One of the most interesting, yet depressing things about the ascendency of Donald Trump and his populist brand of conservative bigotry, is that it paints decent Republicans and conservatives into a corner when it comes to actually making American great. As he pushes identity politics and the idea that Americans should be able to freely speak their mind—even if the mind they speak is polluted with hate, prejudice, sexism, and other aberrant thoughts—under the banner of the Republican Party, it only serves to divide America and destroy the gains made by both Democrats and Republicans to implement social and economic changes that could benefit people of all races, religions, or orientations.
Many Trump supporters, or even people who consider themselves die-hard conservatives, take his bombast as license to speak ill, and they find any challenge to their own vitriol as nothing more than “liberal overreaction”. Their relegation of anti-racist politics to the scrapheap of “left wing neoliberalism” extinguishes the possibility that their own party—the party of Lincoln and partners in the passage of the Civil Rights Act—from actively challenging racism in the here and now. Worse is the stereotypical idea that the only people who are actively opposing racism and speaking out against it are “whiny, politically-correct hippies”. What red-blooded conservative wants to be associated with them?
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]What is needed is a serious intellectual movement among the Republican party to combat the “deplorables” in their ranks.[/mks_pullquote]
What is needed is a serious intellectual movement among the Republican party to combat the “deplorables” in their ranks. They need an active anti-racist effort of thoughtful people who will bury those InfoWars kooks and poorly hidden neo-supremacists hiding in their ranks in their own internal debates and discussions, so that the party can again lead by principle and not by appealing to the lowest common denominator. When a conservative Republican claims to love the constitution, but allows their fellow Republicans to spout divisive rhetoric about their fellow citizens based on their race or religion, how can they logically claim to be constitutionalists?
What can you do as a Republican or conservative who believes in anti-racism?
One way you can start is to stop sitting silently by when you see your fellows spreading hate or bigotry under the guise of party politics. Just because a social media post or meme is anti-Democrat, it doesn’t mean it’s right if it uses racist imagery or stereotypes to make its point. Who really wants hate speech (albeit “free speech”) promoting their core party principles? Why would any Republican want to stand by apathetically in the face of someone blackening their party’s true message with a message that belongs in the gutter? Apathy gives assholes and evil men the license to act and speak as they do. When you say nothing, they speak for you!
Also, why do you allow politicians like Donald Trump, or other less than honorable men and women, rob you step-by-step, openly and in secret, of your core values? When you say, “Well, they are Republicans, I guess I’ll support them”, even when they say stupid things or appeal to intellectually flawed elements, you don’t get the leadership you want or deserve. If a candidate embarrasses you or runs contrary to your morals, don’t tick that bubble in the ballot box, send them packing and find someone who can represent you and your party right. Winning isn’t everything if you elect a loser.