Imagine you’re making a pitch to a prospective client, bidding for a contract, and, your competition, another bidder, stands up, and as part of his bid for the contract, announces that your company has engaged in embezzlement and fraud.
Let’s assume that your company has done no such thing and that you have spent years following the rules, keeping yourself up to date, safeguarding your reputation and carefully growing and nurturing your business. Will you;
1. Not respond, secure in the knowledge that, whether you win or lose the contract, your virtuous silence would serve as a powerful rebuke against such underhanded practices.
2. Politely apologize for any action that you may have taken that could have led anyone to believe that fraudulent acts may have been committed by you or your associates, and resolve to do better.
3. Laugh off your competitor’s obviously good faith allegations as a “mistake.” And to show what a good sport your are, offer to work with your competitor to proffer the best solution for your prospective client at the best price.
4. Stand up and unleash the floodgates of hell on the SOB.
Or, to make this more personal, imagine someone calling your mother, or daughter, or wife, a whore.
NOTE: We’re presuming that not one of them is, or has actually ever been, a prostitute.
1. Remain silent and not “dignify” the insult with a response?
2. Apologize to anyone understandably offended by the behavior of your mother, daughter or wife and promise to get help for them to stop them being so whorish?
3. Politely point out that your mother is not a whore but praise him for bringing up the pressing issue of whorish mothers, and seek to make a new friend?
4. Get mad and slap the b*st*rd down?
If your answer in any of the scenarios above is the fourth option, then you’re obviously not a Republican politician.
Perhaps I should back up a bit.
There are some things that are predictable in American politics, especially around campaign season. Democrats in tight races in Purple districts or states will be described as “moderates” or “centrists” in the Press. Democrats will accuse Republicans of “voter suppression.” 99% of journalist “mistakes” that are politically damaging will – strangely – be damaging to the Republican. Democrats will “discover” troves of uncounted ballots after election day. Non-white Republican candidates will be deliberately ignored and receive the absolute barest minimum of coverage in the media.
But even more predictable than any of the above is Republicans being accused of bigotry. In particular, racism. Of course, this is a constant even out of campaign season. In fact, it may be the sole reason MSNBC exists. If you’ve not been accused of racism as a Republican it simply means you’ve been a Republican for only about ten minutes.
What is equally as predictable is that – even after fifty years of the same thing being done to them over and over and over again – every Republican finding him or herself being branded a racist will be caught completely flatfooted, will panic, and 99% of the time, respond in a way that will only makes things worse.
1. They hunker down into the fetal position, clearly thinking if they ignore the problem and pretend the “controversy” doesn’t exist, it would, somehow, just die down and go away on its own. This sometimes involves releasing a statement that dances around the allegation and then repeatedly (and woodenly) referring back to it like a mantra when questioned. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith gave the nation a masterclass in this approach … that she is keeping her seat is due only to the short timeline and the fact that she was running in Mississippi.
2. They apologize, thinking this would bring the “controversy” to an end. This is sometimes couched as a bid to move on to the “real” issues. Either way, it almost always backfires, badly. For some reason, Republican politicians and their campaign operatives seem incapable of understanding that an apology for racism means you are guilty of … racism. This basically has the same effect as trying to put out a fire with gasoline.
3. They deny the allegations while simultaneously conceding that their accusers may have good reason to make them. This is often accompanied by a pledge to join with their accusers to combat the scourge of racism, together. This usually signifies that the accuser is backed by, or is, a player in the “civil rights” establishment, i.e. the NAACP, and, according to conventional wisdom, a direct confrontation could be more harmful than avoidance. Ultimately it’s a tactic that attempts to both deny the accusation while genuflecting to the accuser. It’s also a tactic that has a very low, almost non-existent, rate of success.
In fact, none of the above approaches have anything that, by any measure, resembles a record of success. And yet, even after 50 years, the entirety of the Republican Party’s best campaign minds has been unable to come up with a response any better than these.
The result is that, for Democrats, leveling charges of racism is now an entirely cost and risk free exercise. In fact, it is all profit – the worst case for them is that they lose the election and you limp into office indelibly tarred with the “racist” label, which would certainly come up again at reelection time. In the best case, they win the seat, permanently destroy your reputation and terminate your career in elected office.
In both cases and every case in between, the GOP’s reputation as being the home of racism and every other form of bigotry gets another piece of “evidence” to shore it up.
