By Roger Caldwell, NNPA News Wire Columnist
Roger Caldwell says that many of the Republican presidential candidates are building their campaigns on a platform of racism and bigotry.
As the 2016 election heats up, there is something wrong in a party when the candidates don’t want to operate with political correctness. In this election cycle, the Republican candidates have decided to think and behave as an outsider. By acting as an outsider, they are not obligated to tell the truth, and they can make up the story as they go along.
Racism and bigotry is the platform that many of the Republican presidential candidates are building their campaign around, but it is being done with code words. Political correctness is one of the phrases that has a subliminal message, and means its okay to control things because you are White. There was a time when there were very few regulatory agencies, and there were very few civil rights laws, and being White was right.
The Republicans would like to turn back the clock, so it’s okay for Donald Trump to talk about sending 10 million Hispanics to their homeland, even if it is breaking the law. Donald Trump is standing on a platform of hate, and many of the Republican candidates condemn his policy statements. But once the dust has cleared, many of the Republican candidates are adopting his racist policies in their own campaigns.
The GOP ideological position since President Obama has been elected is to take an extreme position on conservatism, and the Republican Party is primarily for White people. With Trump every week attacking a different minority group, racism is alive and well. A few months ago, Ted Cruz was considered a radical extremist, but in the presidential campaign, he is thought of as a middle mainstreamer.
There is something frightening happening in the Republican Party, when it is not trying to improve its relevancy with an increasing diverse American population. Instead of trying to diversify with other minority voter groups, the candidates’ major focus is connecting with their base, which is mostly White. The base is angry, and they want to change the way things are going in America.
For some reason the Republicans think they will be able to snap their fingers, and many of their problems will simply disappear. The Republicans refuse to discuss issues with race on the campaign trail, and they keep their heads buried in the sand. Racism exists in every system in America, and infects the very structure of daily life, but the Republicans don’t see it as a problem.
The Democrats are starting to acknowledge that racism exists and they are open to dialogue, but it is a very complex problem. They understand in order to win the presidential election, they must get the Blacks and Hispanics engaged in the election and campaign. Diversity is the reason President Obama won the election in 2008 and 2012.
But in 2016, the Republicans have decided that they can win with a small percentage of the minority vote, or none at all. This is a problem for the leadership in the Republican Party, because after losing the presidential race in 2012, they had decided to be more inclusive. They understood that the voting demographics were changing, and it was necessary to engage more minorities.
But everything has been radically shifted since Trump has been the frontrunner for six months straight. Donald Trump is standing on a platform of hate, which he built for himself, because conservatism is a code word for White supremacy and White control.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says, “This sort of racism has been prevalent in Republican politics for decades. Trump is saying out loud what other Republicans merely suggest. Political leaders must condemn these hateful un-American statements with their words and their actions.”
Racism and bigotry should be a campaign issue for every candidate on the trail and in all the debates. It is time to stop dancing around racism in America, and confront it with policies and discussions.