Bigotry Now and Bigotry Forever in the GOP Platform

Listen to this article

A couple days ago I was listening to The Damage Report and they said CNN is going to do a “townhall” interview with former South Carolina governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Which prompted me to remark, “The band Soundgarden produced an album inspired by Nikki Haley. It’s called Superunknown.”

Actually, that’s not fair — to Soundgarden.. Great band. “Black Hole Sun” is from that album. Rest In Peace Chris Cornell.

There are a few things that bug the crap out of me these days. First is: Why do a townhall with Nikki Haley? She’s running for president, but really, how is she doing in the polls? This is from Besides, we are still seven months away from the first primaries and caucuses.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is finally in the race officially. His official launch was a challenge, a big problem that took 20 minutes to fix. You see DeSantis chose to announce his candidacy on Twitter Spaces … “ummm, what’s that?”

It’s a part of the Twitter-verse that is glitchy and has no practical applications.

Oh, the horrible music as people waited to see the candidacy launch. Elon Musk was there “with” DeSantis and some wealthy GOP donor and tech-meister David Sacks. Those two allegedly brilliant tech guys couldn’t ensure this obviously important moment for their puppy, Ron DeSantis, would happen without a glitch? That’s hilarious. Makes us ask the question: “Just how tech-savvy are Elon Musk and David Sacks?”

Still, the biggest story in GOP politics is the ex-president Donald J. Trump, who has made good sport with DeSantis’s fumbled campaign roll out. Trump is 31 points ahead of DeSantis and light years ahead of all other GOP candidates. Nikki who?

Tim Scott is running — I guess. His campaign roll out features a microphone failure, well, two mics failed to work. Then there was the South Carolina Senator’s very funny screech when his voice cracked. Scott believes he is the candidate the left fears the most. He doesn’t have the poll numbers for that to be remotely true. Plus, his roll out is funny. It’s hard to fear a joke.

From Senator Tim Scott’s presidential campaign announcement

Tim Scott, like Nikki Haley, is miles below DeSantis in the polls and therefor many more miles below the Orange Man. The GOP base wants #45 as their nominee, no one else. He’s the guy telling Republicans to refuse raising the debt ceiling. He actually said his GOP minions should let the U.S. debt default. I don’t think we had a high government official, or a former government official, telling members of Congress to let the government debt default.

On Friday I was watching Deadline: White House and the host, Nicolle Wallace, called Trump a lunatic. It was funny, but the term wasn’t just a comical evaluation of the ex-president. It is also an accurate description of the guy who is running for president, again. We should start working now to keep the lunatic from regaining office anywhere. The horror of the 2016 election is still fresh in my mind, as it is with many others, including a number of talking heads on the two news channels. That would be MSNBC and CNN.

Reports from the usual newspapers, the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, indicate the special counsel who was assigned by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the various crimes ex-president Trump is alleged to have committed during and after his time in office, is close to finishing his investigations..

Apparently the special Counsel, Jack Smith, has surveillance videos that show Trump aids and Mar-a-Lago employees moving boxes a day before National Archives and Department of Justice personnel arrived to get documents Trump took home when he was pushed out of office.

The laws Trump is alleged to have committed include obstruction of congress, obstructing federal agencies, and the espionage act. According to several news organizations there is evidence and testimony that claims Trump instructed his employees and lawyers to move the boxes one day before the DoJ was scheduled to search Mar-a-Lago for missing classified documents. He also held “dress rehearsals” for moving boxes should the need arise.

What’s astounding about this is that the majority of the GOP is either willing to go along with Trump and his conspiracy theories, as well as his criminal activity, or, the absolutely support, encourage and promote the ex-president’s run for the 2024 presidential election.

How on Earth did one of the two major political parties in the USA become a party of insurrectionists, supporters of insurrectionists and passive enablers of insurrectionists, not to forget them being viciously bigoted? It might have started with Nixon’s “Southern strategy” to win the voters who did not like the Equal Rights and Voting Rights bills passed by congress and signed by President Lyndon B Johnson. In other words, the GOP in 1968 decided they wanted the votes of the racists that wanted to keep African Americans oppressed in the South.