Judging by how little attention is paid to this issue, year in and year out, the Republican consultant class appears to have absolutely no idea just how much damage this is doing to the GOP and its candidates. And while many of the “experts” reading the midterm tea leaves are sounding the alarm about the inroads Democrats are making in the suburbs, and correctly noting that white suburbanites are turning against the GOP, not many appear to have the “racism” issue on their radar.
Democrats and their operatives in the media are not investing so much time and treasure trying to make ‘GOP’ synonymous with ‘KKK’ for fun and games. They do it because it is effective, and, because, frankly, it costs them nothing and because it profits them in both the long and short term. Not only does it drive minority voters away from the GOP (especially African Americans), the fact of the matter is that the “racist” label is kryptonite to every voter demographic, whites in suburbia most definitely included.
This really should go without saying – if you’re talking about reforming the Alternative Minimum Tax, while your opponent and his supporters are talking about your supposed nostalgia for Jim Crow, you are going to lose, unless it’s by some miracle. i.e. 11/08/2016. You could come up with the most impressive Nobel worthy plan for world peace ever devised, but as long as you allow yourself to be perceived as a latter day Nazi, no one is going to give a damn.
People of all races now instinctively shy away from anything that has been tarred with the “racism” brush. This is a mark of progress, but, unfortunately, the conditioning is now such that far too many people fail to stop and check if the charge is true, or even if it makes sense or not.
Unfortunately, thanks to the GOP’s continued penchant for panicked retreat at allegations of “racism”, no matter how far-fetched or ridiculous, the go-to tactic for Democrats and their media operatives has naturally become to recast anything and everything as a racial issue.
Words, phrases, legal terms, etc. in common usage, even place names, e.g. “Chicago” are suddenly ominously pronounced to be “code words” or “racially charged.” Disagreements on policy issues are all pronounced to be “secretly” due to some racial animus or some conspiracy to harm minorities.
Worse yet is that every election cycle sees Republican political victories attributed to some appeal to racial bigotry and prejudice supposedly running strong within the rank and file of the GOP, with nary a peep from Republican officials at the insult to their voters.
In other words, the GOP continues to stand by and watch, for all intents and purposes unconcerned as the Democrats and their media adjuncts carry out an ever expanding program of aversion therapy against them with the voting populace.
As someone who works in a field employing its fair share of expatriates – many hoping to naturalize at some point – I’ve met numerous newly arrived (legal) immigrants from every corner of the globe – repulsed by abortion, very socially conservative, educated, driven, religious and hard working – yet convinced even before setting foot on American soil that the GOP is racist and the ancestral home of the KKK.
Yes, they do watch CNN in Africa, Asia and South America.
Which brings us back to our two scenarios at the beginning of this post. Again, this should go without saying – if you’re falsely accused of being a fraud or a thief, you’re supposed to be angry about it. You’re supposed to be upset. You’re supposed to be enraged at the libel and slander.
Yet the very same Republican politician who would unapologetically rain down fire and brimstone on anyone who accuses him of being corrupt or unethical in a business meeting transforms into an obsequious, quivering, tongue-tied pusilanimous wreck once the word “racist” makes its (inevitable) appearance. Instead of angry denunciations, we get statements with the harshest words being “sadness” and “disappointment” peppered with “both sides”, “respectfully” and “work together”.
This needs to stop.
Make no mistake; no one – individual or group – who calls you a racist means you well. They are not trying to “communicate” with you, “enlighten” you, or “reach out” to you – they are no different from someone who falsely accuses you of rape or child abuse. He or she is actively trying to destroy you, strip you of your reputation, your livelihood and any semblance of a decent life for you and your family.
Anger and outrage is exactly what is called for here. “Sadness” and “disappointment” implies respect or some regard for that person’s opinion. My position is that anyone who falsely accuses you of racism is not worthy of your respect, consideration or even basic courtesy. The proper response is to attack, denounce them and dismiss them in the same harsh and uncompromising manner that you would greet a false charge of theft or rape.
To be clear; this most definitely includes even genuine civil rights icons like John Lewis, and even more so supposed “civil rights” organizations like the NAACP, LULAC and the SPLC. This is not to deny that there is some truth in the conventional wisdom that getting into a fight with someone like John Lewis carries some risk. But it is clear that attempting to ameliorate this risk by avoiding conflict altogether, or worse, subjugating yourself, is no longer viable.
Progressive identity politics, to which the vast majority of journalists are fervent adherents, stipulates that a person’s credibility should be based primarily around his race, gender and political affiliation. A woman’s word should be taken over that of a man. A Hispanic person’s word should be taken over that of a white person. A transgender person’s recounting of an event trumps that of a cisgender person’s accounting of the same event. A gay person is automatically more credible than a straight person. A Democrat’s word is to be taken over that of a Republican.
