The GOP’s biggest problem? Mean-spiritedness

Casting the first stone in the name of the Lord since forever

6965612203_cd0a3052e5Tuesday the Associated Press announced that they would no longer use the term “illegal immigrant.”

Besides the fact that people aren’t illegal, actions are, there are several reasons AP made a good decision. Foremost, it’s inaccurate. “Illegal” is a poll-tested Frank Luntz-term designed to gin bigots up and verbally convict millions for a criminal offense that is actually a civil offense.

Thus the term especially offends the one group the GOP needs to win over or it will soon even lose Texas and cease being a national party — Latinos.

There’s only one real reason to continue using the term: It makes you feel better to put down people who — like many of your fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers — came to America to make a better life. It’s a way to tell a kid who was brought here before he could talk that his dream of going to college and being a productive member of society that he is a criminal. It’s a shortcut to simply pissing off nearly everyone except people who will vote Republican even if Michele Bachmann is on the ballot.

But, of course, Republicans responded to the AP’s announcement with their typical humorless furor. WHY DON’T THAT AP CALL FLASHERS “TEMPORARILY UNCLOTHED PERFORMANCE ARTISTS”? Good stuff, Twitchy.

There’s a certain lack of awareness that comes from a party who hasn’t had a president who passed balanced budget since Eisenhower pretending they’re “fiscally conservative.” But so much of what this GOP pursues seems designed just to inflict pain.

Why deny gay couples the right to be married? There’s no intellectual argument that justifies making bigotry a permanent part of America. The right’s new argument that marriage is essentially for childbirth/child-rearing isn’t an argument against same-sex marriage, it’s an argument to let millions of gay parents marry.

Why then go a step further, as Michigan RNC member Dave Agema does, and brutalize gay and lesbians with words? He may claim he has the Bible on his side but the Good Book includes ten time more verses defending slavery than it does attacking same-sex relationships. This Cafeteria Christianity has at its heart the exact opposite of Jesus’ mission: Afflicting the afflicted.

I can understand somewhat opposing abortion rights. But why is it that most of the vilest rhetoric accusing the millions of women who have decided to end a pregnancy of being “murderers” comes from angry white men who will never have to decide to give birth?

I can understand wanting to cut spending in a recession even though it’s a policy that’s proved to be a failure anywhere it’s been tried — from Wales to Wisconsin. But why propose massive cuts along with just as massive tax breaks for the richest who have only gotten richer during the financial crisis?

There is nothing more offensive to anyone than a self-righteous bully. I spend my days acting as a parody of one and you should see how it makes conservatives howl.

But Republicans say they want to change. They want to move away from Mitt Romney going to the NAACP just to get booed and spend $10 million just this year to reach out to minorities. But their base will do ten-times as much damage by continuing to use a term that only pleases them.

Republicans have to understand that their problem encompasses both tone and policies.

You wouldn’t want to vote for a candidate who seems as if he wouldn’t like you. And you definitely wouldn’t want to vote for someone who makes a point of showing you how much he enjoys not liking you — over and over and over again.

[Image credit: DonkeyHotey | Flickr]

  • WebAntOnYouTube

    Wow. Time for me to switch to saying undocumented immigrant.

  • Just Askin

    So the term illegal immigrant is mean? Why? Because illegal immigrants do not like to get called out on it? It is inaccurate? There is a legal way to immigrate to this country, and an illegal way, these people chose the illegal way. What is so mean about that? If I break into your house without you knowing, how long to I have to hide in the attic before I get to sit at the table with your family? Would it be wrong or mean to say that it is illegal and ask me to leave?

    • Stephanie T.

      Not to be “mean” but do you know how much time and money it takes to come into this country legally? time and money are things that are out of reach to the poverty stricken, desperate but well-meaning immigrants who come to this country. they come here to work and to provide a better life for their families, and they’ll do it any way they can. i’m sure if you were in a similar situation you’d be making the same decisions as well. i know i would if my children were starving, near homeless and could not access a decent education.

      • Mavent

        Would it be too much to ask that Hispanics spend the time to improve their own country? Mexico is a beautiful country with tons of natural resources- far more than the United States, actually. If Hispanics are incapable of turning South America into anything other than a hell-hole, why exactly should North Americans be happy to seem them flooding across the border?

        • Wondering

          You do understand that Mexico is part of North America? You might want to refrain from speaking any more.

          • http://twitter.com/Janey721 Janey

            Not to mention that:The whole states of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, as well as parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas were at one time parts of Mexico. Mavent could use a history lesson also.

  • Chris Andersen

    I’m reminded of when Dennis Leary used to get huge applause lines when he took it to those who criticized him for smoking. It was some funny stuff. But it was also meaningless in the context of the larger issue: smoking really was bad for you and frankly offensive to a lot of people who just didn’t want to be around clouds of smoke.