Recently I watched the movie by The Band, called The Last Waltz. After 40-plus years my thoughts about the film changed significantly. Guitarist, singer and songwriter Robbie Robertson came off sounding extremely pretentious, but worse yet, in their practice house there was a Confederate battle flag on the wall. Levon Helm is from Arkansas. The rest of the band was from Canada. I probably won’t watch that movie again.

YouTube screenshot of The Band from the film, “The Last Waltz”

Levon Helm wasn’t a racist. He performed with many Black musicians. Muddy Waters joined The Band in The Last Waltz, but the Confederate battle flag put me off. Times have changed since the movie was recorded, November 25, 1976, which was Thanksgiving. Everyone in the audience was treated to a Thanksgiving dinner. At any rate, flying that hate-filled banner would not be acceptable today.

The Southern strategy grew and grew until we had, in August 1980, then presidential candidate Ronald Reagan giving a speech on states’ rights in Philadelphia, Mississippi. That was the site of one of the many horrific episodes in the fight for civil rights in the South: The murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner by the Ku Klux Klan and local law enforcement; June 21, 1964.

With Reagan appearing at the Neshoba County Fair giving a speech on states’ rights, not civil rights, is believed by many — including members of Reagan’s campaign staff — to be an appeal to the racist elements in the Mississippi GOP and the throughout the South. Giving that speech in the county where those three civil rights volunteers had been murdered was no coincidence. The planners of the speech, including Trent Lott, who was a congressman for Mississippi in the House of Representatives, knew exactly the unspoken message they were sending to Southern voters who were still trying to oppress Black people: “We support your efforts to maintain white supremacy.”

You might remember when Senator Trent Lott got into trouble for telling the most prominent racist in the U.S. Senate — in modern history — Strom Thurmond that he wishes Thurmond had won his campaign to be president in 1948. Thurmond ran on “segregation now and segregation forever.” He was of the opinion that the individual states had the right and authority to oppress African Americans. Obviously he didn’t put it that way. He called it “states’ rights.”

Thurmond assured his 1948 White supporters that he was representing them, saying, “I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there’s not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the Nigra race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches.”

In 1993 then President George H.W. Bush gave Thurmond the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which may prove that if a person lives long enough all their sins and transgressions are washed away.

It’s a long, occasionally fog-covered road from Strom Thurmond in 1948 to today, when we have one party, The Republican Party, supporting insurrectionists, anti-life gun safety laws and anti-life abortion restrictions and flat out racism and anti-Semitism, not to mention violent oppression of LGBTQ+ people, adults and children. Maybe Strom Thurmond is proof racism in national politics goes back farther than Nixon’s 1968 “Southern Strategy.”

The Republican Party of today is the most hate-filled that I’ve seen in my lifetime. Or, maybe they are just more open about it, flagrantly so in states like Texas and Florida. Remember when Florida was a place we liked to visit for vacations? Same with Texas.

The NAACP and some other civil rights organizations have issued travel warnings to people of color, women, immigrants and LGBTQ+ saying Florida, with its current GOP-controlled government, is hostile to those groups. If I want to visit the Florida Keys to do some snorkeling the current state government will be a major concern. Still, I know some very nice Democrats in Florida.

Do Americans really want the entire United States to look, feel and sound like Florida? The answer is no. The majority of Americans do not approve of banning books or taking away rights from women, people of color, immigrant, LGBTQ+ and telling colleges and universities what they can and cannot teach.

This could be an easy bet: a reporter asking DeSantis — or any other GOP candidates for president — where the term “woke” came from and how it started. We should not let the extremist GOP redefine language, we should stop letting them gaslight us.  Let’s bury the GOP in 2024 once and for all, starting at the local level.