There was a time, not long ago, that the GOP got crushed in an election because they were manifestly incapable of not insulting minorities. There were many excuses given as to why they could not stop doing this, but the root of the problem is that the Republican Party is based on racism, pure and simple. They have shaped and molded their base over the course of the last 50 years to believe that being white makes you inherently superior and all other ethnicities are to be dismissed. And while it’s true that not all Republicans are racist, most racists vote Republican.
With that history in mind, we are now seeing the poison fruit of the deliberate sowing of diseased seeds in the modern GOP. Previous generations were aware that they were using racism to manipulate voters and were careful to hide that fact behind dog whistle rhetoric. Now, we have an entire crop of Republicans who truly believe their own spin and cannot stop pouring their bile into the public’s ear at every opportunity, much to the disgust of said public. For instance, here’s Rep. Louie Gohmert explaining how easy it is for Middle Eastern terrorists to pass for Hispanics:
“We know al Qaeda has camps over with the drug cartels on the other side of the Mexican border. We know that people are now being trained to come in and act like Hispanic [sic] when they’re radical Islamists. We know these things are happening. And we need… It’s just insane not to protect ourselves and make sure that people come in as most people do… They want the freedoms we have.”
Here’s the video:
Ah. Yes. Because everyone knows that all brown-skinned people look the same to obnoxious racists like Gohmert. Hell, even the accents are similar! Said no one with an ounce of intelligence ever. Last time I looked, radical Islam was not a fast growing movement in Latin America, Jose Padilla notwithstanding.
In case you’re wondering why the GOP has been making the case over and over that we need to secure the border from “terrorists” when they couldn’t be bothered doing that in the years after 9/11, the answer is pretty simple: They need to appeal to their racist base that despises Latino immigrants. At the same time, they need to appear to not be bashing immigrants so as not to offend the fastest growing and increasingly powerful Latino voter demographic. Solution? Pretend that terrorism is suddenly a HUGE threat from the southern border and we need to “build the dang fence!” It’s laughably transparent and idiots like Gohmert still can’t keep the dripping racism and condescension out their rhetoric.
This is the perfect example of why the GOP is doomed. They forgot, somewhere along the line, that America does not like bigots. Many of us (probably most of us) are bigots to some degree, but we’re not proud of it and we take a very dim view of people who don’t have the tact to keep their bigotry confined to the dinner table and poker night. Republicans have sealed themselves in an echo chamber for so long, they really don’t understand why phrases like “nigger-rigging” or “wetbacks” might offend people. Gohmert is just the latest Republican to casually offend millions of Americans with an offhand remark that speaks to his core beliefs.
Gohmert’s inevitable justification of this gaffe will be equal parts eye-rollingly hilarious and wince-inducing stupid. But that’s your modern day Republican Party in a nutshell.