Sunday, June 21, 2015

Calling It What It Is

The NYT addresses the GOP's problems with the Confederate Flag*:
The carefully calibrated answers were a vivid illustration of the challenge Republicans face in attempting, simultaneously, to broaden their party’s appeal to minorities while also energizing those white conservatives who are uneasy about what they see as bowing to political correctness.
Bowing to political correctness?  Hmmmm.  How about wanting to have its cake and eat it too?  That is, the GOP has long relied on racists to gain and stay in office.  The problem the party faces is the demographic decline of white people in the country.  I have said since 2008 that I am happy with Sarah Palin's desire to represent Real America since that means appealing to declining group.  So, how does the GOP deal with losing the demographic battle?  Obvious, #voterfraudfraud is a key strategy--try to make sure that the folks who are less likely to vote Republican are not allowed to vote.

How about appealing to minorities?  Well, that risks losing one's base.  Who are some of these people in this base that might flee a more open GOP?  Those who are "uneasy about what they see as bowing to political correctness."  Those who are comfortable with symbols drenched in racism and violence.  The safer (gut-less) strategy is to demure and to focus on the "religious" nature of the crime rather than the roles played by racism, misogyny, and guns. 

The Democrats have long been guilty of taking the votes of African-Americans for granted, as they should have done more again and again.  But as long as the GOP continues to be more concerned with "white conservatives who are uneasy," African-Americans know where they must vote.  As do other minorities.  Florida has been up for grabs precisely because the GOP has lost its grip on Cuban-Americans. 

The political science I know tells me that it is easier to be the homogeneous party that uses ethnic appeals to outbid the multi-ethnic party.  But it also tells me that numbers matter, and the numbers are not in the GOP's favor.  Their grip on local and state-level governments is a problem, but they are going to have significant problems at the national level until they face the reality that the math is against them and also that their own values (if they are as "Christian" as they say they are) are against them. 

So, until the GOP stops pandering to the racists, I am going to be comfortable considering them to be the party of racists, just as I consider them the party of misogyny.... even if the Democrats do not cover themselves in glory on this stuff.  There are differences between the parties, real ones, on these issues. 

* Pedants like to say that the flag in question is not the Confederate Flag but the Battle Flag of the Army of Virginia or whatever.  Sorry, but we live in an intersubjective world--and this flag has become to be known as the Confederate Flag by both its fans and its haters. Otherwise, why would it be THE flag to fly over Confederate Memorials and Cemeteries?  So, don't bother correcting me on this.

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