Former Congressman and vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp’s recent death stimulates the current national discussion about the future of the Republican Party. Kemp, a moderate Republican, represented a faction that wanted to expand the base of the party to minorities beyond it’s southern white support. (click here to read an excellent column by Bob Herbert in the May 5, New York Times on Kemp and his “Futile Quest.” )
Kemp failed and today’s Repoobs remain isolated, mostly southern and primarily white. The Party’s failure to change and its stubborn pursuit of ideals constructed and promoted since the beginning of the confederacy leaves it today with a core constituency still clinging to white supremacy as it’s basic, if often disguised and publicly denied, belief.
Disguised in the robes of faith and religion, “modern” Republicanism (oxymoron) adheres to rigidity, fundamentalism and intolerance on issues of immigration,(keep non-whites out) gun control (protect whites from non-whites) science/evolution (aryanism, god is christian white, we didn’t come from a bunch of monkeys) government activism (states’ rights…keep federal “gummit” outta here so we can make the rules); anti-unionism (keep good jobs for whites), health care (less is more…for non-wealthy and non-whites), individual rights (gay marriage…them gays worse than minorities), women’s’ rights (right to choose, keep men..whitemen… on top); and their marquee issue, taxation (reduce taxes that fund social programs designed to help the poor, like food stamps and medicaid.)
Of course a small faction of moderate Republicans soldier on down this destructive lock-step march to irrelevancy; one, like Arlen Spector, defected. Other moderates wince in the face of their party’s new leaders, Rush Limbaugh (aka Flush Phlegmball) and Sarah “U-Betcha-Winkin'” Palin. Their call for a re-brand of their party sounds hollow, like re-naming Swine Flu H1N1. Spells and smells like pig’s HINI to me.