The news for Jeb! has always been stark, but over the last few days it’s grown increasingly so. With the latest Pew poll putting him at just 4% against Trump’s 25%, we can expect his air of confident inevitability to soon become a heaving pant of flailing desperation.
Not too long ago, incumbent establishment GOP
wallflower Senator Thad Cochran faced a similarly humiliating and devastating defeat. Appearing all but defeated by teaparty-backed Chris McDaniel in Mississippi’s 2014 GOP Senate primary, Thad and his team of “strategists and advisers” — namely Stuart Stevens and Brad Dayspring — decided to borrow a few things from Democrats in order to fend off McDaniel and the tea party.
1). They borrowed Democrat voters and had them vote in the GOP primary, and
2). They borrowed the Democrat’s storied “The other guy is RACIST!” attack to motivate those Democrat voters.
Ultimately, Cochran’s team used a loophole in Mississippi law that allows Democrats to vote in the GOP primary. “Why would a Democrat want to vote in a GOP primary?”, you may ask. Normally they wouldn’t. But Thad’s team went out to primarily black communities whose voters they knew were largely registered Democrats, and told them McDaniel and the tea party are “RACIST!” and that unless those Democrat voters who happened to be black wanted a “RACIST!” representing Mississippi in the US Senate, they needed to come vote in the GOP primary for Thad Cochran. And those voters did just that, thereby pushing Cochran to victory in the face of defeat. (And of course the story in the mainstream media was and remains “evidence” that the tea party is dying if not already dead.)
Erick Erickson recently wrote about that story, noting that the GOP’s activist base aren’t as forgiving or forgetful as the establishment GOP obviously hoped they’d be.
Critical To Note
The single greatest failure of today’s GOP is the unwillingness to expressly reject voter segregation and profiling by race and ethnicity. That we not only tolerate but often celebrate winning “Hispanic voters” or “white voters’ or “black voters,” should be an assault on the national conscience. That historically-consistent Democrats do this is expected, but having led every meaningful civil rights movement in our nation’s history — the GOP is long overdue in rejecting this divisive and destructive practice. And in case it’s not already clear to you, here’s where the problem lies…
More than anything else, conservative principles are built on the value of individual liberty. When a political party targets individuals by race or ethnicity, they do so based implicitly or explicitly on perceived grievance endured by that race or ethnicity. Ultimately, this accepted voter segregation relegates otherwise powerful individuals to assigned groups wherein they’re to relinquish their individual liberty and assume perpetual grievance as part of that group. And this not only fails to help those individuals who do suffer disparity, but it actually exacerbates that disparity by misappropriating the source. And if that weren’t destructive enough, targeting voters by race and ethnicity also further divides our nation by race and ethnicity –evidenced in 2015 by what’s become a celebration for self-segregation.
It Gets Worse
You may recall Donald Trump recently suggesting Jeb use English when speaking to voters. In doing so, Trump — perhaps unwittingly — had laid a few bricks on the path to a less divisive, more united nation. You see, there is no greater conduit to unity than a shared language. In the US, that language is English. If we want to make it Spanish or some other language, that’s fine with me — but it’s important we have one, and no request to use that one language should ever be met with opposition.
Rather than embrace the call to lead-by-example with language that unites our nation, Jeb responded with language that divides us. Taking a page right out of the Democrat’s playbook, Jeb — entirely devoid of foundation, thoughtfulness or introspection — effectively said Trump was using a ‘dog whistle’ to appeal to racists among our party.
There is real racism and bigotry in the United States. And it does create destruction to our nation at large and the individuals within it. What’s entirely missed by most in our party, namely the “smartest” and most amplified voices, is that the racism and bigotry that exists rampantly in the US sits in plain-sight and comes exclusively from often well-intended but still wildly wrong Democrats and leftists. Unless we as a movement-for-liberty get our heads around that reality, not only will we continue losing the national conversation badly (which means even when we win elections, we lack the mandate to effect any real change), and not only will we continue becoming a nation increasingly divided rather than one that’s united…but also too many Americans will continue to shamefully be robbed of their individual liberty — thereby hurting us all as it deprives our nation the meaningful contribution of all of our citizens.
It’s with fear and great sadness that — given his horrific poll numbers despite being the establishment GOP’s chosen one — I expect Jeb’s initial, unfounded “That’s racist!” charge against Trump will soon be exponentially amplified. And of course the media will eat it up, because if there’s one thing they love — it’s doing the left’s bidding by perpetuating the “Conservatives are racist!” theme.
It worked for Thad Cochran in Mississippi when he was at his most desperate, and with the same class of consultants and advisers on standby to help Jeb — along with complicit new conservative media voices like T. Becket Adams and Jazz Shaw who celebrated Cochran’s efforts rather than chiding them — what, at this point, does Jeb have to lose?
The establishment GOP along with the intellectually lazy “strategists and advisers” they rely on and far too many other amplified voices in our movement — are far less interested in spreading liberty far-and-wide, and far more interested in helping themselves and each other. It’s evident in their uniform inability and/or unwillingness to reject segregating voters by race and/or ethnicity, and as we’ve seen more recently — it’s further evidenced in their taking the unfounded “That’s racist!” charge right out of the Democrat’s playbook, and using it against other conservatives.
The GOP fought for liberty in both 1863 and 1964 against great opposition and amid great adversity. That so many appear too afraid or too intellectually lazy to do so today, is not okay. We need to at least try and if those voters who have become happily segregated by race and/or ethnicity reject our efforts, then the foundations of American principle — that all are created equal, and enabled by individual liberty despite a still necessary government — are already lost, deeming the Republican party as moot as many fear it’s already become. But of course — as did those who came before us — we’ll keep fighting to right that wrong, because that’s what Republicans inspired foremost by individual liberty do.
As noted in my About Me, mitigating racial and identity-based disparity is foremost among my passions after advancing liberty. And the only reason “advancing liberty” comes first, is because I know that is the best way to mitigate those disparities. These are very much at the heart of my activism, and you can read related pieces I’ve written in this blog — which is still less than a month old — as linked below…