Republicans rage at being considered racist. They remind us of the old days when they were considered, “The Party of Lincoln.” Indeed, the Party’s roots were in opposition to slavery. What they lacked was conviction. The slippery slope began in 1877 when they achieved a political goal by removing Federal Troops from the South, ending Reconstruction and extending the invitation to Jim Crow.
Republicans looked the other way as most of the evils of slavery were revisited on the freed slaves in the South under another name. They went as far as to make sure Federal Troops would never return to American soil with the enactment of Posse Comitatus.
Then came the 1960s; disgruntled Democrats fled their Party after the Democrat-led passage of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Voting Rights Act of 1965. The angry, racist Democrats were welcomed with open arms. President Lyndon Johnson stated, “We have lost the South for a generation.” That was three generations ago.
“We have lost the South for a generation! – LBJ
Whatever date you wish to pick that Republicans stopped being the Party of Lincoln, they are now surely the Party of Trump. Watch any Trump rally; whether the chant is “Lock her up,” “Build the wall,” or most recently, “Send her home.” The Trump administration bans Muslims, calls African nations, “shithole countries,” pries brown children from their families at the Southern border. Not bothering to collect information to facilitate their eventual return. They fiddled as Puerto Rico drowned.
In the only area Donald Trump fails to discriminate, his Twitter attacks target Republicans as well as Democrats. Those that fail to please him are ridiculed and threatened mercilessly until they get on their knees and kiss his ring. Rather than stand up to Trump, they seemingly respond, “Yes sir, may I have another?” Does anyone ever remove themselves from association with the racist demagogue? Does anyone simply leave the Republican Party?
The easiest ones to measure are the elected officials. Dozens were either removed from office or decided not to run for reelection in the 2018 midterm elections. On the state level, State Senators or Assemblymen in three states; California, New Jersey, and Kansas became Democrats. Their common theme is that the Party under Trump has become “too extreme.”
“This is largely a product of the Trump phenomenon, President Trump has blown the lid off of this party. It starts to look like a personality cult.”
Patrick Murray — Monmouth University Polling Institute
On the national level, Rep. Justin Amash recently left the Republican Party to become an Independent. He was one of four non-Democrats to support the resolution against President Trump’s racist attacks against four minority Democrat Congresswomen. If you didn’t know about Trump’s racism when he engaged in housing discrimination in the 1970s, settling twice with the Federal government when sued. Or when he was the main cheerleader for the Birther Movement, claiming President Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Even if his appointments and policies didn’t convince you, surely his telling the four women to go back to their country is proof positive. But do any Republicans really care?
There doesn’t seem to be any mass exodus from the Republican Party like when Democrats left that Party for not being racist enough. Polls show Donald Trump’s popularity increasing, especially in the South (no surprise). If one were to draw a conclusion, it’s that while Republicans resent being called racist, actually being racist doesn’t bother them We’ve reached the point where pretending not to notice just won’t do. You’re either with the racists or against them. If you’re still in the Party despite Trump’s actions throughout his term, guess which category you fall in?
I have no data as to how many regular Republicans have had enough, deciding to either take their Party back… or leave. CNN ran an interview with 8 Texas Republican women who aren’t swayed by anything Donald Trump has said or done. While they seemed like lemmings, following their leader off a cliff. I’ll be willing to stipulate they aren’t representative of the entire Party. But if there any reasonable ones left, they aren’t speaking up.
In a Democracy, assuming Trump doesn’t successfully negate the Constitution, castrate Republicans in Congress and stack the Courts. A strong Republican Party would be a good thing. Unless that Party has been taken over by a racist, white supremacist spreading vitriol wherever he goes. That the Republican Party is lost has become clear. The unanswered question is, why do so many of its members stay?