I was watching an interview with KhizrKhan and his wife Ghazala, whose son Captain Humayun Khan died a hero in the Iraq War. Beyond what he said in his amazing speech at the Democratic National Convention, he added something I often fail to give enough consideration. Republicans are Patriots as well and love America too.
I’m going to attempt to walk a thin line in criticizing them without the mockery and hyperbole that I have admittedly engaged in. I think it not unfair to say that the majority of the members of the Republican Party are White, with 89% self-identifying as Non-Hispanic Whites in 2012. They have made occasional attempts to embrace Hispanics which is offset by their vitriolic language and proposed laws, some of which are in no way Constitutional (papers please). It is only natural they represent the interests of White people, much like the Democrats are expected to represent it’s various constituencies whether it be Black, Hispanic, LGBT, Asian-American, Native-American, and of course the White People that still make up the majority of their Party. Republicans still love their country when they represent the interests of White people, but they go too far.
The method chosen by their leaders is to protect White interests by keeping down the others. The primary mechanisms used have been what they refer to as the “rule of law” and by rigging elections. These tactics are not the sole province of the Republican Party. Democrats have either originated or participated in policy decisions that kept power and decision making in the hands of White people and it is likely that their relatively newfound desire for equality for all American’s is based in a desire to maintain the viability of its own party. The changing demographics of our nation, where Whites will soon become a majority minority, is fearful to both parties, where power and control is threatened. Republicans have control of the House of Representatives and most State Governments, aided greatly by Gerrymandering and District realignment. They lost the popular vote for the House in the last Presidential election but have a strong control of the House due to those factors. Republican’s love their country. They just love a few things more.
That they put Party over Country was evident during the emergence of the Tea Party and the lack of will of the leadership to confront them lest they lose control. They shut down the government rather than tell them, “You’re being ridiculous.” The individual fear of losing their seats caused them to take positions not their own, allow Cruz’s and Gohmert’s and Bachman’s to rise to power. Republicans spent eight years obstructing as they colluded to do on President Barack Obama’s inauguration day. They voted over 50 times to repeal Obamacare. They even stopped talking about replacing it. They became the Party of “No”! I have to remind myself, they love America too!
And now we have Trump. Among the things his eventual supporters once called him were “ignorant, offensive, racist,” One said “his domestic and foreign policy is gibberish.” Another, “He’s a threat to national security.” They kept calling for a pivot that never came. Trump never changed. Republicans put Party over the Country they still love. They just love themselves more.
One of the tactics they’ve embraced is voter suppression under the guise of battling voter fraud that is almost non-existent. North Carolina’s recent laws were not only found to be Unconstitutional but specifically designed to target minority voters. Lawmakers there, started by accumulating all the race-based voter data before designing a plan to weaken the impact of Black voters in particular. The same people that have lost billions in revenue by standing by their law targeting Transsexual’s, have vowed to appeal. They would tell you they love their country. But they have lost their way.
I would like to remind Republicans that love their country, to act accordingly. Trump is a mistake that you are now eternally linked to. While he only recently joined you. You are now he, and all that he stands for. The “Party of Lincoln” and “The Party of Trump” are not reconcilable. You are one or the other. If you support a racist, stay silent about his racist views, you are at best an enabler. At worst you become one yourself. If you stay silent about his misogyny, if you shout about building a wall. If you knowingly ignore lie after lie after lie. And call her “Dishonest Hillary.” You would be a hypocrite. You might still love America, but you love something else more.
Republicans, get your act together! Your survival as a party depends on it because your numbers are steadily declining. Call out your leaders when they’re wrong. Demand accountability. Reward bipartisan efforts and become a party that values accomplishment above obstruction. I don’t doubt you love America. It’s time to show it.