Rep. Peter King holding "hearings" on the place for Islam in America. Illegal immigration, gay rights, Islam and other non-Christian faiths...the GOP seems to have all their bases covered in terms of appealing to the underlying bigotry in their voting base.
Well, I KNEW there would be a lot of material from Thursday night’s debate that would make me mad. I KNEW there would be exchanges between the GOP candidates that would provide plenty of fodder for a blog post. But once again, as with the previous debate, it’s a reaction of some of those in the crowd that is the most sickening. In the previous debate, we had the crowd shouting YES when Wolf Blitzer asked Ron Paul if an uninsured dying man should just be allowed to die. This time, a few
members of the crowd actively booed active Army soldier Stephen Hill when he asked a question. Hill is gay, and asked a question regarding don’t-ask-don’t-tell.
I realize the entire Republican party aren’t bigoted SOBs. Well, I’m PRETTY sure they’re not all bigoted SOBs. But given the GOP’s stance on a number of important issues, and given Republican candidates statements on these issues over the last year, there is NO way you can convince me that outright BIGOTRY isn’t behind many of the views of some of those in the GOP. For the candidates themselves…sometimes I swear they’re all trying to see who can appear to be the whitest, most conservative SOB possible. During the last debate, Mitt Romney ripped into Rick Perry for (GASP!) allowing all Texas residents to get in-state tuition rates. Romney lashed out at Perry for what amounts to providing a $22,000 break on total tuition to undocumented immigrants. WHY!?!?!? WHO CARES!?!?!? Why would the audience also BOO providing people with more reasonable tuition rates? What POSSIBLE harm does this do to ANYONE?!?!!? Why would such a seemingly minor issue become a major part of a debate of Republican presidential candidates!??!
The answer is simple…the GOP is VERY good at playing to the underlying bigotry of their voting base. Oh, they won’t come out and say that. But look at the issue of immigration, and GOP stance in these debates. Perry, arguably the most conservative of all the main GOP candidates, is lustily booed for his immigration stances, for DARING to say you don’t have a heart if you want to take away this tuition rate. Perry (OMG, am I defending Perry yet again?) also was ripped for not wanting to build a 10-foot fence all along the Mexican border. The GOP candidates all seem to try to trip over themselves to see who can sound like the biggest BIGOT on the issue of immigration. That’s what their voting base demands, and they play right into it.
I find Republicans views on immigration very disgusting, as it often seems like they talk about the issue as if they’re trying to stem a flow of cockroaches, rats, or other vermin, instead of talking about immigrants as PEOPLE. I find Republican views equally disgusting on gay rights issues, as shown by the booing of Hill at the debate. Every major candidate in the field supports a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, save for Ron Paul, who opposes it basically because of his libertarian views of keeping the government out of private issues. How could you call it anything BUT bigotry, if the mainstream Republican view is that we should specifically amend our Constitution to discriminate against one group of Americans??
I could keep going. The mainstream Republican stance seems to be to support more integration of religion into society, including government. Well, more integration of religion, as long as it’s Christianity! Republicans will fight like hell to support public displays that refer to God, bible passages, etc. But they’ll fight equally hard AGAINST things like some supposed attempt to integrate Shariah law into our society. It’s politically popular for local and state politicians to introduce legislation against Shariah law…despite NO evidence whatsoever that there is ANY push by the American Muslim community to expand the role of Shariah law in America. And now at the federal level, we have had Rep. Peter King holding “hearings” on Islam in the U.S., hearings he said he’d like to continue.
I’m a white male with a Christian upbringing. I’m heterosexual with a wonderful wife and little boy. And I think sometimes my demographic is the ONLY group the GOP seems to be targeting.