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Posted by on Oct 3, 2015 in Politics | 30 comments

The GOP isn’t racist or sexist. It is tone deaf instead.

Republican Party

As the current political season gets underway, the same old accusations against one political party are being made by members of other parties. In the case of the Republican Party, the accusations are that the Party is racist and sexist.

Those particular accusations are false, but it is understandable as to why the accusations are being made. Despite its merits, the Republican Party has a reoccurring problem with being tone deaf. At times, it seems as if the GOP is a case of the blind leading the blind, making the Party blind, deaf and dumb (and by “dumb” this writer doesn’t mean “mute”).

For example, the GOP habitually shoots itself in the foot in regards to race relations. The latest example of this is the rise of Donald Trump as the front-runner in the current GOP presidential contest. Republicans are just fooling themselves if they think that Trump isn’t driving Hispanic voters away from the GOP.

Trump isn’t the only loud-mouthed Republican to go anti-Hispanic. Republican polemicist Ann Coulter hasn’t just been ranting against illegal immigrants. She has ranted against the importation of Hispanic culture, insinuating that Hispanic immigrants are turning the USA into a third-world nation.

Elected GOP officials have done their own work in turning minorities away from the GOP. The GOP erred by promoting voter ID laws at the wrong moment in history. Have there been cases of voter fraud? Yes, but they have been sporadic and very few in number. What the GOP has done is the equivalent of using wrecking ball to kill a fly.

When it comes to sexism, the GOP is constantly defending itself against a charge that it is waging a war on women. That charge is the result of the GOP’s ham-handed handling of the topic of abortion. When it comes to that topic, GOP politicians have a bad habit of putting the cart before the horse.

From a political perspective, an important question needs to be answered: Does the U.S. Constitution permit the federal government to define when human life begins? If it doesn’t, then another question needs to be answered: Does the U.S. Constitution permit individual states to define when human life begins? GOP politicians do themselves no favors by assuming that the beginning of human life has been legally defined when (to the best of this writer’s knowledge) it hasn’t.

[If there is such a legal definition in the USA that has survived a court challenge, then please cite in the comments section evidence for it, because this writer could be mistaken.]

Granted, courts have upheld restrictions on abortion when a human fetus can survive outside the womb, but such restrictions are based on clear medical evidence that the fetus already has all of the functioning components of a human being. That is not the case when an embryo is less than three weeks old.

Retired Senator Tom Coburn is a physician, and he has stated (if this writer recalls correctly) that the beginning of human life should be defined the same way that the end of human life is defined – with the presence or absence of a heart beat and brain activity. As this writer points out in a previous post, the human heart begins beating 3 weeks after conception. Prior to that time, a pregnant woman can logically conclude that it is her body to do as she wishes. Likewise, a woman can logically conclude that a contraceptive method that prevents embryonic development after fertilization isn’t killing anyone. Indeed, the use of birth control in general isn’t a form of killing.

Sure, plenty of Republicans use their religious beliefs to argue that human life begins at conception, but the USA isn’t a theocracy of any kind. The U.S. Constitution doesn’t permit religious beliefs to be codified into law. Republicans grievously err if they try to force their religious beliefs onto women.

Then there is the way that the GOP has handled the issue of federal funding of Planned Parenthood. The Party, in general, hasn’t handled that political “hot potato” very well. Attempting to shut down the federal government over that particular issue is simply the wrong way to go. A persuasive argument can be made against giving federal tax dollars to a private organization such as Planned Parenthood, but GOP lawmakers have done a poor job of making such an argument. Instead, they have once again put the cart before the horse.

As this writer see it, the GOP gets itself into trouble with voters because GOP politicians are in a hurry to convert their beliefs into law without taking into consideration how human nature responds to sudden changes. Although individuals might respond well to such changes, humans as a group are much more resistive to changes. As a group, humans will accept sudden change as necessary when they perceive an immediate physical threat to their lives.

Yes, the Republican Party has its merits that make it valuable to the USA. Yet, the Party still gives its critics legitimate reasons to complain, and the critics with legitimate complaints aren’t being anti-GOP zealots. Like all political parties, the GOP has its weaknesses, and in the opinion of this writer, one of those weaknesses is being tone deaf. Thankfully, the GOP isn’t a marching band, because even the residents of Bikini Bottom make better music.

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  • Gary In Seattle

    A large part of the republican party now believes that they should demand and get anything they dream up because: Belief trumps science & knowledge; History is re-writable; And apparently their very minority existence trumps everyone included in the majority of voters in this country. It’s very much like a (not so) old German ferry tale.

