Jun 30, 2013

Target: Black People and Brown Hispanics in Campaigns 2014-16

Neo-NAZI Group Acts in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Gathering of Hispanics and Latinos in 2009
The Southern Strategy on steroids, with red meat thrown to the white working class, and dog whistles to the most extreme idiots in our union

As a lifetime civil right worker, I do wish this above headline were some kine of sick hyperbole.

It's not. Republican racial bigotry was awful this last campaign, but you have not seen anything yet.

It's the coming Republican electoral strategy to deny black people the sacred right to vote, and inflame racial tensions like we have never seen before in this country, and that is saying a lot.

It's only been six days since the infamous Shelby County v. Holder, (Voting Rights Act decision.)

As Jamelle Bouie notes: Just look at what's already happened since the [Voting Rights Act] decision was announced--the GOP is launching voter-suppression drives in six of the nine freshly liberated (southern) states," as Mike Tomasky points out.

Racism is a necessary Republican strategy for the GOP to hang on to power, it is believed by Sean Trende, a GOP strategist and pollster, and as Tomasky further points out, GOP racism is only going to get uglier.

Sean Trende, the conservative movement’s heavily asterisked answer to Nate Silver (that is to say, Silver got everything right, and Trende got everything wrong), came out with an analysis this week, headlined “Does GOP Have to Pass Immigration Reform?,” showing that by golly no, it doesn’t. You can jump over there yourself and study all his charts and graphs, but the long and short of it is something like this. Black turnout and Democratic support have both been unusually high in the last two elections, which is true; Democrats have been steadily losing white voters, which is also true; if you move black turnout back down to 2004-ish levels and bump up GOP margins among whites (by what strikes me as a wildly optimistic amount), you reach White Valhalla. Somehow or another, under Trende’s 'racial polarization scenario,' it’ll be 2044 before the Democrats again capture 270 electoral votes. Thus is the heat of Schlafly’s rhetoric cooled [GOP does not need Latino votes, it just needs to build up the white vote] and given fresh substance via the dispassionate tools of statistics.
Concludes Tomasky:

And here’s the worst part of this story. If the House Republicans kill immigration reform, and Republican parties across the South double down to keep blacks from voting, then they really will need to jack up the white vote—and especially the old white vote—in a huge way to be competitive in 2016 and beyond. Well, they’re not going to do that by mailing out Lawrence Welk CDs. They’re going to run heavily divisive and racialized campaigns, worse than we’ve ever seen out of Nixon or anyone. Their only hope of victory will be to make a prophet of (Sean Trende) who advocates a more racially polarized national race for the GOP—that is, reduce the Democrats’ share of the white vote to something in the mid - to - low-30 percent range. That probably can’t happen, but there’s only one way it might. Run the most racially inflamed campaign imaginable.

Republicans running the most racially inflamed campaign imaginable? I can imagine.

I can also imagine violence appealing to the most unhinged, racist elements of American society. [See above right.]

And violence is a predictable consequence of racially inflamed campaigns.

Even John McCain admirably put the breaks on racist appeals when his staff began to believe things were getting out of control in 2008.

The Republican campaign will be centered in the South and Appalachia, and becoming loosed on white people the nation-over reaching rural Wisconsin, anywhere white people live.

Hate will beget violence and bombings. It's an old story.

If the Republicans run the most racially inflamed campaign imaginable, there will be blood.

I ask again why then would Sean Trende consider such a despicable course of action? What does he believe the consequences would be?

The words of Ralph Mcgill will once again prove prophetic 56 years after the 1957 bombing of a synagogue by "rabid, mad-dog minds" called to action once again, deranged in 1957 by the desegregation decision:

For too many years now we have seen the Confederate flag and the emotions of that great war become the property of men not fit to tie the shoes of those who fought it. Some of these have been merely childish and immature. Others have perverted and commercialized the flag by making the Stars and Bars, and the Confederacy itself, a symbol of hate and bombings.

For a long time now it has been needful for all Americans to stand up and be counted on the side of law and the due process of law - even when to do so goes against personal beliefs and emotions. It is late. But there is yet time.
Due process of law, equal protection. Republicans are out to destroy these foundations of America.

One thing Trende underestimates is that a racial polarization campaign will run into a determined group of allies who will work against racism—a blowback that only those without a sense of history could overlook.

The young, the tens of millions of Americans dedicated to equality, blacks and the browns are going to mobilize into a coalition like Trende has never seen.

Trende does offer over a passing notice to "white" Americans dedicated to equality: "Now, there is a theoretical maximum for Republicans among whites; sooner or later you run into Madison, Wis., and Ann Arbor, Mich." (p.3)

Yes, you do.

There are many living in highly educated cities who find Trende's idea of a racialized campaign to be repulsive. Americans will stand up and be counted.

Let's hope for more work in 2014-16 like that of Sen. John McCain's who pointedly countered racist views by audience members towards Sen. Obama in October 2008. See video below.

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