I just had to share what I think were the strongest remarks about the Republican Party this past weekend, and they came from outgoing Chair Boyd Richie. Frankly, I hadn’t heard truth like this spoken by someone who doesn’t look like me in a long time, and I think we need a lot more of this from our leaders and from our candidates in 2012.
They have successfully played on peoples’ fears of things different from themselves. They’ve turned working families against each other; public against private; White against Black against Brown; straight against gay; Protestant against Catholic against Jew against Muslim against, against, against.
They didn’t originate suspicion but they’ve done an excellent job of exploiting it. They’ve made us quite comfortable with our prejudices.
As we are acutely aware, Republicans continue to use code words and symbols that demonize, scapegoat and stereotype minorities in Texas. It’s as despicable as their voter suppression schemes.
They know where to dig up the old fears and hatreds embedded in so many Texans. This prejudice is an infection of the soul and our opponents are able and willing to inflame it.
But in this regard we must confront a sad truth. They don’t employ these dog whistles simply because they’re bigots. They do it because it works.
Specifically it moves Anglo voters. Overwhelmed by the combination of hateful rhetoric and Fox News they go to the polls more to vote against us than for Republicans.
We always quickly and firmly denounce this bigotry yet it doesn’t stop them from using the same tactics—time after time, year after year. Worse, our condemnations have little effect on Anglo voters who have bought into this trash.
Good job, Chairman.