So Pat was discussing an article about how the Young Republicans have apparently elected some racist to lead them…and I reacted a little less than maturely. Well, okay, you got me. I hear certain words, and, like a trained dog, I bite. Needs work. But whatever! Let’s take a moment to more soberly analyze the issue.
Are there any adults left in the GOP?
Well, maybe not…however, that begs the question, are there any adults left anywhere? I kinda doubt that, too. And if there are adults, it ain’t at the Beast.
Thirty-eight-year-old Audra Shay’s campaign to become the next chairman of the Young Republicans went from obscure to infamous over the past week, after The Daily Beast revealed details of posts of her Facebook account. Specifically, a thread where one of her friends posts that “Obama Bin Lauden [sic] is the new terrorist… Muslim is on there side [sic]… need to take this country back from all of these mad coons… and illegals,” and Shay responds eight minutes later with: “You tell em Eric! lol.”
Following those revelations, several Young Republican colleagues urged Shay to remove herself from tomorrow’s election at the group’s convention in Indianapolis—a request Shay, the favorite going in to the vote, has pointedly refused.
Naturally, the rub is: she won. I’m not going to defend these statements, but I want to point out a couple of things:
Following those revelations, several Young Republican colleagues urged Shay to remove herself from tomorrow’s election
NO WAI! Some Young Republicans were made uncomfortable by her remarks? Who would have thought? Good for them.
a request Shay, the favorite going in to the vote, has pointedly refused.
This is ballsy. Respectably so. But you can be ballsy and still bad-and if I may exercise PREJUDICE, what she said looks pretty damn bad.
Well, okay, nothing really offensive just yet. Nothing to react about. What set me off? Well, for one thing, I doubt most of her supporters were even aware of the fact that she did what she did-to characterize all young Republicans as racist would be stretching it. To their credit they don’t yet explicitly say so. Let’s keep going though…
Seen against a recent trend of racist emails sent by grassroots Republican politicos and the historic trend of Southern conservatives’ realignment into the GOP, it is evidence that the GOP is becoming the Party of Lincoln in name only, a role reversal that has placed the right wing on the wrong side of history.
Anyone feel like the first line is just plain made up? Well, I digress…Note the subtle implication-so subtle you probably would miss it, but really stingingly obvious-maybe not intentional, but the comment is then not offensive but stupid-that all Southerners, simply by virtue of their geography, are racist. Note the whiggish historiography, too. And note the buzz word “party of Lincoln”-the party of restricting slavery from entering new territories, or the party of tariffs, or the party of infrastructure projects, or the party of abolition or..well, what “Party of Lincoln” are they speaking of? Lincoln was many things, but far from perfect (and note that I’m hardly anti-Lincoln-see here starting at10 for a discussion between me and a libertarian about Lincoln). Well, okay, moving on.
To understand why this really is a big deal, you have to have a sense of history.
And as we shall see, in an attempt to make a much bigger deal out of this than it really is, Beast either betrays their ignorance of history, or willfully distorts it.
and what needs to be done to address its now-gaping diversity deficit and rebuild a big tent that lies in tatters today.
I’m going to say something “racist”: Diversity doesn’t matter. Or it shouldn’t. Who cares how “diverse” you are? You can be a “diverse” group but it will have no positive or negative impact on whether your group’s ideas are right or not. There is no inherent value to being “diverse”-in fact, anyone who thinks otherwise has a-dare I say PREJUDICE?-bias against homogeneous groups. Racial homogeneous groups are called “races”. Dare I say it? Those who whine that a party isn’t “diverse” enough are-dun dun DUN-RACIST! But I don’t look at the world that way. I see individuals-they either want to be free, or they don’t. If only white male southerners want to be free, well, that is, how you say, unfortunate…
The Party of Lincoln was founded on the principles of individual freedom and national unity. But it has become the party of the Southern conservatives it was founded to confront.
Yes my Southern friends. By virtue of your geography being the same as some slave owners and segregationists in history, you are racist. For an article which supposedly eschews racism, there is a lot of group guilt being thrown around…But were the Southerners who succeeded from the Union “conservative”? They were their opponents “liberal”? No. Not that it matters. History is not a crime that can be pinned on subsequent generations. BUT-much of the anti-slavery movement was founded on religious sentiment-something that, apart from environmental fervor, the left rejects. Similarly, Southern slave owners could only claim “classical liberalism” by rejecting the idea that slaves were human and thus had no fundamental Lockean rights-a point which I’ll get back to when I criticize the Beast’s mention of abortion, since it is eerie how similar the situations are (HINT: Pregnant women aren’t the slaves in this metaphor). Moreover, the Southern “conservatives” defended slavery with an explicitly authoritarian communist response that slaves, who were cared for and fed by their nanny state owners, where better off than Northern “wage slaves”- The North far more resembled conservative industrial progress than did the South-cotton pickin’ has a low carbon footprint, ya understand 😉 But not everything GOP in that time should be praised. The New York Tribune’s foreign correspondent was none other than Karl Marx.
Social conservatives are engaged in a domestic culture war against modern individual freedom movements, ranging from gay rights to reproductive rights.
Apparently gays are the new slaves. Oh, and pregnant women, too. But, in point of fact, at least in regard to abortion the Beast gets things backwards! Abortion on demand is an “individual freedom” movement? You mean arguing for one person’s freedom to control another? Just like the slave owners? OH SNAP! Yes. I went there. But how can the Beast get away with framing the issue this way? Simple. In the words of Lincoln himself-“We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name — liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names — liberty and tyranny.”
