Donald did is he said it and he did not flinch when he said it. A lot of the alleged conservative leaders have run like cockroaches when the the lights are turned on from the eligibility issue."
Based on that unappealing description, who would be the cockroaches today? Perhaps those "cockroaches" were Romney, Boehner, Ryan, McConnell and the rest of the Republican establishment, which said nothing from 1968 to 2011 when Trump's action certainly gave the appearance of racism. Romney certainly didn't object to Trump's campaign money even after Trump's racially charged challenge. Where was the outrage of the Republican establishment then? Instead they were too occupied with insuring nothing proposed by a black president would be supported.
In addition it was just last year when it took the murder of nine black people in a South Carolina church by a white supremacist to prompt their governor to remove the confederate flag and the racism it symbolized for 155 years after the civil war.
Finally, Ted Cruz recently appeared before the National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa where he courted the support of Colorado pastor Kevin Swanson, who called for the death penalty for homosexuality before introducing Ted Cruz. Cruz's response was not to call out the prejudices of these so-called Christians instead he said "any president who doesn't begin every day on his knees isn't fit to be commander-in-chief of this nation."
Even Marco Rubio's dog-whistle call for "state's rights", which have long been used to "deny rights" of people of color and now intend to deny the rights of women, Latino's Muslims and the LGBT community, were met with silence by Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell when the rest of their party's leading presidential candidates preyed on people's prejudices.
In conclusion the leading voices of the Republican establishment can claim that theirs is the party of Lincoln and as such they don't "prey of people's prejudices", rather they "appeal to their highest ideals", but the historical record shows that since 1965 the Republican Party stopped being "the party of Lincoln" and since 1968 the actions and policies of the Republican Party has in fact preyed on people's prejudices.
If the Republican Party really believes the words recently parroted by their leaders that they "appeal to the highest ideals" of the people, it should be reflected in their actions; e.g., supporting the Voting Rights Act, equal pay for equal work, an acceptance of a woman's right to choose, and the equal rights of all citizens without regard to race, gender, religion, sexual identity, of all U.S. citizens.
As of this writing the actions of the Republican Party reflect the racism, sexism, homophobia, and Islamophobia that infect today's Republican Party and continues to perpetuate the divineness that prevents this nation from ever realizing its capacity to be great. And as of this writing the mainstream media fails to expose that chasm between the rhetoric and reality of today's Republican Party. Silence is complicity.
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"tomorrow is guaranteed to no one" compells this fellow traveler to describe the way of life that requires a new way of living where something is left behind which decreases the suffering of all forms of life that follow.
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