The Modern GOP: The Party of Lincoln (Not). ~ Neil Alexander

Via elephant journal
on Apr 17, 2013
get elephant's newsletter

Republican Elephant

A Workshop in Selective Amnesia

The Republican Party continues to try to ignore the past 50 years of intensely racist practices, instead citing references to a GOP that hasn’t existed for a half century.

For example, in a statement by the Kansas GOP condemning the racist remarks recently made by Saline County Commissioner Jim Gile, the state GOP there claimed that Republicans in Kansas demonstrated “…true depth of its commitment to fighting racism in all forms” and reportedly included references to Kansans fighting pro-slavery forces in the Bleeding Kansas era (in the 1800s), accepting Exodusters (the name given to former slaves who migrated to Kansas in 1879), banning the film “Birth of a Nation” (in 1915) and driving out the Ku Klux Klan (in 1925).

(The dates in quotes referencing these events are my addition; they did not exist in the original statement.)

They choose to forget that the racist policies they embraced in the 1960s have lasted right up through the 2012 elections when they openly discussed disenfranchising black and Latino voters, and when that same year the Montana GOP state convention had a bullet-riddled outhouse labeled as the “Obama Presidential Library.”

Many people by now have seen the video clip of Rand Paul at the predominantly Afro-American Howard University trying to “reveal” to the students there that the NAACP founders were Republican (back when the GOP wasn’t a racist party) and being so surprised to discover they already knew about the NAACP’s origins that he stumbled clumsily over his words as he tried to effect damage control.

Here is John Stewart’s take on Rand Paul’s condescending miscalculation:

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Guess Who’s Coming to Howard
Daily Show Full Episodes Indecision Political Humor The Daily Show on Facebook

Don’t miss the second part which the clip may or may not automatically lead to (after a “brief” commercial between the two):

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Guess Who’s Coming to Howard – Larry Wilmore on Rand Paul
Daily Show Full Episodes Indecision Political Humor The Daily Show on Facebook

No matter how much the GOP invokes the actions of long-dead Republicans, they are fighting a losing battle to convince the American public that they have not become what the old democrats used to be: The party of the KKK. Things change.

By the way, the Democratic Party needs to own up to what they used to represent. They seem to be as anxious to forget their past as the GOP is to forget their present.

On social issues the parties flipped roles 50 years ago, and it’s time the GOP faced the ugly truth of what they have become and stop invoking events from a hundred years ago as though that has anything to do with the modern GOP.


NeilAlexander Neil Alexander is a professional magician, a Tai Chi enthusiast and occasional Tai Chi instructor, and the owner of the Online Ginseng Store. A former nightclub comic who spent years on the road, he currently resides in his hometown of NYC, and has lived on both coasts and several points in between. An unabashed practitioner of the art of alliteration and its resultant mix of prose and poetry, he is on an endless quest to uncover the perfect word—the philosopher’s stone of writers. In the meantime he is willing to accept all reasonable substitutions.

Like Enlightened Society on Facebook.

Asst. Editor: Wendy Keslick/Ed: Bryonie Wise


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive—and get your name/business/fave non-profit on every page of Questions? Send to [email protected]


Comments are closed.