Monday, November 03, 2008

White America

Frank Rich (of the New York Times) and Keith Olbermann recently discussed a disturbing aspect of the Republican Party:

OLBERMANN: There was something else that I thought while watching the (Obama-Bill Clinton rally) from Kissimmee that Clinton pointed out-the diversity of the crowd. It's a nice polite way of saying something that is unpleasant, but true, I think. If you looked at the McCain crowds early on, it was not that darker faces were totally missing, but there were few, they were scattered. If you watch now, it seems to me there are almost none, especially at the Palin events.

There's homogeneity to those crowds. And again, I'm trying to be as nice as possible about this, but only Clinton could get away with saying that in that way, don't you think?

RICH: I agree. And I don't think we have to be quite so nice about it. The fact is, this isn't South Africa 25 years ago, this is a major political party that is essentially all white. And the hierarchy of it is definitely all white. There hasn't been a new black Republican elected to federal office, I think, in six years. And so, what does that tell us about the party and how does that look to voters? I think it looks like it's the party of the last century. It looks bad-not only is it morally bad, but politically. I think it's idiotic because it's against the whole demographics of this country and where they are going.


Timothy Smith said...

Thats like saying the democrats are against small business because more support Republicans.

Each party has its own base.

Its amazing how much the media and the political parties have done to polarize America.

Looking up demographics and using your logic I guess one could say Minnesota is racist, especially rural MN.


Rocketstar said...

But i actually love it because this means as the nation continues to get more and more "colored" (I think latino's and Asians outrank Blacks in numbers) the Republican party will continue to decrease in power.

Thomas said...

Tim, you're right, if Palin was speaking in Minnesota, the audience would be virtually all white due to state demographics.

But even in the states that are more heavily African-American, Hispanic, and Asian (Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Mexico), you still don't see minorities in the crowd.

Even more important is the point that those in power at the federal level of the Republican Party consist exclusively of whites.

It's not hard to see why blacks, Hispanics, etc. would find more common ground with a party that includes people who look like them (Bill Richardson's a prominent Hispanic).

Does the Republican Party have any gays (another minority)? The Dems do with Barney Frank.

Rocket, great point. I'm all for the whites becoming a minority if it means less Dubya-types getting elected.

disestablishingpuritanism said...

I've been saying this all along. Let's be honest and say this about the Republican Party: The vast majority of its base has anti-civil rights views -- no abortions period, opposed integration of those of different race, gender, and disabilities, and continue to support reckless behaviors by corporations who oppress workers' rights. Those are all contrary to a Democracy.

Here's the analogy I've also used all along and I think we've all experienced this: Growing up in grade school, you have that spoiled kid in your class who brings a new toy for recess. Everyone wants a chance to play with it. The teacher encourages the kid to share, but he only wants to use it along with a few of his friends. He is told if he doesn't share with the class, he'll be forced to leave the playground and go back to the classroom. The kid pitches a fit, takes his ball, and runs away. Essentially, this defines the Republican Party. They only care about public services when it personally affects them.

Finally, corporate welfare always takes precedent over social welfare. We spent three times the amount on corporate welfare than social welfare at the end of Clinton's eight years. Today, that gap has obviously increased substantially with the recent economic bailout. The late Noam Chomsky said it best, The wealthy are always first in line for public services.

Sarah said...

I'm all for the time when we stop talking about this and just act like one normal country.

houstonmacbro said...

There is something odd and disturbing about the McCain-Palin ticket and I think you nailed it. I actually never intellectualized it until you wrote about it, but it is definitely one thing that turns me off to their party.

It seems like ONLY white folks belong to their party and it certainly doesn't feel like I'd be welcomed into it.

disestablishingpuritanism said...

This is what I've been saying all along. Conservatives attract a narrow base of supporters who use superstition, fear, and mean-spiritedness over ideas and temperament. Their narrow base just defines their narrow thinking. I've used this analogy a few times and will use it again: We've all had that kid in one of our grade school classes who was a spoiled brat. He brings a cool, new toy to class. It's recess time. He decides to only share this toy with a few of his friends. The teacher will only allow him to bring this toy to school if he shares with everyone. So, the boy takes the toy and runs. This is the Republican Party. They take their ball and run away.

Democrats think about their fellow brethren. They want the best for those around them. Republicans are selfesh and only want what's best for them. Whenever they lose their jobs or homes, that's when they ask for assistance. The late Noam Chomsky said it best, "The wealthy are always first in line for public services." It's funny Republicans spend so much time mocking welfare when we always spend so much more on corporate welfare.

Brian said...


Timothy Smith said...

"I'm all for the time when we stop talking about this and just act like one normal country."

We are not moving in that direction. Both sides are moving more to polarize then ever before.

Do you see any acceptance? Even here at this blog? Name calling and talking down to others will not realize the results you are after.

