Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Michael Steele Trying to Keep It Real for the GOP

After hearing all of the hype, mostly in the form of derision, about the revamped website for the Republican National Committee, I thought I would mosey on over and check it out myself. Now, I'd heard about Michael Steele's blog "What Up?" but apparently that title has changed. But it was the page of Republican heroes that really caught my attention.

I believe that every Republican that invokes the black folks who were a part of the party in its past needs to make sure they offer a caveat about the Southern Strategy, as well as the sea change that swept the South, when white Southerners RAN from the Democratic Party, mostly over Civil Rights issues, that they'd controlled for generations (the Democratic Party also needs to remind people of its problematic history as well), Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms are emblematic of the shift. We've now reached a point in time when young white Southern Republicans might be shocked to find that their grandparents or great-grandparents were Democrats who loathed anything associated with Republicans (once known as the party of the dreaded Negro, Carpetbagger and Scalawag).

With that in mind, I am glad that Steele has been pushing to show the former diversity of the GOP. The harder task is trying to get a broader cross section of the country to accept the new tenets of the current GOP, which are essentially the political perspectives of white Southerners and Christianists who really are quite comfortable with big government (when that government serves their purposes), but deride it when big government serves those they do not feel deserve it. That diversity will not be easy to achieve.

I genuinely wish Michael Steele well. It will be a great thing to see a more diverse Republican Party. The current Democratic Party does not need a monopoly on racial, ethnic and sexual minorities. It's not good for the country to have one party be, essentially, the party of Americans of primarily European descent (various classes represented), and the other party the one for everyone else. It's also important for folks in both parties to understand their histories, and how the demographics of their parties changed (and why). It's all about keeping it real.

Hey! Maybe "Keeping it Real" should be the title of Steele's blog instead.


Anonymous said...

"Preferential entitlement" is the false notion so many "real Americans" base their arguments upon.

"Minimal inclusion" is the modus operandi of how so many "real Americans" run their business and personal dealings.

A coalition of non-represented or under-represented groups could force a very necessary change in politics. Ideally by forming a third political party, and eith dominating the other two, or demanding concessions in a Dutch auction style, and siding with whichever party yields the most.

The history of both parties isn't squeeky clean or implicitly holier than thou.

I'm just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your thoughts, just one question. Do you see all "white folks" as the same, or do you think there is ethnic, religious, regional, economic diversity within that demographic?

Jeffrey said...

I was wondering about the "white folk" as well. Also, I agree Steele is to be respected for his choice, but he has never been very convincing as a voice of the GOP, rather, looks very much like the new main page of the GOP website. Hmmmm....yet every 2008 Republican Presidential Candidate was a white male.

hscfree said...

I don't see white folks as all the same, and I can modify that.

Jeffrey said...

I don't think there is any diversity in the Republican party. Whatever does exist, is apparently kept secretly in one's heart, and does not get heard or read in a conversation, blog, vote, or by a political pundit. You are either 1)Christian (as am I), 2) Business or Corporate, 3) Anti Tax and Against "Big" Government(as am I), or 4) You may be in it for yourself and you dislike anyone not like you (?) One secret sexual or marital scandal after another involving politicians espousing be the ideal of virtue, morals, and Christianity (the REAL back bone and solid base of the Republican party). And you are right about our grandparents. I learned just this past year from my 85-year-old paternal grandmother they were considered the "extremists" by my great-grandparents and not allowed to discuss politics in their home as they were "nuts" being Republicans, post FDR btw. After a lifetime of hearing Rush on the radio, seeing the respect and awe of my family toward Reagan, Lee Atwater, George H., W, Karl Rove, and Dick, I was amazed and delighted to learn that just three generations before me my own family was less ultra conservative yet still from solid Midwest stock of values, work ethic, and faith. The Republicans are strategically making an appeal to the moderates as they want Congress and the White House back. I think it's a political ploy, strategy, and pure genius. Genuine and sincere move toward more inclusiveness or "diversity" in the party? I think not!