Tea Party Speaker Taken Aback When Crowd Cheers Being Called ‘Racist’ And ‘Homophobic’

The Tea Party isn’t even trying to hide their bigotry anymore. On Saturday at the California Republican Party’s fall convention, right-wing activists amassed to workshop some ideas on how the aging Tea Party can desperately cling to relevance in a world that largely considers them to be irrelevant. According to the Sacramento Bee, the group was addressing a problem that is indicative of a persistent issue within the Republican party  — a nice, likely white, man working a GOP booth at the state fair was unable to attract people.

The solution was simple: use attractive college women to make the Republican party appealing to someone, anyone. Producer Michael Emerson told the older, mostly-white crowd:

“You bring in some 25- and 30-year-old good looking college students, men and women, and watch how fast you get young people to stop by the booth.”

Emerson suggested something that is almost unheard of in the Republican Party, whose presidential debates consist largely of candidates complaining about the things they hate (like health care, the poor, and brown people): focusing on positive messages rather than negative ones. Of course, first they need to recruit some young people, something sorely missing from the Party of Hate.

Earlier this year, an analysis of trends related to party affiliation revealed something that is not at all surprising: the Republican party is popular with white evangelicals, white southerners, 69- to 86-year-olds, and white people in general. Emerson hopes to use college students to find someone whose complexion isn’t similar to that of classroom chalk to join the party. “If you are trying to reach college students, and we need them,” he said, “you don’t have me do it, you have other college students do it.”

“Usually attractive female college students,” he added, recommending that right-wingers make videos to post on YouTube — which is a task the aging conservative population needn’t worry about because “your sons or daughters or grandchildren can do for you.” With this army of hot young females and barrage of sure-to-be-hilarious videos featuring old white people screaming about Muslims, black people voting, and the time the doors open at Country Kitchen Buffet, Emerson says, the Right can improve its brand outside its normally narrow demographic.

But there’s just one problem: conservatives have no problem being labeled as racists. The Bee notes that Emerson was shocked when he complained that the Tea Party is generally considered to be a group of bigots…because the crowd went wild:

“When many people think of the tea party,” Emerson said, they assume it is composed of “racist, homophobe, xenophobe, gun-toting radicals – that’s who we are.”

A woman shouted, “Yeah,” and the room broke into applause.

Emerson paused.

“That was a response I didn’t expect,” he said. “I got to tell you, I like the ‘gun-toting,’ but not the ‘radicals.’”

Traditionally, the Tea Party hasn’t been the most accepting group. In 2009, for example, a woman stood at a rally in Wheeling, West Virginia and blamed all of our nation’s problems on “unemployed minorities,” to raucous applause. And then there’s this guy, who stood and proudly held a “niggar” sign at a rally (let’s face it: they can’t spell worth a damn). The person in the photo is Dale Robertson, self-proclaimed founder of the Tea Party movement and operator of teaparty.org:

tea_robertson_1

via BET

These are just a couple of examples of the bigotry that is inherent in the more extreme wings of the Republican party — and frontrunner Donald Trump is making hate mainstream. Recently, Trump has been attracting support of some of the more racist segments of our society. At a rally earlier this month, the billionaire said nothing as a man screamed “White power” at least seven times while standing behind the GOP favorite at a speech.

Despite Trump’s assertions that all Mexicans are rapists and refusal to entertain the idea that President Obama is not an American and a Muslim, the real estate mogul’s popularity continues to stand strong against the pool of equally-unqualified presidential candidates.

The Tea Party, and Republicans in general, have a problem and, yes, it does lie within the demographics to whom they appeal. Unfortunately, no army of young college women — no matter how attractive — can solve the problem of only appealing to white people desperate to protect the status quo, religious bigots, gun fetishists, and racists. For the Republican party to truly appeal to the masses, it would need to abandon all attempts to deprive women of their rights, to keep black people from voting, to keep two people in love from marrying, and basically everything that the party represents today.

They key to marketing themselves to younger voters is to abandon everything they believe and adopt a platform similar to that of 1956, when Republicans supported unions, equal pay for woman, helping the poor, a livable minimum wage, equal rights regardless of race, and a battle to “continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex.”

But, hey, an attractive young college girl is just as good as standing up for what’s right…right?


Featured image via Crooks and Liars