As the current political season gets underway, the same old accusations against one political party are being made by members of other parties. In the case of the Republican Party, the accusations are that the Party is racist and sexist.
Those particular accusations are false, but it is understandable as to why the accusations are being made. Despite its merits, the Republican Party has a reoccurring problem with being tone deaf. At times, it seems as if the GOP is a case of the blind leading the blind, making the Party blind, deaf and dumb (and by “dumb” this writer doesn’t mean “mute”).
For example, the GOP habitually shoots itself in the foot in regards to race relations. The latest example of this is the rise of Donald Trump as the front-runner in the current GOP presidential contest. Republicans are just fooling themselves if they think that Trump isn’t driving Hispanic voters away from the GOP.
Trump isn’t the only loud-mouthed Republican to go anti-Hispanic. Republican polemicist Ann Coulter hasn’t just been ranting against illegal immigrants. She has ranted against the importation of Hispanic culture, insinuating that Hispanic immigrants are turning the USA into a third-world nation.
Elected GOP officials have done their own work in turning minorities away from the GOP. The GOP erred by promoting voter ID laws at the wrong moment in history. Have there been cases of voter fraud? Yes, but they have been sporadic and very few in number. What the GOP has done is the equivalent of using wrecking ball to kill a fly.
When it comes to sexism, the GOP is constantly defending itself against a charge that it is waging a war on women. That charge is the result of the GOP’s ham-handed handling of the topic of abortion. When it comes to that topic, GOP politicians have a bad habit of putting the cart before the horse.
From a political perspective, an important question needs to be answered: Does the U.S. Constitution permit the federal government to define when human life begins? If it doesn’t, then another question needs to be answered: Does the U.S. Constitution permit individual states to define when human life begins? GOP politicians do themselves no favors by assuming that the beginning of human life has been legally defined when (to the best of this writer’s knowledge) it hasn’t.
[If there is such a legal definition in the USA that has survived a court challenge, then please cite in the comments section evidence for it, because this writer could be mistaken.]
Granted, courts have upheld restrictions on abortion when a human fetus can survive outside the womb, but such restrictions are based on clear medical evidence that the fetus already has all of the functioning components of a human being. That is not the case when an embryo is less than three weeks old.
Retired Senator Tom Coburn is a physician, and he has stated (if this writer recalls correctly) that the beginning of human life should be defined the same way that the end of human life is defined – with the presence or absence of a heart beat and brain activity. As this writer points out in a previous post, the human heart begins beating 3 weeks after conception. Prior to that time, a pregnant woman can logically conclude that it is her body to do as she wishes. Likewise, a woman can logically conclude that a contraceptive method that prevents embryonic development after fertilization isn’t killing anyone. Indeed, the use of birth control in general isn’t a form of killing.
Sure, plenty of Republicans use their religious beliefs to argue that human life begins at conception, but the USA isn’t a theocracy of any kind. The U.S. Constitution doesn’t permit religious beliefs to be codified into law. Republicans grievously err if they try to force their religious beliefs onto women.
Then there is the way that the GOP has handled the issue of federal funding of Planned Parenthood. The Party, in general, hasn’t handled that political “hot potato” very well. Attempting to shut down the federal government over that particular issue is simply the wrong way to go. A persuasive argument can be made against giving federal tax dollars to a private organization such as Planned Parenthood, but GOP lawmakers have done a poor job of making such an argument. Instead, they have once again put the cart before the horse.
As this writer see it, the GOP gets itself into trouble with voters because GOP politicians are in a hurry to convert their beliefs into law without taking into consideration how human nature responds to sudden changes. Although individuals might respond well to such changes, humans as a group are much more resistive to changes. As a group, humans will accept sudden change as necessary when they perceive an immediate physical threat to their lives.
Yes, the Republican Party has its merits that make it valuable to the USA. Yet, the Party still gives its critics legitimate reasons to complain, and the critics with legitimate complaints aren’t being anti-GOP zealots. Like all political parties, the GOP has its weaknesses, and in the opinion of this writer, one of those weaknesses is being tone deaf. Thankfully, the GOP isn’t a marching band, because even the residents of Bikini Bottom make better music.