From Dixiecrats to Rednecklicans

By David Benjamin on CommonDreams.org:
...The "race card" works for the G.O.P., in a circular way. It validates racists by giving them a place to go, thus perpetuating America's historic traditions of bigotry and segregation, which nurtures the Republicans as the party that's not prejudiced against the prejudiced. Around and around...Still, I gotta ask: Why aren't some (or any) Republicans embarrassed?
I can't believe that most white Republicans favor racial hatred. But they must know that that their ranks include people who vote for white candidates solely because they’re white, and who would never vote for a black candidate simply because he or she is black. Democrats were embarrassed by George Wallace and Bull Connor. Why aren't Republicans embarrassed by David Duke and Bob Jones? Maybe it's just pragmatism. The G.O.P. tolerates its hordes of red-state rednecks because, if not for all those straight-ticket bigots, the Republicans don't think they could win. Not long ago, Democrats certainly thought so. They stayed embarrassed for a long time. But eventually, Democrats told their leaders we'd rather lose a few votes in Tallahatchie County than be on the same side as the monsters who lynched Emmett Till. They said, hey, let’s try a trade with the Republicans. They get electoral votes in Georgia, Virginia, Carolina, Alabama, Texas, etc. In return we get the legacies of Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Rosa Parks, Judge James Horton, Justice Thurgood Marshall...etcetera. Maybe Republicans could do it, too -- tell their leaders they don't want to be the party of voter intimidation and KKK nostalgia anymore. Maybe then, the race card would finally become too risky to play, even among campaign strategists...Yes, I hear you, Dr. King. It’s just a dream.


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