In a few months, the Republican nominee for president will emerge on the campaign trail, and you can bet he will sound nothing like the candidates we’re hearing from today. We might recognize his name but the words that come out of his mouth will be different. That’s my guess, anyway. I can’t believe any American politician would hope to get elected on the kind of right-wing platform on display in the primaries. Whoever the chosen standard bearer might be, he will have to appeal to “moderates” if he hopes to defeat President Obama.
Unfortunately for America, voters have a short memory, and most of them don’t pay attention to politics. They go to the polls with a sketchy idea of a few issues, sometimes just one issue like abortion. Some might just vote for the party their parents voted for without knowing or caring why.
It’s sad. And dangerous. They should be paying attention now. They should be listening to the extreme views that Republicans really espouse. Like the views being expressed at CPAC 2012 today.
In an artice for Right Wing Watch distributed by Reader Supported News this morning, Brian Tashman reports:
CPAC will play host to anti-gay groups such as the Family Research Council, the birther leader of WorldNetDaily, and the Apartheid-nostalgic Youth for Western Civilization. But that isn’t all.
Following speeches from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rep. Michele Bachmann, CPAC is hosting the panel “The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the pursuit of diversity is weakening the American Identity” with Peter Brimelow, the founder and head of VDARE.com.
You probably have never heard of VDARE.com. Most mainstream Americans haven’t. It serves an esoteric audience. Here’s how Tashman describes it:
VDARE is a White Nationalist website, run by Brimelow, which frequently publishes the works of anti-Semitic and racist writers and is named after Virginia Dare, who is believed to be the first child of English parents born in the Americas. Brimelow, an immigrant from Great Britain, expresses his fear of the loss of America’s white majority, blames non-white immigrants for social and economic problems and urges the Republican Party to give up on minority voters and focus on winning the white vote. He also said that aNew York City subway is the same as an Immigration and Naturalization Service waiting room, “an underworld that is not just teeming but also almost entirely colored.”
VDARE has published the work of people like Robert Weissberg, who says that black and Hispanic students are responsible for problems in the American education system, Marcus Epstein, the Youth for Western Civilization leader who karate-chopped a black woman after calling her a “n****r” (he later pled guilty to assault), and J. Philippe Rushton of the eugenicist Pioneer Fund.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. This is the face of the new Republican Party. These are the allies of people like Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. These are the folks that Mitt Romney, who pursued relatively moderate policies as governor of Massachusetts, must win over if he hopes to be the party’s presidential nominee.
And these are the people behind Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who is a likely choice as vice presidencial candidate.
To win the presidency, the nominee – whoever he might be – will have to show a different face to the American public. The rabid right wing is still a minority in America – a vociferous and vicious minority but a minority nonetheless.
So while you can be certain the Republicans will use “culture war” wedge issues for all they’re worth, fanning the flames of contention on such divisive topics as abortion, they will have to tone down their message to appeal to the political “center.”
Will Americans be fooled? Hard to say. They’ve been fooled before.
We can only hope that the Republicans have gone too far this time, that the cat is out of the bag, and voters will know who they’re really being asked to elect come November.