CALIFORNIA, September 26, 2013 — A conservative who publicly opposes Obama’s policies is not courageous just for being oppositional. It’s the expected action of a conservative.
What takes courage as a conservative is standing up to the extremists on the American right who create the political conditions that allowed Obama to win two straight presidential elections.
Earlier this month, in order to burnish his credentials as a right-winger, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) publicly celebrated the legacy of the racist segregationist and white supremacist, Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC). Cruz thoughtlessly said that he wishes the Senate had 100 senators just like Helms.
Cruz did not clarify which parts of Helms’ record he admired. In fact, by acknowledging that he liked Helms’ lack of trepidation in saying “all those crazy things,” it is not a stretch to question whether Cruz agrees with at least some of Helms’ most insane racial views.
A political party that is serious about winning the White House in 2016 would have shunned Cruz after this comment. However the GOP allowed the comment to slide.
Even worse, this week, some Republicans are worshiping Ted Cruz after his brutally long pseudo-filibuster, which contained intellectual gems like comparing Obama’s healthcare bill to Nazi Germany.
The likelihood of Ted Cruz running for president and winning the Republican Party’s nomination is high, but he simply cannot win the presidency without the votes of minorities.
Cruz is evidently conservative, but it will take more than conservative positions to win votes. Likability is also an important factor. Cruz has shown that reaching out to white supremacists is of more importance to him than reaching out to ethnic minorities.
People keep pretending as though race is a dead issue. Such people act as though bringing up race is simply a distraction from more important issues. This couldn’t be more wrongheaded.
Race is one of the most important political issues of our time. It matters more than some myopic commentators on the right are able to grasp. Being wrong on issues of race has serious political consequences. It indirectly decides issues such as Obamacare, which Cruz claims to hate.
People like Cruz hold some responsibility for the Democratic Party’s insidious domestic and foreign policies being the law. It is people like Cruz who push minority voters into the Democratic camp, giving Democrats the power to achieve their injurious political agenda.
The notion that blacks should or would ignore Cruz’s idea of the prototypical U.S. senator being a racist segregationist is absolutely delusional. By embracing Cruz, the GOP essentially sends out an unmistakable message to black people.
After chasing away minority voters with their racial insensitivity and, at times, outright racism, Republicans lose elections. Then pundits turn around to insult minorities even further by suggesting that the only reason Republicans lose is because minorities just want to mooch off hardworking white people.
This cycle will continue this way, until there is a change.
If right-wingers truly care about keeping healthcare out of the hands of the state and having a sensible conservative foreign policy, they would oppose Cruz and other conservatives who sympathize with racists.
Rather than whining about the false accusations of racism that liberals often throw at conservatives, it behooves the right to conscientiously repudiate conservatives like Cruz who show irrefutable support for real racists.
Sweeping race under the carpet only works within the bubble of the conservative media. People outside the right-wing bubble still acknowledge that Cruz wants a Senate filled with 100 racist segregationists.
People on the American right who sympathize with racists have made politics painless for liberal Democrats. Liberals no longer need to defend their policies to ethnic minorities. All they need is to be simply less overtly racist than the right, which isn’t hard to do.
Democrats have calculated that they need the votes of ethnic minorities to win elections. Republicans, however, are still under the bizarre delusion that appealing to ethnic minorities means insulting them.
A right-winger who truly cares about the proliferation of conservatism, and it being the functioning governing philosophy in the United States, should not and cannot support Ted Cruz.
One’s dedication to conservatism can no longer be solely judged by how long one inveighs against Obama and his policies in front of cameras. Bloviating is easy, but it doesn’t win votes. Dedication to conservatism must be decided on the metric of how well one avoids extremist rhetoric that harms conservative outreach.
The longer the right continues to elevate racist sympathizers like Ted Cruz, the longer liberalism will continue to have a foothold in the United States.
If Cruz is the Republican candidate for President of the United States in 2016, one can expect Democrats to replay the clip of him expressing his undying love for Jesse Helms, until their video players break down due to overuse.
Although Cruz garrulously professes his love for conservatism, the truth of the matter is that his style, rhetoric, and approach to politics are the greatest gifts that liberal Democrats could ever ask for.
Chidike Okeem is a writer. Born in Nigeria, raised in London, England, and now living in California, he writes about race, culture, religion, and politics. You can find contact information and read more of his writings at www.voiceofchid.com.
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