This Activist Offends Almost Everyone While Explaining Agenda For ‘GOP Outreach’

Photo of Phyllis Schalfly

For starters, a good GOP outreach strategy would involve actually seeing blacks and Latinos as fellow ‘American Citizens,’ not as ‘them.’ Photo of Phyllis Schlafly from Latino Rebels.

In an interview given late last month on “Focus Talk”, a conservative talk radio show, Phyllis Schlafly, founder of Eagle Forum said the following about GOP outreach:

“The people that Republicans ought to reach out to are the white voters”.

Following up on the comment, Schlafly explained that Latino voters just don’t “have Republican inclinations at all. They’re running an illegitimacy rate that’s just about the same as the blacks are.”  Even more astounding however, is the fact that just a few moments later Schlafly suggested that Republicans should not only be reaching out to

“our own ‘American’ citizens, but also the black community.”

I have a few suggestions for a GOP outreach strategy. For starters, you might not want to imply that the black community should be somehow separated from your ‘own American citizens’ while proclaiming that you want to reach “them”. We’ve actually heard this kind of comment from the GOP time and time again, over the past four years. Where have we heard it before? How about every time the birthers open their mouths to proclaim that the duly elected president of the United States is not “a real American”?

Next, you might want to skip the part about “illegitimacy” altogether. The fact is there are also a large number  of white children born “out of wedlock” as you so condescendingly put it, with the greatest number of white babies born to unmarried parents in the continental United States occurring in the Republican dominated state of West Virginia. If you still doubt this is true, here’s an excerpt from “Never Yet Melted” one of the most extreme right-wing web-sites to be found on the internet, that indeed prides itself on being “Another Right-Wing Web Aggregator and Purveyor of Unpopular Opinions”:

“Forty years after the Moynihan report, the tragic saga of the modern black family is common knowledge. But the tale of family breakdown in modern America is no longer a story delimited to a single ethnic minority. Today the family is also in crisis for this country’s ethnic majority: the so-called white American population….

Consider trends in out-of-wedlock births. By 2002, 28.5 percent of babies of white mothers were born outside marriage in this country. Over the past generation, the white illegitimacy rate has exploded, quadrupling since 1975, when the level was 7.1 percent. The overall illegitimacy rate for whites is higher than it was for black mothers (23.6 percent) when the Moynihan report sounded its alarm …”

What’s more important however, is that while you claim to be the “right to life” party, you remain the only party that continues to label children as either “legitimate” or “illegitimate,” insinuating that there are good and bad infants and implying that one human life is in some way superior to another human life. We’ve heard the word “illegitimate” time and time again in the last four years, as well. We know what you mean when you imply that Barack Obama is not the “legitimate” president of the United States.

If some members of the Republican party seriously want to reach out to minorities (Latinos or otherwise) other members of the party (such as Schlafly) probably shouldn’t be invited guests on your talk shows and radio programs. What many voters have come to understand though, is that the GOP is still content to use the Southern Strategy, sending out dog whistles and hoping to recruit more of the same type of racist, sexist and religiously bigoted folks that make up the back bone of the current party.

The problem with that strategy is that it depends on a large majority of the white population thinking the same way about race, gender and religion, as those currently in the Republican party. It depends on white women being willing to allow the government to dictate their reproductive choices. It depends white men being content to allow the government to dictate their religious freedoms. It ignores the fact that there are a growing number of white voters who are atheist, agnostic and those who are members of a variety of churches that do not adhere to the principles of Christian Fundamentalist doctrine. It assumes that a large majority of people will remain willing to allow the poor and the sick to be exploited, in order to protect a system of class and race that benefits no-one, apart from a limited few wealthy, elite individuals. It ignores the growing number of white men and women who are concerned about education policy, the environment, healthcare, income inequality, fair wages, worker’s rights and other labor issues, as well as wide range of other topics that have far more substance than the promise of continued divisions along the lines of race, gender and religion which the GOP has depended on to keep it from becoming the party of ancient history.

What becomes blatantly clear is that there is no message behind the GOP, at least not a part from that of race/religion/class division. It is clear, not just to minority voters, but to an ever growing number of white voters as well. A shriveling population of white men and their “proper female” following, struggling to regain an imagined “golden age” (that never was) does not make up a legitimate political party in this day and age. Lest we forget, modern technology has opened the doors for people to communicate with others far beyond their own secluded neighborhoods. As people gain experience with others outside of their traditional boundaries, it becomes harder and harder for the GOP to keep  fear and bigotry alive. Dog whistles and fear mongering are no longer enough to suppress the issues and detract from the substance of major policy decisions. Sure, a good number of voters still remain trapped in the bubble of distraction, but that number is dwindling quickly, as older voters die off and younger ones register and show up at the polls on election day. Many of today’s young voters have not grown up in the world of division, created and sustained by the supremacists, segregationists and religious extremists. Having experienced and embraced diversity and inclusion, tomorrow’s voters are not likely to fall for the same old tactics. As for the future, the party that views itself as representative of a “superior and protected race and class” will inevitably wither away within a short time, as reality dispels the myths and lies of the past, replacing them with an age of enlightenment and acceptance.

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