By Jeff Charles
The world of polemics can be rather tricky at times. Both conservatives and progressives must wield their very best arguments if they desire to win more people to their side. Indeed, people on both sides articulate their views in a way that they believe will be most persuasive.
…you are a horrible, monstrous, raging bigot if you dare to disagree.
Conservatives typically favor an approach that emphasizes liberty, smaller government, and personal responsibility. Their arguments are designed to preserve the values that make America exceptional and resist proposals that could empower the government to become unduly intrusive. They rely mostly on history, facts, and data to bolster their point.
On the other hand, progressives typically advocate for a society in which citizens place their trust in the state to provide for the greater good of the people. They eloquently promote the values of government largesse and equality of outcome. Those on the far left often support their positions by emphasizing that you are a horrible, monstrous, raging bigot if you dare to disagree.
In a recently published article, The Washington Post’s national political reporter Matt Viser engaged in some of the cynical race-baiting common on the far left when he discussed the midterm elections.
Old-Fashioned Progressive Race Baiting
In his piece, Viser claimed that GOP candidates are using racist rhetoric in their bid to win. First, he pointed to a robocall used in the gubernatorial race in Georgia to target candidate Stacey Abrams. Funded by an Idaho-based group called the Road to Power, the call featured a man claiming to be Oprah Winfrey, who campaigned on Abrams’ behalf.
“This is the magical negro Oprah Winfrey, asking you to make my fellow negress, Stacey Abrams, the governor of Georgia,” the voice says. “Years ago the Jews who own the American media saw something in me — the ability to trick dumb white women into thinking I was like them. And to do, read, and think what I told them to.”
Rep. Steve King
The message continues: “I see that same potential in Stacey Abrams. Where others see a poor man’s Aunt Jemima, I see someone white women can be tricked into voting for — especially the fat ones.“
Viser might have a point — that robocall was certainly racist. Next, he looked at a controversy surrounding Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) decision to meet with representatives of an Austrian party with ties to “historical Nazis,” which, he claims, “would be Republican were it in the United States.”
King also has come under fire for endorsing Faith Goldy, who is running for mayor of Toronto. Goldy is a lesser known white supremacist who was fired from Rebel Media for her apparent white nationalist sympathies.
The reporter also brought up other instances in which King made racially charged statements. However, he grudgingly admits that the GOP has criticized the representative.
Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers, who heads the National Republican Congressional Committee, posted a tweet calling King’s comments “completely inappropriate” and asserting that “we must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms.”
The National Review also published a piece titled “Conservatives Need to Draw the Line at Steve King.” GOP strategist Karl Rove also slammed King, stating that “he’s gotten worse over time. Now he’s hanging around with neo-Nazis in Austria and aligning himself with anti-Semitic fringe figures in Canadian politics.”
Of course, Viser neglected to mention the fact that the Democratic Party refuses to address racists on its side. Indeed, the party’s leaders have no problem making appearances with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who recently compared Jews to termites and led a chant of “Death to America” in Iran.
Farrakhan is not the only Democratic leader to espouse bigoted beliefs. Former Rep. Keith Ellison, who is now running for Minnesota Attorney General, argued at a fundraiser in 2010 that Israel has an undue influence on U.S. foreign policy:
“The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes.”
How the GOP Can Deprive the Left of Ammo
Progressives — and their allies in the legacy media — have run a decades-long campaign to convince the American public that the conservative movement is full of bigots who support the oppression of anyone who is not white. Unfortunately, their strategy has worked. One of the main reasons why minorities and members of the LGBTQ community have rejected the GOP is because they believe that conservatives are racists.
It would be easy simply to blame the left for successfully painting conservatives as racist, but this approach will not help the GOP earn more minority support. While many on the right might not want to admit it, Republicans allowed themselves to be labeled in this way. Only now are conservatives finally pushing back against the mindless race-baiting attacks being perpetuated by progressives.
If the conservative movement wants to remain relevant, it is essential that right-leaning Americans destroy the perception that they are bigots. American demographics are changing, and it is believed that in fewer than 30 years, whites will represent less than half of the population. Put simply; the GOP must start actively courting minority voters if they wish to win future elections. No viable alternative exists.
Shedding the label of bigotry requires the GOP to speak more forcefully against bigotry. No, this does not mean that conservatives need to embrace the type of identity politics that promotes victimhood and race-baiting. But it does mean that they must be willing to take an aggressive approach to racism in their ranks and elsewhere. Moreover, it is critical that the Republican Party focus on outreach to inner-city communities in the same way they do with rural and suburban areas.
It is often said that if Republicans can take even 10% to 20% of the black vote away from Democrats, the left will never win another election. But the opposite is also true: If the GOP continues to ignore these demographics, they will be doomed to irrelevancy in the near future.