GOP still relies on hate argument
The Republican Party has become a party of hate. Rather than appealing to its followers’ desires for a stable economy, a better education system or similarly productive issues, Republican politicians are wasting time and money on catering to voters’ irrational feelings of hate and fear for people who are different. This tactic not only forces others to side with the conservatives or risk seeming un-American to brainwashed and unhappy voters, but is also a catastrophic waste of resources.
Politicians, the media, and the American people have wasted a truly ridiculous amount of time and money on issues like the proposed mosque near Ground Zero and insane ideas to repeal the 14th Amendment. Both the issues boil down to the average American’s basic prejudice against anyone who is not white, Christian, and a native English speaker. By catering to the basic feelings of hate and fear these individuals bring out, Republicans distract voters from more important issues.
For example, take South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. Sen. Graham, who in recent months has made numerous deals with Senate Democrats, has decided to increase his popularity with voters by picking on an easy target for their hate: illegal immigrants. Senator Graham did not even bother choosing an issue he had a chance of affecting. Instead, he has started a campaign to repeal the 14th Amendment and prevent babies born in the United States to parents who are in the country illegally from being automatic citizens. To change the Constitution and do that would require the support of three-quarters of all states and two-thirds of the House and Senate.
This movement will never gain the support it needs for the repeal to become a reality. The Republicans who spread the idea know this. However, by playing on voters’ prejudice, hate, and fear of an immigrant population willing to work for less in a time of economic crisis, Republican politicians manage to gain popular support without actually doing their jobs and passing productive and necessary legislation.
The futile attack on the 14th Amendment is far from the only example of the Republican strategy of gaining votes by taking a strong view on an issue they have no hope of actually affecting. The nearly constant attacks on a private developer’s plans to build a Muslim community center and mosque near Ground Zero are an example of this.
For whatever reason, a group composed mostly of Republicans, but which also includes a handful of vote-hungry Democrats, has decided to throw out their knowledge of the First Amendment and attempt to prevent a mosque from being built. The First Amendment specifically states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Since the only reason these individuals are against the building of the mosque is because it is a center of Islam, and the same religion (in name, not in beliefs or even basic principles) as the radicals who performed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, their entire argument is futile. If the same section of land were made into a supermarket, a Catholic Church, or even an Afghani restaurant, it would hardly have been a national issue used to make or break political careers. Once again, it is an issue that plays off voters’ fear and prejudice but one that Republican politicians will never actually be able to do anything about.
It is time for the Republican party to grow up and stop using the least common denominator — hate — as a tool to win votes. America is at war, deeply in debt, and stuck in the worst economic disaster of the past 70 years. Now is not the time for any politician to waste rhetoric and brainpower on inconsequential issues he cannot affect for no reason besides his own self-centered desire to be re-elected.
Casey Goodwin is a Mechanical Engineering sophomore and may be reached at [email protected]