The Republican Party refuses to negotiate or cooperate with President Obama on anything. They have made this quite clear through their behavior and actions over the last six years.
In our modern environment, actions do not always speak louder than words. Television news tends to focus on the words and explanations of politicians in an effort to create a 30 second news article. It’s simpler and cheaper to get few words from a politician than to do any significant research on the people involved. An attractive face and some hypnotic colors in the background are all that’s needed for good news coverage.
But are they presenting reality with this kind of news coverage? Absolutely not! Presenting reality is hard enough when you’re actually trying. The time efficient reporter’s method doesn’t even try. They are presenting the news by recording an event. We get a slanted, deceitful, highly distorted view of “why” politicians are doing what they are doing. There are cracks in the picture Republicans have created, however.
Consider Charlie Christ, a Republican who switched sides, becoming a Democrat because he found the racial prejudice against President Obama to be unreasonable and contemptuous. Christ is quoted as saying, “Because I was a Republican, and I saw the activists and what they were doing, it was intolerable to me. As I told you before, my mother and father taught my three sisters and me to treat everybody well –we’re all children of God – and I saw how the party, some of them, were treating the African-American president, and I couldn’t take it anymore.” In 2009, he hugged President Barack Obama after introducing him at an event for an economic stimulus package they both supported. That was the end of Charlie Christ’s career as a Republican.
After Hurricane Sandy, Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, greeted President Obama with a bear hug and praised him as “incredibly supportive.” It should come as no surprise that Gov. Christie, who had spent the last few days delivering bear hugs and words of sympathy to shell shocked residents, was extremely relieved to see the President, and the financial support that came with him. However, some in the Republican party have criticized Christie for the hug, claiming they felt betrayed, and that he hurt Romney a week before the presidential election. (In their minds Christie should have shunned the President, and refused any help. That would have really helped the people of New Jersey.)
Republicans have said the American public should ignore the their party’s historical support of racial prejudice. That the party has changed and should not be held responsible for the actions of a few from a generation ago. If one views the behavior and actions of the Republican Party, it is difficult not to conclude they continue to support racial prejudice, regardless of what they say.
After six years of refusing to meet with the President, Republican congressman are now blaming the President for refusing to cooperate and negotiate with them. Currently, the Republican Party is blaming President Obama for blocking immigration reform, claiming his initiatives make it difficult for them to pass legislature on the issue. He is blamed for their inability to work on tax reform and has been criticized for providing an improved sick leave package for Federal employees. (Republican hypocrisy is truly astonishing!)
Some political observers believed the election of the first African-American president was a final step in creating multi-cultural equality in America. This was a premature assumption (one that I am also guilty of) regarding racial tolerance.
Horribly enough, it seems to have galvanized right-wing whites to do whatever they can to make his presidency a failure. While Republican leaders claim they are in an ideological fight over the principles of “small government,” their actions, and some “former” Republicans, say otherwise.
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson once stated publicly stated the Republican Party is “full of racists” who wanted President Obama out of office because of the color of his skin. “Let me just be candid, my party is full of racists. And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander in chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that’s despicable.”
The Republican Party has a long history of voter suppression tactics. They strongly supported efforts to keep blacks from voting in the South and are currently attacking the non-existent problem of voter fraud. Republicans have instituted various forms of voter suppression aimed at preventing Democratic-leaning blocs from voting. The new ID requirements can be difficult for the elderly, students, people with disabilities, low-income individuals, and people of color.
Sadly, this states categorically that racial prejudice still exists in the United States, and that many of our elected officials represent and support this kind of behavior. They actively block the right of people of color to vote. The Republican Party has such an established culture of racial prejudice, they must be considered guilty until they can prove with their behavior and actions, that they have changed. Currently, no such proof exists. Quite the opposite. Their behavior in the present speaks volumes.
Ignoring the more obvious forms of prejudice, there have been more subtle expressions which would never have taken place with a white President. During one of the President’s first speeches before Congress, Republican Joe Wilson yelled, “You lie!” at the top of his voice while Obama spoke on health care reform. House Speaker Boehner rejected President Obama’s request to speak to a joint session of Congress, the first denial in the history of the U.S. In a rant, Sarah Palin wrote on facebook, “President Obama’s shuck and jive shtick with these Benghazi lies must end.” More recently, Boehner snubbed our President by inviting the Israeli Prime Minister to speak before congress, without notifying the President. A white President would not be treated with such contempt and disrespect.
There are Republicans who are not racist, and who are disgusted by the behavior and actions of their party. Many are dismayed at their party’s efforts to prevent people from voting through archaic voter suppression tactics. But it impossible to reject the truth. On a broad scale, the Republican Party GOP supports racism. The Party rarely reprimands its members for racially charged language, and attempts (with some success) to stop minorities from voting. Can they really claim these are not expressions of racism? And isn’t passive support of prejudice just as bad as the act of prejudice?