  • shannonlee

    lol, sure, because phrases like “anchor baby” aren’t racist.

  • The notion that the perception of the Republican Party as racist and sexist is due to poor public relations/marketing ignores some important realities. A subset of the GOP is clearly racist and sexist. This is reflected in their policies that discriminate (e.g. deny equal rights) against racial/ethnic minorities and women. Those policies would not have sufficient support to make their way into the party’s platform and orthodoxy without racism and sexism among its membership.

  • Slamfu

    The GOP is tone deaf BECAUSE it’s racist and sexist, not the other way around. The reason they are so frequently insulting woman and minorities is because those who control the message in the GOP constantly approach it from their perspective only and can’t put themselves in the shoes of another. In addition to that, they clearly have a set of preconceived notions about those groups as to why they want and do what they do and this is reflected in their policy positions.

    I’d like to use Rush Limbaugh as an example because he embodies this more strongly than anything I can think of. Whenever some minority or women’s group does something, he takes a tiny grain of fact about them, then proceeds to fill in the gaps in the story with what he thinks is their motivation and goals. He will then come up with a fantastic story and narrative without ever actually checking into things that rarely touches on reality and paints the subject in the most unfavorable light. Sandra Fluke, the “Lord’s Army vs. Obama”, and countless others. It is why so many zombie lies on the right continue despite being debunked for ages, because they play into these preconceived notions without having to be true.

    The GOP isn’t tone deaf. They just can’t help but fill in the gaps of their knowledge, which are many, with their preconceived notions and the resulting product is inevitably insulting to many groups.

  • Lorie Emerson

    Can I make a man donate blood, a kidney, sperm or bone marrow against his will to save a child? No, because men have bodily autonomy, but its okay to try and make a woman donate for the sake of someone who isn’t even born. That’s sexist.
    The voter ud issue isn’t being tone deaf- its an attempt to provide an advantage during elections by denying minorities and the poor an opportunity to vote. That’s racist and classist.
    In general, we can’t know what is in someone’s heart and have to judge based on their actions. The republucan parties actions speak louder than their words. Just ask my, actually deaf, gay brother.

  • JSpencer

    Speaking of hypocrisy and apologism, I have zero doubt that if men were the ones who got pregnant, pro-choice would have been a done deal from day one and there would be little or no controversy about it.

    • Slamfu

      Are you kidding? If men could get pregnant abortions would be free and there would be a clinic on every corner.

      • Maybe not free. Although not an exact analogy, Viagra is expensive and most insurances don’t over it.

        • Slamfu

          Viagra is recreational, abortions are not. Also, I was indulging in a little hyperbole.

          • Yes, not an exact analogy. It only shows that men running the system won’t necessarily give everything away to men. This only would be a significant point if you were being literal regarding abortions being free if needed by men. We both know that in health care, it is rare that anything is free or even inexpensive.

  • The_Ohioan

    From the other98.com

    “How about we treat every young man who wants to buy a gun like every woman who wants to get an abortion – mandatory 48-hr waiting period, parental permission, a note from his doctor proving he understands what he’s about to do, a video he has to watch about the effects of gun violence.

    Let’s close down all but one gun shop in every state and make him travel hundreds of miles, take time off work, and stay overnight in a strange town to get a gun Make him walk through a gauntlet of people holding photos of loved ones who were shot to death, people who call him a murderer and beg him not to buy a gun.

    It makes more sense to do this with young men and guns than with women and health care, right? I mean no woman getting an abortion has killed a room full of people in seconds, right?”

    • Rcoutme

      I kind of like these gun restrictions…

  • KP

    Pissed off grumpy people. Missed you (I think) the last couple days.

    🙂

    • dduck12

      Can you blame them, Reps are: “The GOP is tone deaf BECAUSE it’s racist and sexist,” better: “A subset of the GOP is clearly racist and sexist.” got that, subset. But why quibble over all or a subset, after all they have the high road and sometimes they get a piece like this to show their anger.

      Enjoy.

      • Lorie Emerson

        The problem would be if I join the KKK solely for their fabulous bbqs, I’m still supporting the KKK.
        Give me one GOP national candidate who is pro choice. Understand that I don’t care what their personal feelings are, because I would never force someone to have an abortion. I care about the right to my bodily autonomy- the same right that men enjoy.
        Give me the national candidate who objected to the voter ID issue. And if you want to yell about voter/ election fraud then why not check the dang machines that are adding up the votes? Why not insist on a paper trail for electronic voting? Its easy to have the machine spit out a receipt that could go in a box to be hand counted in case of dispute (atms and gas pumps have been doing it for a long time). Look at NC where they are closing dmvs (making that voter id even harder to get). It’s racist. Now, not all members are racist, sexist, or pushing for a male dominated theocracy, but those that are are very vocal and often in power within the party. Until a majority of Republicans stand up to those in their party pushing these things, I’ve got to call it as I see it. Sure many join up for the tax breaks so they can throw more BBQ’s, but… it does negate the other policies and positions they are inherently supporting.
        http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article27951310.html

        • The_Ohioan

          So all that makes you pissed off and grumpy? How odd.