All this can be traced to a Faustian bargain Republicans made precisely 100 years after President Lincoln was re-elected. Between 1860 and 1960—the Civil War and the civil-rights era—contemporary red and blue state maps were entirely reversed, with the South voting solidly Democratic.
No. But, hey, they Myth of the Solid South is pervasive. So debunking it never gets old. In the presidential election of 1928, Moderate Republican Herbert Hoover made major inroads in the South over Al Smith. In fact, there is some truth to there being an inversion, however. The map IS almost exactly the opposite of this map-which may explain the later insinuation that Goldwater was “racist”. But then, what about ’76? Carter got votes extensively from the South. So Jimmy Carter is a conservative racist? But why pick the end of the glorious era at 1960? Well, 1960 bears some resemblance to 2008, I’ll give you that. One could argue that on moderate-ness and his anti-Kennedy arguments Nixon resembles McCain. One could also argue that on charisma and appeal points, JFK resembles Obama. But the clearest point of realignment is in fact the ’72 election-not just the South but the whole country went Republican. And remember, that makes one of the most successful Republicans electorally Richard Milhouse “Southern [i.e. racist] Strategy” Nixon. 😛
Lyndon Johnson signed civil-rights legislation that Republican conservatives like Barry Goldwater opposed. In return, Goldwater won an unprecedented five Southern states in 1964 as the conservative Republican nominee, including 87 percent of the vote in Mississippi. With the realignment of Southern conservatives, Republicans’ belief in individual freedom morphed into support for states’ rights, the longtime banner of secessionists and segregationists.
That is, Barry Goldwater, a liberty loving Republican, is blamed as the racist instigator of the “morphing” of the GOP into supporting the Tenth Amendment. By the way that Bill of Rights thing? That’s a banner of secessionist and segregationists. Thought you ought to know.
African Americans got the message
while this shift helped Republicans achieve seven out of 10 presidential victories between 1968 and 2004, the country is now decidedly more diverse and it ain’t going back. If the GOP had stayed true to its roots, it would be perfectly positioned to benefit from this demographic evolution. Instead, it is facing not only a diversity deficit, but a demographic nightmare.
Huh? Well, sure, we face demographic problems, but if we had lost seven out of ten of those elections, or worse, all of them, by “staying true to our roots” and supporting welfare and affirmative racism, would we be “positioned to benefit from this demographic evolution”? No. We wouldn’t be around at all. And maybe we wouldn’t deserve to be.
In 1999, there were 13 Republican congressmen from Teddy Roosevelt’s home state of New York, now there are only two.
Quick comment-Teddy was a Republican HOW again?
only 19 percent of Americans born after 1977 identify with the GOP.
Yes but young people-as the Beast, Shay, and many other examples demonstrate-are stupid. So what? Now if you are born Democrat you die Democrat? But wait, I thought Republicans were racist because they used to be Southern Democrats!?!?! I can’t follow this anymore! My head is spinning!
Even the term “big tent”—a banner advanced by Ronald Reagan—is dismissed as code for “squishes” or closet liberals.
Reagan good, Goldwater bad? But, wait, Beast forgot guilt by association!
The Republican Party must return to its roots as the Party of Lincoln to revive over the long run. It must reach out to different regions and not just play to the Southern conservative base. It must actively recruit candidates who reflect the full diversity of our country—by articulating an alternative entrepreneurial philosophy of how best to rise out of poverty and achieve the American Dream. It can find common cause with independents and centrists on the issues of fiscal responsibility and national security. But to connect with a new generation, it must resolve the core contradiction at the heart of modern conservatism—the rhetoric of expanding individual freedom is at odds with strident social-conservative policies that alienate anyone with libertarian impulses. The reality is that all young voters are less conservative on social issues ranging from gay rights to the role of religion in politics. Applying narrow social litmus tests to the active exclusion of all others will only further isolate the party.
The Beast’s prescription is OK. I reject the very idea of a “contradiction at the heart of modern conservatism” but I’m all for reaching out to more libertarian minded voters. The way to do it is not to say “Yeah, golly I sure hate religious nuts and love killin’ babies and gay sex and what not.” Who is trying to apply a litmus test again? I have no problem with the Beast’s alleged libertarian beliefs. They clearly have a problem with social conservatives and it isn’t merely that “reality” is working against them-it’s a deep-seated hatred-like the dictator Bismarck before them and like Stalin to the Trotskiites, they are engaged in a Kulturkampf, a war to “purge” those nasty social conservatives from the Party-who, ironically, just want to be let alone (how’s that for libertarian-oops, it’s secessionist too isn’t it…)-and who are being made into a caricature of bible thumping creationists who want to ban condoms and sex altogether rather than people who happen to think that fetuses have rights too, that religion should be legal in public, and that schools shouldn’t decide whether your children learn about sex for you-so as to marginalize them so people see no problem purging them, throwing the unborn babies out with the bathwater, so to speak.
My real problem is not so much with Beast-and certainly not with Pat-In fact, a major issue I have is that I AGREE in large part with the pill they want us to swallow. But they are going about it all wrong. More importantly to me, their view of history is all wrong. I know that because so much of what they say grates on me, lesser mortals will fail to see the good in them at all. I suggest they clean up their act. Shays too.
And things aren’t as bad as they seem either.