In a country of more than 300 million people I suppose I should expect to find some who are unspeakable scum. But I didn’t think anyone would stoop this low. Not even the racist element that seems to be taking over America’s Republican Party. I won’t repeat the slurs that were posted on a web site called “Free Republic,” but trust me they were not only racist but also defamatory and obscene. The reason? The photo at right, which was published in the London Daily Mail along with a silly story claiming that by wearing a peace sign while her Dad was negotiating arms control with the Russians she was fronting for the anti-nuclear movement. British journalism hasn’t been anything to brag about for at least the past generation, but the Mail sank to a new level of inanity with this one.
The Vancouver Sun reported on the Free Republic’s nastiness, and is being chided by some American commentators for doing so. But I think the Sun was right in airing this poison. Abscesses must be lanced, not left to fester.
The sordid attack on the U.S. President’s elder daughter is not something to be swept under the rug or shrugged off as “nonsense” (as blogger Michael Shaw tried to do in yesterday’s Huffington Post). And it is not an isolated incident.
As the Mediaite.com web site put it:
Two high-profile stories about the intersection of racism and the Republican Party are exploding all over the internet. The flap over comments at Free Republic and the Young Republicans’ election of a new president make for a sour cocktail this weekend.
(For the complete story check out: www.mediaite.com/online/conservative-blog-commenters-target-malia-obama-with-racial-slurs/ )
As I wrote in Thursday’s blog, there seems to be an alarming upsurge of racism in America, and it is finding a home in the Republican Party. Obviously, the Free Republic is a site for fringe conservatives to vent their malice, not the official voice of American Republicanism. But I am certain the nasties who smeared Malia on the site did not vote Democrat in November.
And the choice of the new Young Republicans president leaves no doubt as to the prevailing sentiments in that group. They elected a 38-year-old woman from Louisiana named Audra Shay (photo at left), who is distinguished only by her hard-right philosophy – such as more spending on national defense, school choice, limited government, lower taxes and conservative social values -and her fondness for racist “jokes” and bigoted comments. The Young Republicans rejected her more moderate rival, Rachel Hoff, whose sexuality was questioned because she supports civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.
As the Republican Party seeks renewal after its recent disasters at the polls, an unmistakable trend is emerging, and it is not a pretty sight. By taking the seductive path of racial divisiveness and ethnic purity, the party is presenting Americans with a clear-cut choice in the coming elections. I cannot believe that the majority of American voters will follow that path.