There's Nothing Paradoxical About The Hate Spewing From The 'Diverse' Presidential Field
September 24, 2015

The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty and Jose DelReal are scratching their heads in puzzlement:

It wasn’t so long ago that Republicans were congratulating themselves for having put forward the most diverse group of presidential candidates from either political party, ever.

But the message Americans are hearing from the 2016 GOP field is sounding more and more exclusionary. That was evident most recently in a comment from retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who is running near the top in national polls, that he “absolutely would not agree” with a Muslim becoming president....

There is no small paradox at work in the shrillness of the rhetoric. The Republican field is more representative than ever of an increasingly diverse America....

Among the 15 Republican candidates are an African American (Carson), a woman (Fiorina), two Cuban Americans (Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas) and an Indian American (Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal)....

But the chief dynamic that has driven the fight for the nomination is a current of anger in the GOP base, aimed at what many see as unsettling cultural and political changes and a party establishment that they believe has failed them.

There's no "paradox" here. If you're not a white male, to attain success with the Republican Party's voter base you're expected to specifically renounce the politics of inclusion. Thus we have Cruz and Jindal, both immigrants' sons, rejecting birthright citizenship. We have Marco Rubio now saying we shouldn't even consider a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the next decade. We have Ben Carson accusing the Black Lives Matter movement of "bullying." We have Carly Fiorina refusing to name a woman she'd like to see on the $10 bill and saying, "I wouldn't change the $10 bill or the $20 bill. I think honestly it's a gesture. Don't think it helps to change our history. What I would think is we ought to recognize that women are not a special interest group."

If you want to succeed in the GOP as a woman or person of color, you need to embody the message that acknowledging unequal treatment of certain groups is a liberal plot. That's why there's no contradiction between a diverse Republican presidential field and the torrent of hate and disrespect we've seen from the candidates and voters. It's all part of the same mindset.

(Crossposted from No More Mister Nice Blog)

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