          • dduck12

            Perhaps the feeling of helplessness makes us grumpy, it sure does to me. Is that odd?

          • The_Ohioan

            Me, too, so I don’t consider it odd. If I try to make a change in the party I’m affiliated with and can’t do it, I’ll leave it and put my money and time somewhere else. I don’t understand why others don’t do the same, but whatever…

            But I will complain (and be grumpy – mea culpa) about policies that I see as hurtful and that has nothing to do with whichever party or organization I am supporting, but with the poor policy being promoted by the group that enacts it.

          • KP

            I do believe most of us here are trying to make change through our works, support (‘hands on’ or financial) and by telling story.

            I really do.

            But I do find it odd when some seem so at ease calling “republicans” racist, or the GOP “racist”.

            I can’t align myself with the GOP or register as a republican because there are things I don’t want to be associated with.

            dduck and mrs dduck excluded!

            As well, I will not identify as democrat or register as a democrat as long as that type of simple minded broad brushing exits.

            I don’t need to be part of either club-bigot.

            My works and finances are focused on making my community, my state, our country and our world a better place.

            Just my 1.5 to 3.0 cents depending on the foreign exchange 🙂

            EDIT: simple things ….

          • The_Ohioan

            When someone says “the GOP” that is understood to mean the Grand Old Party – no more, no less. When someone says “the Republicans” that is understood to mean those who support the GOP with their votes/money/service in whatever capacity.

            My understanding is that the anti-immigrant, anti-voting laws the GOP promotes are based on race and ethnicity. If people still vote for GOP candidates, knowing these policies will be pursued, then what can we deduct other than that they are willing to promote racist policies. I would consider it odd to believe otherwise. You will have to explain to me why they are not.

          • KP

            <>

            Much appreciated and thanks for your clarity.

            Emphasis on your clarity // over someone.

        • dduck12

          I believe that is Alabama for the DMV closings.
          I am also pro choice, and some of the candidates think as Obama said to HC: :campaigning is different than being president. He aught to know, they all find out. I would love to have a pro choice Rep candidate and one who also agree with me on other positions. They don’t, but I hope the winner Dem or rep just does an overall good job.
          I think you will find that reasonable is the most we can hope for in this election and I would hope for Kasich.
          I don’t know if you are objecting to my last comment, I was just pointing out the broad brush (for the hundredth time) vituperative dialog used by many on blogs.
          BTW, give me a candidate that doesn’t lie and then double down on the lie. Some will still vote for that person regardless, that p_____ me off.

      • Slamfu

        The “subset” you speak of is in charge of it’s messaging and agenda. That makes them the party in every sense of the word that matters. Reasonable Republicans are the subset I’m sad to say. At least these days.

  • rudi

    The republican’s cannot be racist. They would never backdoor the Voting Rights Act and make it impossible the “darkies” to vote in Alabama.
    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2015/10/02/how-alabama-is-making-it-even-harder-for-african-americans-to-vote/

    In Alabama due to Voter ID laws, it is illegal to vote without a government-issued ID, which usually means a driver’s license. That wouldn’t be such a big deal if Alabama wasn’t closing places to get those IDs in 12-15 counties. Which all happen to be primarily African American.

    [These are] counties where some of the state’s poorest live. Counties that are majority African-American. Combine that with the federally mandated Star ID taking effect next year, and we’re looking at a nightmare. Or a trial lawyer’s dream. When the state passed Voter ID, Republican lawmakers argued that it was supposed to prevent voter fraud. Democrats said the law was written to disenfranchise black voters and suppress the voice of the poor.

    But yeah, Democracy, am I right?

    • Slamfu

      I think you are missing a “/” in there somewhere 🙂

      Also, I agree with it.

  • KP

    Rep and Dems are like two sitcoms.

    Both racist and bigoted with some level heads trying to prevail.

    1) you got you Archie Bunkers and Meathead

    2) you got your Fred G Sanford and Lamont

    Archie and Fred are still holding the mortgage and Lamont and Meathead are representing most of us.

    Boozoo bajou … dust my broom (ie my two cents)

    EDIT: humor alert (humour for north of the border).

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