Now is the time to put the Republican Party out of its misery.
The fractured GOP is turning into a nightmare for the establishment, country club wing of the party.
Its all-too-frequent episodes of racial insensitivity is a nightmare for a whole different reason.
Republicans have allowed extremists to hijack their party and turn
it into a White Citizens’ Council, a white nationalist organization in
the mold of the Southern segregationist Dixiecrats of a bygone era.
If the so-called party of Lincoln wants to prevent what appears to
be its imminent death–and become a moderate, mainstream party that will
once again appeal to blacks and Latinos–it must cast aside the House Freedom Caucus—also known as the Tea Party or the Fight Club.
Now wait, no one should shed a tear for the dysfunction, cannibalism
and even anarchy taking place within the party, particularly with the
Freedom Caucus, which controls only 16 percent of the Republican House
yet seems to be willing to do whatever it can to bring down the GOP.
These people who are in politics but hate everything about government,
and want to destroy government and take everyone down with them. No one has seen anything like this ever in politics.
Aside from the implosion in Congress, look at what is passing for
the Republican presidential field. Donald Trump, the frontrunner, is a
favorite among white supremacists such as David Duke, neo-Nazis and Southern secessionists
because of his xenophobic rants and scapegoating of Latinos, immigrants
of Mexican descent. In second place is Ben Carson, who is making a
name for himself among the base for his homophobia and Islamophobia,
including his statement that a Muslim American could never become president. Carson then said he could support a Muslim who denounces Sharia law.
Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, recently suggested people should be sold into slavery for stealing, while Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said the #BlackLivesMatter movement is “ literally suggesting and embracing and celebrating the murder of police officers.”
Meanwhile, look at some of the Republican-controlled states such as North Carolina, a leader in the rollback of black voting rights, and Alabama,
which had the nerve to require photo identification under its voter ID
law, then closed the DMV offices in the blackest areas of the state.
In this campaign season, the GOP establishment finds itself on its
way to losing the presidential election, and rightfully so, short of
stealing it outright or preventing enough blacks and Latinos from
voting. The situation in which the Republicans find themselves has
been a long time coming. After all, this is the monster that Richard
Nixon created with his Southern Strategy.
The country club, Wall Street establishment of the party made a deal
with the Devil when it brought in Southern white segregationists who
fled the civil rights-loving Democratic Party. The GOP had a good run
of it, winning elections by appealing, in dog whistle fashion, to
Southern white racists and their hatred of black people and resentment
of the gains black people made in the civil rights movement. Hatred of
government, smaller government and wasteful government programs were code for the n-word.
From Reagan’s “welfare queen” to the first Bush’s “Willie Horton” ad,
the Republican Party gave a wink and a nod to the poor and working
class, the disaffected whites in their base, in a display of white skin
Then the black boogeyman of the Republican racist mind became a real live political opponent named Barack Obama.
They vilified him, scapegoated him as a fascist, socialist and a
Communist, a Muslim-Arab foreigner with a radical black Christian
pastor, and the bad black man who was going to destroy America. The
GOP, the NRA, Fox News and hate groups have united against Obama, each
using the man to raise money and attract new recruits. The Tea
Party-Birther coalition had to stop Obamacare, the president’s signature achievement, in the way that racists cannot allow black people to succeed in anything.
Currently, the Republican Party is hostile territory for people of
color, except for the few who are running for president. And people
such as Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Bobbly Jindal are
designed strictly for white rightwing audiences, as black and brown
folks simply don’t know what to make of them.
And yet, the GOP is a shipwreck waiting to happen, making enemies of
everyone except angry, straight white men, at a time when a majority of
the babies being born in the U.S. already are of color, and marriage
equality and abortion are the law.
Democracy cannot function with one legitimate party, however
imperfect, and another which stands for nothing except racism,
dysfunction, and destroying everything and everyone in its path. If the
GOP breaks into two it can save itself, and we will be better off for
This commentary was originally published by The Grio