    While the humor element was there, it was ultimately a losing battle.

    Similarly, you may get some chortling about the AP being PC for dropping Illegal Immigrant from their lexicon. But the larger point is that it is an offensive term that conveys no additional meaning that cannot be expressed by more polite terms and it may actually cloud the issue instead of providing additional enlightenment.

    So laugh away. But don’t think that, by laughing, you are winning any points in the larger argument.

  • Pingback: The GOP’s biggest problem? Mean-spiritedness - <br />

  • http://twitter.com/j_chytown Chytowns J

    The overall message of this article is correct, “Republican” has been synonymous with “hater” for a long time, but the small arguments are weak. BTW, before you dismiss me because of my words that follow, I tend left.

    A valid anti-gay-marriage view is “we shouldn’t change the social culture of our home to please those that act in a way we find immoral?” I don’t think that saying to a couple “you cannot get legally married” is bigotry. Or am I a bigot against incestuous brothers and sisters because they cannot marry?

    BTW, The Bible (which I reject) is VERY CLEAR on homosexuality. “God hates that”. The quantity of other items restricted in the Bible has nothing to do with this particular restriction.

    In my mind, government should recognize marriage should be for one thing only: Taxation.

    As for illegal immigration, the world has changed and we can no longer afford the world’s poor, tired and hungry in the USA. Just because a person is worse-off then me, does not give me an obligation to accept him into my home.

    And the AP was wrong, they are pulling an Orwellian “african american” or “administrative assistant” obfuscation maneuver. If we can use a very long phrase to make people think before they preclassify someone, then that person being classified will have more respect. But yes, let’s go along with it.. now let’s call them IMMIGRATION CRIMINALS instead of illegal immigrants…problem solved.

    • Misty

      By all means, let the GOP and FOX and that bunch continue on their same path. No matter how much you may disagree, there is some excellent advice here for them.

    • Morningofthewar

      God also hates tattoos and poly-cotton blends. Curiously, that part of Scripture is ignored, in the main, while people howl on about how much god hates gays. Perhaps that enlightens you about the people using the Bible to claim they know what god wants and intends? Also, Cafeteria Christian is the best descriptor ever! Religion is not a smorgasbord where you can take extra Jell-o but leave the suspicious meat products behind.

  • CanadianConsultant

    Pretty biased article here — tax cuts for the rich, more like proposed tax cuts for EVERYBODY rather than treating citizens differently based on their income and demanding that wealthy people pay for governments mistakes. And as far as illegal immigrants go, if you bypassed the legal requirements and jumped he queue in front if the millions of people who legitimately tried to get into the nation, then yeah, you’re not there legally. How is there even debate on that one?

    The political left survives by trying to frame every thing as a moral issue whereby they are objectively on the better side. That’s self-righteousness at its finest.

    • Kataphractos

      If you are a Canadian, why are you even talking? How about you go back to your own country and stop trying to tell US citizens how to run their lives.

      • CanadianConsultant

        Haha typical arrogant Americans. No wonder your country is going to hell in a hand basket.

  • Pingback: LOL Of The Week: History Decides On Marriage Equality | PROGRESSIVE VOICES

  • Pingback: The National Memo » LOL Of The Week: History Decides On Marriage Equality

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.ross.7505468 Michael Ross

    The G.O.P.’s idea of minority outreach is to push somebody who looks tan enough out in front of the podium and have him say “Hola, yo soy Republicano.” They’re not serious about minority outreach — they’re just conscious of the fact that they won’t win any elections unless they can trick minorities into voting for them.

  • Kathryn Murray

    Actually, the anti- gay groups do have a legitimate argument against gay marriage and it has to do with gender and slavery. As long as women are considered less of a person than a man is, a marriage can be considered a contract of ownership of a slave. If a woman is not considered to be a full person and citizen that a marriage can be a contract of obedience and his right to do what he wants to her. This is what the Reich wing wants for America: freedom for men to beat, rape, pay less or nothing for labor and supremacy of their gender enforced not only by religious businesses deciding a woman’s healthcare and lower pay, but the law saying that women are property and not people. If all men are equal to each other, a marriage can only be between a male master and female slave because two men marrying would imply they are equal to each other and they have the same authority so the law and society has to judge their disputes by hearing both sides and using higher thinking skills to make a decision. Without gender equality, people are discouraged or even forbidden from thinking and men can commit atrocities without consequence as these groups want. This philosophy should also be as offensive to men because it portrays all men as only masculine if they are monsters that can’t control their rage and sexual urges so women have to stay out of their society and wear burkas or something like it. This isn’t going to make society better, it will make it cruel and medieval. Only with gender equality will America have a true free and equal meritocracy.

eXTReMe Tracker