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