Things are only going to get worse. You cant have compromise when one party controls everything, that's been the battle cry of the democrats for 8 years.

Now it will be the battle cry of the republicans.

You would think calling people stupid for their beliefs would make them want to work with you to achieve positive results but alas it does not....go figure.

All I see here with these posts are people that have little understanding of either political party and worse, NO understanding of the people that support them.

Just look back at past elections. We are a country of Americans, not republicans and democrats. What Sarah seems to want is slipping farther and farther away. Its not Obama or McCains fault or even the repubs and dems.

Its in us...We should focus on what we all have common instead of focusing on what makes us different.

I highly recommend the book "How to win friends and influence people". When you criticize and attack and demean people you will never win their support....even if they think you are right!

Tom, Christians come out for Repubs more then Dems....does that mean the dems don't support Xtian values? Do the dems not support small business given that small business always leans republican?

Maybe things are not as black and white as you make them seem. Parties have their bases for very complex reasons. Why polarize your thoughts as you are told by MSNBC and FoxNews? Use your brain and ask the tough questions and assume that MOST people mean well. You will find the answers you seek and be able to drop a load of hate like a bag of bricks and feel much better about this country, your fellow man and humanity.

Just think, many of those "stupid" people you insulted earlier in your blog "the low IQ people" are voting for Obama now.

Thomas said...

PJ, I'd never before heard the point about Republicans not having any problems with corporate welfare, but being completely against social welfare if it doesn't affect them. It really seems like a lack of empathy on their part and I must say I don't get it. People should ALWAYS come before corporations. I'm not a Christian, but even I know that.

Sarah, I'm with you. Things should quiet down now that the election is over.

Houston, I can certainly understand your feelings that the Reps don't represent your views.

Brian, our time has come.

Tim, it would be good to see less polarization, but what are you gonna do? I've been careful not to blindly attack the other side, but instead to explicitly state the differences I have with the other party.

Most of the people who visit here are Democratically-inclined and have been quite disappointed with how things have gone in the past 8 years. I don't think they want to kick the other party down so much as they want them out of power for a time (justifiably so in my mind).

We should definitely focus on what we have in common, but if all we did was that, health care costs would continue to go up and nothing would be done in regards to the environment.

Dems and Reps have more things in common than they don't, but the differences get blown up during the election. I would agree that most people mean well and I, personally, don't hate the other side. It's just that I have my preferences and the more I think about it, the more you have to admit that McCain's pick of Palin really is an insult to the American people. For that alone, he should lose.

Timothy Smith said...

I agree with the Palin pick, he should have went with Huckabee as that would shore up the base without insulting anyone with a brain. I think McCain misunderestimated his base, lol. His base was not as large of a problem as the independent vote.

Was not talking about the election itself, nothing wrong with this shift, in fact its normal.

But I don't see a new era of cooperation and working together. It may be fun to insult the republicans, call them stupid and what have you but that's exactly the attitude that will make them feel alienated. Much like the democrats were in 2004 after Daschel and the dems took a beating. Back then the dems had no direction and things looked bleak. The repubs treated them as if they did not matter and look what happened to policy and oversight.

That wont change is my point. Same thing now but different party.

You know me, I am not so against Obama winning but I am not so sure about total control for one party. It seldom works out.

The only other two times we had this with the dems was Carter and Johnson, neither of those worked out well. The repubs had similar control with Bush Jr.

Too much power and lack of oversight is the problem and that problems has not been fixed. Until it is you will see more of the same. History is on my side on this one.

Democrats actually agree when talking about Bush and Republicans agree talking about Carter and Johnson but us independents that know the truth...

Does not matter which party has absolute power, it simply never works.

Stay will see this play out over the next few years.

I am hoping for a Clinton era soon after, centrist leader with a hostile house and senate keeping them in check.

Then and only then will you see balanced policy that everyone can live with and some easing in the polarization of this country.

I don't disagree that the democrat mantra is better but based on actions the line becomes more blurry.

The good news is Obama most likely will not attack corporate America and small business like his followers would like to see. Even a dog does not crap where he eats. Its amazing how much one tends to love country when they need her and equally impressive how many corporate America haters will embrace corporate America and capitalism once they spend a few months unemployed.

Obama can not provide us all employment so say a little prayer that he does not bend to your wishes and destroy too much of corporate America. Thats how Reagan got himself elected. No one hates evil corporations when they have not had a job in a year.

Thomas said...

Tim, love the misunderestimated reference. That's one I never get tired of.

I can see why you feel a centrist policy is good for the country, but not as much would get through as it will with the executive and legislative branches controlled by one party.

I say give them a chance. Bush did so many things that made me puke (signing statements, torture, you know the drill - pun intended). I don't see Obama being that over-the-top. If he is, I know you'll be on my ass faster than Palin on a moose (wonder if her daughter is still gonna get married now that the election is over).