Three years after the "most comprehensive post-election review" and Republicans are still all about the wealthy white man

Some things will never change. To a collection of politicians who call themselves members of the Grand Ole Party, that statement is more apparent than ever. It’s never been clearer that Republicans, one of the two major American political parties, represent a very narrow demographic of the American populace.

Since Republicans turned conservative in the 1960s, the GOP has been the party of wealthy white guys for wealthy white guys. The age of information however, with the help of Fox News, the Koch Brothers and their Tea Party kin, has brought their moniker out of the shadows and into forefront of America’s collective minds.

It’s a truth that even Republicans themselves admit. Following Mitt Romney’s loss to Barack Obama in 2012, in what they called the most comprehensive post-election review,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus concluded that the Republican Party has to reach out to women, African-American, Asian, Hispanic and gay voters in order to win.

That same post-election autopsy report also suggested no change in actual policy. And yet they are expecting a different result in 2016? The problem isn’t that Republicans don’t reach out to minorities, woman or the poor (although it doesn’t help). Republicans don’t just shut these people out, they push them out and hold them back. Their policies toward women, African Americans and immigrants are oppressive, not passive.

Voter suppression of African Americans and Latinos, hundreds of new and humiliating abortion laws, continued hostility towards immigrants, the poor, birth control, gay marriage. These policies haven’t just stayed the same over the years, they’ve gotten worse thanks in part to the delivery system of choice, Fox News.

Fox News’ key demographic is old white men and Fox persistently plays to their audience. Hannity and O’Reilly for instance, both wealthy white and male, would have you believe that blacks and other minorities are lazy, unmotivated thugs dependant on the state.

They do everything they can do defend white privilege while denying its existence. If you actually believe their rhetoric, it’s easy to see why you could come away with a feeling of superiority over those who are different or less fortunate.

After centuries of white male supremacy, conservatives like Hannity and O’Reilly still fear losing their societal advantage. They already have every advantage in the world, but that isn’t enough, they take it upon themselves to make sure it stays that way.

Perhaps that’s why the 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls look like they would fit right in at Augusta National Golf Club. Of the 17 Republican Candidates, 16 of them are men, 16 of them are white and at least 13 of them are millionaires. In fact, the wealthiest and most misogynistic of the bunch is in the lead.

Whether they realize it or not, the Republican Party is now made up of promoters of wealthy white male supremacy. That’s not to say that all Republicans are white supremacists or woman haters who want to kill the poor. They just give similar people a voice and a party to vote for. Too bad it won’t be enough to win the presidency in 2016.

5 COMMENTS

  1. When will Trump promise to make the trains run on time? Isn’t that a problem in America? If he adds the word NEVER to the pedestal of Lady Liberty and sculpts the torch into an up raised middle finger would even more folks like him? Do the good Mexicans that are allowed to stay in America get red, white and green badges to wear on their lapels?WTF!

  2. I would add one more qualifier to the list “old testament Christians “. As a reasonable humanist adiest I have amicable relationship with many new testament Christians. Think of the differences between Barack Obama (good new Christian ) and Mike Huckabee (no thanks)

  3. Fifty years ago this month, the Watts area of Los Angeles erupted in violence and general mayhem. It is no coincidence that, fifty years ago this month, my father made a statement that has been nearly as formative for me and my social/cultural perspectives as any statement I ever heard him make.

    While my mom was born into wealth and power, my dad was born into destitute poverty in a two-bedroom hovel in the woods outside Conway, South Carolina. He was one of eleven children born to an alcoholic wife-abuser who committed suicide when he lost his small lumber business during the depression. My dad left home at 14 and lived in a room over a drugstore in downtown Conway, working three part-time jobs to make his way through high school. Like many American men of that time, he then joined the Army and went off to war. Upon returning home, he used the GI Bill to get an engineering degree, married my mom (much to the dismay of her father, who was a wealthy tobacco farmer, state senator and well-known criminal lawyer), had three kids, built a nice home in one of the nicest sections of Columbia (again using a loan made possible through the GI Bill) and became active in church and community affairs.

    He taught the Men’s Bible Class at our stained-glass Methodist Church and, fifty years ago this month, I happened to find myself sitting in his class. Having been kicked out of my Sunday School class for some minor transgression, I was standing in the hallway with my back against the wall when, late to his class, he came flying by. He didn’t even ask. He just grabbed me by the arm (I was 15) and yanked me with him.

    The discussion in the all-white, all-male class that morning immediately went to the situation in Watts. What I remember of it is a lot of all-white, all-male class members criticizing African-Americans for thinking that they were entitled to “what we’ve got” and unwilling to “work for it the way we did.” I also remember my father being silent as the conversation grew more and more stereotypical and racist. Someone finally asked my dad what he thought and asked it in the following way: “Henry, you grew up with nothing and look what you’ve made of your life. Why is it that the blacks out there can’t work like you did and make something of themselves?”

    My dad’s response was brief and, as I mentioned, formative for me. He said, “You’re right that we had almost nothing. But I had one thing that those black kids out there in Los Angeles don’t have and can never have. And what I had that they can never have may explain why most of them will never make it the way I did.”

    Asked what he had that “those black kids out there in Los Angeles don’t have and can never have” that “may explain why most of them will never make it the way I did,” he replied, “I was white.”

    American history—perhaps the history of western civilization—cannot be properly interpreted if not seen through the lens of white entitlement, white privilege. And, in particular, white male entitlement, white male privilege.

  4. That is all true, and I sure hope that all the fake rhertoric, voter restrictions and misogynic truths about them gets enough people riled up enough to GOTV and make sure that America stays on it’s current path to a more empathatic and equal path. I sure hope you’re right with your assessment that they won’t have enough dirty tricks up their collective sleeve(s) to pull off what would be the biggest travesty in American politics (or foolitics, as I like to say) ever!

  5. You left out Christian, so the header of your editorial should read “white Christian males, and those who wish they were. They’re more than happy to include the wannabees as long as you abide by their rules

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