Proverbs 29:18 — The Case for the GOP Laying Out a Vision

Proverbs 29:18 — The Case for the GOP Laying Out a Vision

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It’s been one week since the election.

Those who cannot breathe without the contact sport aspect of politics have turned their attention to the fiscal cliff, lame duck session of the 112th Congress, 2013 Inaugural events, and the hustle to post-up for positions in the Second Obama Administration—positions that open up as staffers from the First Term bid adieu.

The vast majority of those who voted, and those eligible who did not cast an Early Vote, Absentee Ballot, or on Election Day, have turned their attention to the debate over whether or not we’ll see a Dirty South Super Bowl XLVII, pitting the Houston Texans, against the Atlanta Falcons, in the city of New Orleans. And on to the matter of discerning whether to watch The X-Factor, (with Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, L.A. Reid, and Simon Cowell on the judges’ panel) The Voice, (with Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton on the judges’ panel) or both—that is of course, until American Idol returns (with Mariah Carey, Nicki Manaj, Randy Jackson, and Keith Urban, on the judges’ panel) at which point all bets are off.

The final category of stakeholders are immersed in a discussion over meaning. At first glance, the Republican Party faithful, (and those who believe that the USA needs a healthy, vibrant GOP, and a healthy, vibrant Democratic Party in order to operate) have concluded that the demonization of Latinos, especially Latino immigrants, is a losing formula, and must cease. Viviana Hurtado, Ruben Navarrette, Laura Colarusso, Julia Preston/Fernanda Santos, Adriana Maestas/Sara Ines Calderon, Samantha Wyatt, and others, have made this point colorfully, comprehensively, and convincingly.

Concurrently, these same faithful are coming to terms with the rhetoric and policies that fueled the fire of the gender gap that delivered victories not only to President Obama, but to Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren, Senator-elect Tammy Baldwin, Congresswoman-elect Tammy Duckworth, Congresswoman-elect Krysten Sinema, etc. Sarah Stoesz, Susan Carroll, Hallmah Abdullah, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Olivia Waxman, Emma Gray, and others, have made this point colorfully, comprehensively, and convincingly.

But one final point remains.

Back in August, while I was on the road, engaging voters on behalf of Politic365’s #voiceyourvote campaign, in the days leading up to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL, and Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, I wrote that President Obama deserved reelection because the GOP had yet to offer a vision for the future. It had, in plainest language, painted President Obama as the wrong leader for present-day challenges. But neither the Romney-Ryan ticket, nor any of the down-ballot Republicans, offered a vision for where America should go, once the economy was back on track. Once unemployment fell below 8%, and the consumer confidence, housing, and manufacturing numbers improved to their highest levels since before the Great Recession, undecided voters who were looking for a reason to vote against President Obama and the Democratic Senate majority, could not find one.

You see, it’s not just that women and people of color felt as though the GOP was a party of old white men disinterested in opening the Republican tent to them. It’s also that voters clearly understood that President Obama stood for universal healthcare coverage, a pathway to citizenship, equal pay for equal work, same-sex marriage rights, a protection of women’s reproductive rights, investments in Pre-K through college education, an expansion of green sector and STEM jobs, as well as a path toward deficit reduction that asked the wealthiest Americans to pay more. There was no such clarity on the other side. It’s not that Primary Campaign stances went through a rhetorical Etch-A-Sketch to adopt a more centrist tone. It’s that every position, from coverage for preexisting conditions, to the 20% across the board tax cut, were as fluid and mutable as a blob in a lit lava lamp. Even secular voters place a lot of faith in the wisdom of Proverbs 29:18. Those who sought a vision for the future from President Obama got one. Those who sought a vision for the future from Mitt Romney were redirected to either fetishize the past, (the 1980s and/or the 1950s) or focus on whatever economic indicators were still lagging in the present.

Perhaps the best thing for Republicans, and those rooting for the GOP to get its act together, to do, is to take a trip to the movies. Go watch Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.” Although not a Ken Burns documentary, it successfully makes the case that the 13th Amendment was necessary for the future of the Union, not simply an expedient act to add momentum to the push to end the Civil War. As David Edmund Moody wrote, “In order to achieve the impossible, Lincoln had to martial all his internal resources… When the arguments were moral, he articulated a larger vision.”

In the worlds of the Illinois Rail Splitter, a.k.a. Honest Abe Lincoln himself, “We can succeed only by concert. It is not ‘can any of us imagine better?’ but ‘can we all do better?’ The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise—with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”

Today, Democrats have successfully distanced themselves from those who once stood in the way of equality of opportunity for all Americans, regardless of race, gender, creed, cultural origin, or sexual identity. And now, the heavy burden falls on Republicans to confront and purge the racism they’ve enabled, and Andrew Rosenthal, Nsenga Burton, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Steven Hahn, Dan Payne, Eugene Robinson, as well as countless others, have documented, dissected, and decried. Then, once the GOP has invited women and people of color to the Party, it must define what comes next. When it comes to spelling out a vision for the US and its people, Republicans must answer one critical question: Where to?

