Thursday, March 21, 2013

Shining a light on two major GOP problems

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

“The GOP Still Won’t Own Up To Its Real Problem With Voters.” This headline of Joshua Green’s smart piece for Bloomberg Businessweek on the Republican Party autopsy of its failed 2012 presidential effort nails it. Actually, Green points to two very real problems on which the GOP remains steadfastly mute.
One problem was the Republican Party’s vast effort to disenfranchise African American voters (and the young, I might add). The other was numerous GOP figures’ perpetuation of the racist “birther” lie against President Obama without so much as a corrective “Oh, no you don’t” from the party establishment. On this latter point, Green wrote, “I’ll leave it to those better qualified than I am to say precisely what effect this had on minorities’ view of the GOP….”
Considering I’m African American and have hammered the Republican Party establishment for its complicity in furthering the delegitimizing lie that Obama wasn’t born in this country (and thus occupying the Oval Office illegally), let me talk about the effect this had.
Blacks hated it — and continue to hate it.
The enmity towards the GOP and Obama’s racist detractors was summed up by a friend in an email she sent to her relatives on the eve of the election.
It is about the legacy of the first black President, it is about saying ‘yes we can’ to our sons and daughters — you truly can be anything you want. And we understand no step of your journey will be easy but we will not abandon you on the rough side of the mountain!
When you reach the top — every day someone will try and knock you off. This President is living the journey we each know personally. You had a promotion within reach, yet it goes to someone else! Your daughter is at the top of her class but the recognition goes to someone else.
Those against this President … have cultivated a white-hot anger against him — and they are confident this election is won because they are counting on you to stay home. Don’t quit on this President, don’t quit on the dreams of our future generations.
The attempt to keep blacks from voting and the effort to undermine the legitimacy of the first African American president backfired — not just with his most loyal constituents, but also with a majority of the American people. Until the Republican Party deals with the two problems Green highlights and does so with the brutal honesty of the “Growth and Opportunity Project’s” first 12 pages, its revival effort is doomed to failure.

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