To a progressive, certain people are beyond question or criticism. If not by dint of identity, then by politics. If Al Sharpton calls you a racist, your refusal to accept the charge as true and immediately tender an apology is evidence not only that you are a racist but that you literally want to bring back Jim Crow, if not slavery.
An illustration of this mindset is the shock and horror that greeted Brett Kavanaugh’s angry rejection of the charges against him. As many progressive writers charged, his refusal to admit guilt – irrespective of whether or not he actually did it – was an endorsement of violence against women and the notion that progressive insist is widely held in American society that women should never be believed.
According to progressive logic, explicitly endorsed on national television by Senator Maizie Hirono, is that by virtue of being a white heterosexual male, Kavanaugh’s audacity in contradicting the word of a progressive female accuser and insisting on his innocence, is conclusive evidence that he attempted to rape Christine Blasey Ford 32 years ago.
A Republican undergoing a “racism” attack is in the same type of kafkatrap – if he keeps quiet or makes the mistake of knuckling under, the charge of racism remains unchallenged, or corroborated, and in either case, it sticks. On the other hand, if he or she challenges the allegations, his accusers will shriek that it only further confirms his racism. There is simply no possibility of innocence.
However, note that despite the horrified reactions – including many among the GOP’s consultant class, a substantial number of whom were calling on him to withdraw his nomination as soon as the allegations by Blasey Ford became public – Brett Kavanaugh was able to almost single-handedly rescue his nomination.
It was because he showed his anger. He showed his outrage. It was because he stood up against the attempt to destroy him, and for one all too brief moment, he treated his accusers – who knew full well that the allegations against him were false – with the contempt they deserved. And while the Democrats and their media operatives were left sputtering about his “temperament” the average American watching was suddenly imagining himself, a brother, a father, a friend, in Kavanaugh’s shoes.
Which is why this is precisely how any Republican who finds himself being accused of racism (i.e. using “code words”, “racially charged language” – which really all mean the same thing) should respond. With anger. With outrage. With open disdain and contempt for their accusers and their enablers.
Remember, these are not people acting in good faith. In most cases, these are not good people. Period. These are people who actually insist that Justice Kavanaugh lacks proper “judicial temperament” because he was apparently supposed to sit in his chair at that hearing and calmly, objectively, respectfully, discuss and then thoughfully consider the possibility that *he* is a rapist!
Make no mistake; these very same people – including every one of the same journalists who insisted on Justice Kavanaugh’s guilt without an iota of evidence or corroboration – would have savaged any woman – especially if they discover she’s a Republican – who lodges a similar allegation against a Democrat judicial nominee, even if, unlike Christine Ford, she actually had corroborating witnesses and documentation. If there is any doubt, kindly witness the cases of Keith Ellison and Robert Menendez – there is simply no way Republicans with half the national profile facing similar allegations would have failed to top the headlines on a daily basis until election day.
My mention of John Lewis was not by accident. A bona fide civil rights hero in the 1960s, unfortunately he is today one of the most dishonorable, partisan, racial arsonists in America. In fact, it was he that made me realize that the Democrats’ use of allegations of racism as a political weapon must be made to have a cost or else they would never give it up.
I was no fan of John McCain – I considered him to be one of the most easily manipulated and ridiculous figures in American politics. I have no doubt that if the “Maverick” were still alive then, Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court would have failed, and he would be facing the ruination of his life and career, convicted in the court of public opinion for a crime he did not commit.
That said, I will never forget John McCain, running for President in 2008, being asked to name the person he most admired in Congress, and of course, being the “Maverick” that he is, ever desperate for media approval, he “reached across the aisle” and named John Lewis for his heroism during the struggle for black civil rights in the 1960s. John Lewis responded by promptly accusing him of racism.
The point is; there is not a single Republican in office today that John Lewis and his colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus will not happily call a racist.
The same applies to the NAACP, which was once a civil rights organization, one that covered itself in glory in the 1960s, but is now a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of the Democrat National Committee. This is no secret and there is no reason for Republicans to continue to pay homage to the polite fiction that the NAACP is anything but a front group using its past glory for partisan advantage.
Endpoint; no one who calls you a racist is deserving of your respect. Take it personally. Anger. Outrage. Disdain. Contempt. That’s what’s called for. And while this may not do anything for closing the Republican deficit with minority voters, I am fairly certain that the last fifty years of tacitly confessing to racism by running and hiding, apologizing or trying to pander and ingratiate yourself is not going to work either.