Saturday, October 27, 2012
Republicans and the Fear of the Racial "Other"
You cannot tell me that the Republicans are entirely made up of hostile, discordant, intensely-competitive, alienated, and angry socio-economic schismatics who have lost their rational minds and who express an inegalitarian disposition that barely masks a dogmatic amour propre at work internally. This may be the case for the Tea Party, but not necessarily for the rest of the GOP.
Like any other political party in history, the Republicans have their extremists and their moderates. The extremists are impossible to talk to as they live paranoid as hell in their own alternative universe as Jon Stewart portrays it for understandable reasons---he also “softens” this universe topographically as “Bullshit Mountain”--- or as Bill Maher refers to it, the hermetically-sealed-from-reality Republican “bubble”.
You would expect this anxious self-deception from the extremists in the Republican Party. But the party moderates are acting just as fearful and distrustful of anyone who doesn’t agree with them. What’s going on here? Aren’t we talking about the party of Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator? Isn’t this the same party that, under the leadership of Ronald Reagan, always found a way to work amiably and constructively with their Democratic opponents? Whatever happened to that foremost party?
If you want to know what is primarily to blame for the Republicans’ degeneration into an uncompromisingly tax-slashing, race-baiting, entitlement-abolishing, duly obstructionist political cult, it is the changing demographics of the United States. Blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities are unmistakably growing in numbers in the country (whites are projected to lose their majority status by 2040) and to put it simply, this scares the crap out of the white majority Republicans.
I have no doubt that much of this despairing attitude is linked to racism, for fear of the Hispanic or Black “other”. It is futile for instance, to deceive ourselves into thinking that the Tea Party’s unverifiable assumptions that Barack Obama was not born in the United States had absolutely nothing to do with him being black. No other American president has ever been put through this “birther” nonsense if for no other reason than they were all white.
I have concluded that Republicans have become so apprehensive about the emerging demographics in America that their palpable shock and vociferous outrage is causing them to turn inwardly and away from reality. Carved in their minds are the malicious fairy tales that they have been told since many of them were children about what catastrophe would transpire if the “colored” peoples ever took over the country from the more “civilized” whites.
This is why I think Republicans and their supporters are hopelessly defending divisive economic policies that are not only untenable, but have been proven to be broken, trickle-down melodies of free market conservatism. Surely conservatives and Republicans are far too discerning and cognizant not to be aware that these skewed-to-the-rich, Romneyian 47% policies just don’t work and have never worked, at least not for the middle and lower classes. So why do they keep pushing these bankrupt ideas?
America’s shifting demographics are casting an ominous shadow on the future of American society if we are to heed the neurotic proclamations of the Tea Partiers and other like-minded, fringe groups. The Tea Partiers, Republicans, and conservatives find from what is their stretched standpoint, a more Caucasian, more pristine, and more luminous American way of life being strained by a mounting counterculture of “inferior” races.
As the line in a Coen brothers’ film goes, you can’t stop what’s coming. Whether Republicans and conservatives like it or not, America is becoming more extraordinarily diverse, more multicultural, and more socially- and culturally-contrapuntal to use Edward Said’s term. There is no turning back this reality. Republicans and conservatives have to face up to this lest they find themselves irrevocably on the wrong side of history.
If you go by how intensely Republicans and conservatives are inundating their campaign messages with themes that settle on “restoring” a crisis-ridden America to her former place at the summit of humanity, rather than on reaching outward to a more socially-variegated future, you can argue that they are fecklessly in denial and are on the verge, starting with the November 6 election, of falling on really hard electoral times.