Republicans. The party of racists and homophobes, right? We know. We’ve heard. I hate to generalize in a piece about the dangers of generalization, but since the last election, it certainly seems that an awful lot of non-Republicans actually think this is true.
Are all Republicans racist? Here are a few who probably aren’t:
For those who don’t know, from left to right, Larry Elder is a radio host, author, and attorney, Walter Williams is a writer and economist, Star Parker is an author and political activist, Thomas Sowell is an economist, philosopher and author, and The Rock is, well, The Rock.
Oh, and they’re all black.
Are Republicans all homophobes? Again, a small sample of probably-nots:
Peter Thiel is a venture capitalist, philanthropist and author, Rachel Hoff is the Director of Defense Analysis for the American Action Forum, Mary Cheney is a DC Policy Consultant and daughter of Dick Cheney, Tammy Bruce is a radio host and author, and Michael Huffington is a politician, film producer and ex-husband of Ariana Huffington.
They’re all gay.
There are those on the left that will call these brilliant, successful individuals exceptions to their racist and homophobic rules, some sorts of self-hating or opportunistic sociopaths, who have chosen to join the wrong team, live a false existence and surround themselves with people who hate them, just because it somehow makes their lives better. Honestly, I don’t even understand that argument enough to try to shoot it down.
There are others who think these individuals are naïve rubes, having had the wool pulled over their eyes by deceptive Republican charlatans, lured in as ignorant members of a club that hates them, to be used as pawns in an evil game. Here’s some mindless blather of one of these unfortunate simpletons:
“The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.”- Thomas Sowell
These people live, eat and breathe political philosophy. They’ve spent their lives researching the issues and the human conditions that dictate policy creation and have made their decision to be Republicans based on this. Or, if you prefer, they are all naïve and insane.
Many on the left would be quick to point out how few minority and gay Republicans there are compared to Democrats as evidence of the right’s racist tendencies. But how would the left explain the existence of even ONE intelligent and sane gay or minority Republican? They might say there are always exceptions. There are no gay or minority “exceptions” in the KKK. Why? Because that is a group that actually hates minorities and gays. There are many thousands, but doesn’t the existence of even one sane, intelligent gay or minority Republican prove that it is not, in fact a racist or homophobic organization?
So the question then is, if Republicans are not racist, why do they have this reputation? They haven’t always. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, and there have historically been many more Democratic congressmen with Klan affiliations than Republicans. So what happened? Did Republicans become racist over time? Or were they never racist in the first place, and still aren’t?
I’m not trying to point fingers here, and I do not believe the Democratic Party is inherently racist. However, racial and minority issues are complex ones, and the different ways the two parties deal with them are what I think leads to Democrats looking like, and regarding themselves, as the good guys, and Republicans the opposite. In reality, the reverse may be true. For instance:
Democrats were soft on illegal immigration for decades. They didn’t think that a few people looking for better lives for their families in our country was a battle worth fighting, and every time Republicans would suggest that perhaps it was a bad idea to let people enter the country illegally without recourse, they were called racists. In a world of 24-hour news, 140 character sound-bytes and 7-second attention spans, it’s much easier and more effective to just yell “racist” than present all of the long term dangers of unfettered illegal immigration. Barraged with relentless “R-Bomb” attacks, the Republicans backed off. The illegals came. Now, here we are, tens of millions of illegal immigrants living here in America, utilizing our schools, hospitals, etc., and being protected by our military and police, and not paying a dime in taxes. This, along with the threat of terrorists easily entering our nation has highlighted the huge mistake that was made by those historically opposed to the enforcement of immigration law. Non-enforcement was a short-sighted mistake, making the solution we currently face incredibly difficult. The only possibility is to make the people living here illegally leave. You wouldn’t let a car thief keep the car because he is a good driver and has to drive his kid to school. The left cried “racist” when Republicans foresaw this problem decades ago, and they cry “racist” now that they want to fix it. It has nothing to do with racism, and everything to do with making rational, difficult, adult decisions necessitated by the unwise, emotion-based actions of the left.
This concept of applying actual intelligence to the decision making process can be seen in just about everything the right does that the left deems to be racist. Eliminating minimum wage, eliminating equal opportunity laws, eliminating race-based scholarships, grants, etc. Does Republican opposition to these things stem from an inherent, evil dislike of non-whites, or from the belief that their ideas are better for EVERYONE in the long-term?
Are there racists in the Republican party? Of course. I would dare say that this number has increased due to the left continually labelling the Republican party as such, and giving these creeps a place where they feel they belong. They don’t “belong” in either party, but when they continually hear that the Republicans are “racists,” and see Democrats haphazardly redistributing as much tax money as possible to minority and gay causes, they join up. It can become a dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy, wherein the left creates the racist Republican monster that never actually existed in the first place.
Here is the takeaway of this article that started with pictures of a few brilliant black folks: If you are of the liberal persuasion and you see a Republican doing something that you think seems “racisty,” take a deep breath, and look at other possible motivations the individual may have for thinking and/or acting as they do. They may in fact be a racist, but it is crucial to acknowledge the possibility that they are not. Without this perspective, you can never accurately judge anyone’s opinions by their true merits or shortcomings. Taking racism out of this equation allows you to see things as you have never seen them before, hear things as you have never heard them before and begin to learn the real complexities of sociology and government. This is absolutely impossible if all you are doing is waiting for the opportunity to scream “Racist!” And best of all, you may find a new love and respect for many folks you had incorrectly prejudged for many years.