No, the above question was not meant to be facetious. I’m quite serious. I’ve thought about this for quite some time and I’m convinced that if you’re an African-American, Latino or woman and you are a registered Republican you either must hate yourself or you simply haven’t been paying very close attention. The analogy is like being stuck in an abusive marriage. No matter how hard you try to make things work out, in the end you always wind up with a black eye.
I have never seen a political party so completely go out of its way to so thoroughly alienate so many key constituencies the way the Republican Party has. Pick a group, any group, and the list of egregious conduct is appalling. When it comes to myopia, racism, homophobia, chauvinism and misogyny, the GOP is a virtual treasure trove of spoils.
Whether it’s African-Americans being denied the right to vote; Hispanics who have to listen to derogatory words like “wetback;” women having to deal with “legitimate rape” comments and threats of vaginal probes; or gays and lesbians being compared with farm animals, it’s astonishing that the GOP isn’t comprised completely of white, heterosexual males by now. Though at the rate it’s offending these groups, that fate is inevitable.
At the risk of channeling my inner Nixon, I want to make this perfectly clear. This is not an indictment of conservatism in general. I fully understand and accept the fact that there are indeed conservatives out there who are African-American, Hispanic, female and even homosexual. They are just as much entitled to their beliefs as I am. It’s not their beliefs that I’m questioning, it’s their sanity.
Woody Allen once famously said that he would never want to belong to any club that would have him as a member. I would submit that for minorities and women, the reverse seems to be playing out. Despite demonstrative proof that they are not welcomed, some yearn all-the-more for membership.
You hear about this all the time from therapists who have clients that cling to failed relationships or put up with unacceptable behavior under the naïve belief that the offending party will come around and treat them with respect. But it rarely, if ever, happens. The abuse continues unabated. Why? Because there are no real consequences, that’s why.
Think about it. Despite getting soundly beaten on a national level in last year’s elections, Republicans continue to hold their majority in the House thanks to gerrymandered congressional districts. Even the most optimistic projections concede that it might well be several election cycles before the House flips back to Democratic control. That means that the GOP can be as crazy as a loon and not suffer the consequences of its actions. Translation: the circus shenanigans will continue.
The Republican Party has, for all intents and purposes, been kidnapped by the most outrageous, demented and hate-filled bunch of individuals ever assembled under one tent. The only question that begs to be answered – the one I opened up with – is this. Why would any rational minority or woman with a modicum of self respect want to be anywhere near that tent, much less under it? Who would belong to such a club?