Thursday, March 9, 2017

Race Politics Rescue?

How Race Politics Tempered Republican Rhetoric
(and maybe saved them from self-immolation)

These are days of unprecedented public displays of hate – we have born witness to four months of lunacy and political violence from the left and it has most citizens on edge.  What is going to happen next and how will it end?

Only a few lone voices predicted the Trump triumph in November – true.  However, I don’t think anyone at all predicted the unhampered hurricane of hostility from the Democratic Party.      While catching my breath in between reports of physical assaults and property damage, and while trying to escape the scathing rants against President Trump and his family members, I found myself reflecting on the anger of Republicans over the past 8 years.

I recall how infuriated I was when Obama cancelled my medical insurance, but the peak of Republican rancor during the Obamacare debacle was found in a filibuster, via 21 hours of a talking Ted Cruz.  There were no riots.  No one ever imagined attacking Democrats who were sporting Obama hats, and no one launched savage personal attacks on Barrack, Michelle or their daughters.

Maybe conservatives are more even-tempered.   But, consider this possibility:  The strident political rhetoric of the Obama years was kept in check because no one wanted the public to confuse scorn for Obama’s collectivism with racism. 

I remember the worst times for conservatives during the Obama years.  They included rage over multiple lies surrounding Obamacare, the arbitrarily altered deadlines, inclusions and exclusions, and the enormous increase in premiums for the middle class.  The umbrage also rose when he violated the First Amendment right of internet service providers, when he failed to prosecute the IRS scandal, when he ran lemming-like into the transgender bathroom bungle, and when he repeatedly ran the country like a king, usurping legislative power by way of one executive order after another.   

Where were the barbaric attacks on his supporters at our college campuses and on our city streets?   Where the personal impugnments - the personal denigrations?

These did not happen.

The fact that Barrack Obama is African-American and that he was our country’s first black president curbed the language of hate (and I am glad for this).  Of course, Republicans did not have disregard for Obama because of his ethnicity.  They detested his Euro-socialism and his disdain of American values.  Rather than have anyone mistake biting criticisms of his policies for racism, the sharpest words of the conservative’s ire went unuttered. 

So, instead of devolving into the often violent, sandwich-board lunatics we now see in the news daily, the GOP carries on, with its self-regard fully intact.    The race-motivated restraint exercised by the Republicans stands in stark contrast to the present unrestrained brutality of the left.  That is why, in just four months, the Democratic party is in a mess and the GOP, while flawed, is intact, albeit changed.

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