Rush Limbaugh and Friends Spew Racism
By Janice S. Ellis
First, the Republican Party was the “Party of Lincoln,” and then the “Grand Old Party” (GOP). In recent years it has been commandeered by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, Mike Huckabee, and the Tea Party.
Then arrives Mitt Romney and you have the perfect storm for obsolescence if not, indeed, death of the Republican Party.
What an extraordinary and precipitous decline when you consider it history.
The early Republican Party gained notoriety as the “Party of Lincoln that fought to save the Union, yes the United States, not divide it. The Republican Party was not only filled with abolitionists, but Protestants of many religious persuasion, professional and businessmen, factory workers and farmers. And yes, even many African Americans.
Race seems to be less of an issue then than it is today. After slavery was abolished, blacks achieved prominent roles in local and national government, making history being elected to the United States House of Representatives, the United States Senate, and state legislatures in the south.
Now, race and inclusiveness seem to be an undesirable if not foreign concept. If there were any doubt, during the last two years and the months leading up to the 2012 Presidential election, Rush Limbaugh and fellow right-wing conservatives, along with the Republican Presidential nominee, Mitt Romney made it clear at every opportunity.
When it came to race, blacks and Hispanics were expendable on the road to the White House, and because of it, Romney never arrived.
Furthermore, in assessing what happened along the way, Romney buried the Republican Party even deeper when he claimed that the reason why President Obama and the Democrats won is that the President “gave great gifts from the government” to blacks and Hispanics.
The composition of America has changed since the hay days of the Grand Old Party than reigned from the mid-sixties to the re-election of George W. Bush in 2004, and it will continue to change.
Embracing race and ethnic groups and making it clear that the beliefs of Rush and Romney are not what define the Republican Party will be critical to the party’s long-term relevance and survival.
Pure and simple.
The “Grand Old Party” does not have to forego being the party of conservatives, the party of fiscal responsibility, self-reliance and small government. It just can no longer assume that blacks and Hispanics, the two largest minority groups in the country, do not belong and can be ignored when it comes to public policies.
If more about race and inclusiveness and less about the extreme right-wing positions of the likes of Rush Limbaugh become the focus, then the Republican Party may find its way before the 2016 Presidential election.