Fundamentally, the lesson both major parties, and those who will work to bring forth a third voice in national electoral politics, must learn was best articulated by President Kennedy, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”

To win elections, you must name American Dreams to work toward, not just ogres or specters to stand against.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, I didn’t realize that the GOP had a gender and ethnicity test to register as one…must have missed that. last I checked, the Republican Party had a pretty big tent, but that isn’t well known do to Democrat vicious attacks and lies, along with media support. Guess you missed the GOP convention and the parade of successful minorities who have risen up from nothing. As for illegal aliens…they are what they are. They broke immigration law. That they flaunted the law, and continue to do so, doesn’t in my mind deserve reward simply because you demand it. They stole into the country and cut in front of immigrants who are trying to access this country through legal means, just as our forefathers have. To grant amnesty without once and for all sealing the border and enforcing immigration law, is insanity. Unless of course your goal is to drive down wages, produce more debt, mire the social safety net and education system, and produce more voters for one party in particular.

    • Immigration laws: A shameful history of racism and bigotry

      1795 Naturalization Act restricts citizenship to “free white persons” who reside in the United States for five years and renounce their allegiance to their former country.

      1850s Know Nothing political party unsuccessfully seeks to increase restrictions on naturalization.

      1854 Chinese immigrants are prohibited from testifying against whites in California courts.

      1870 Naturalization Act limits American citizenship to “white persons and persons of African descent,” barring Asians from U.S. citizenship.

      1882 Chinese Exclusion Act restricts Chinese immigration.
      Immigration Act of levies a tax of 50 cents per immigrant and makes several categories of immigrants ineligible to enter the United States, including “lunatics” and people likely to become public charges.

      1885 Alien Contract Labor Law bars prohibited any company or individual from bringing foreigners into the United States under contract to perform labor here. The only exceptions are those who were brought to do domestic service and skilled workmen who should be needed here to help establish some new trade or industry.

      1913 California’s Alien Land Law prohibits “aliens ineligible for citizenship” (Chinese and Japanese) from owning property in the state. It provides the model for Similar acts in other states.

      1917 Congress enacts a literacy requirement for immigrants over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto. The law requires immigrants to be able to read 40 words in some language. The law also specifies that immigration is prohibited from Asia, except from Japan and the Philippines.

      1921 Quota Act limits annual European immigration to 3 percent of the number of a nationality group in the United States in 1910.

      1922 Cable Act partially repeals the Expatriation Act, but declares that an American woman who marries an Asian still loses her citizenship.

      1923 In the landmark case of United States v. Bhaghat Singh Thind, the Supreme Court rules that Indians from the Asian subcontinent could not become naturalized U.S. citizens.

      1924 The Johnson-Reed Act limits annual European immigration to 2 percent of the number of nationality group in the United States in 1890.
      Oriental Exclusion Act prohibits most immigration from Asia, including foreign-born wives and children of U.S. citizens of Chinese ancestry.

      1934 The Tydings-McDuffie Act, which provided for independence for the Philippines on July 4, 1946, strips Filipinos of their status as U.S. nationals and severely restricted Filipino immigration by establishing an annual immigration quota of 50.

      1940 The Alien Registration Act requires the registration and fingerprinting of all aliens in the United States over the age of 14. The act classifies Korean immigrants as subjects of Japan.

      1954 Operation Wetback forces the return of undocumented workers to Mexico.

      http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/historyonline/immigration_chron.cfm

    • The Gilded Age was when the Republican Party lost their humane purpose and became the party of wealthy robber barons and stupid bigots.

      The Gilded Age was when voter disenfranchisement for minorities and immigrants began as a diversion from the wealthy who worked labor without rights.

      Stupid Libertarians today call the Gilded Age a time of great economic freedom (yea, for the robber barons!)

    • He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich–both come to poverty.
      Proverbs 22:16

      Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
      Ezekiel 16:49

      Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the LORD will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them.
      Proverbs 22:22-23

      Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor.
      Zechariah 7:10

    • Sodom is referenced multiple times in the Bible as an example of great sinning. And what might that sin be?

      Anti-Immigrant Bigotry and Economic Injustice!

      In Isaiah 1:10-17 it is thought to be injustice, not rescuing the oppressed, defending the orphan, pleading for the widow.

      In Ezekiel 16:48-49 it is the sin of not aiding the “poor and needy.”

      In Zephaniah 2:8-11 the sin is bullying, boasting and pride.

      In the Wisdom of Solomon it is “the bitter hatred of strangers.”

      http://www.thegodarticle.com/7/post/2011/10/clobbering-biblical-gay-bashing.html

    • First…its pretty assuming of you to think I even go to church, or have any religious affiliation. You want to know the difference between a right wing religious nutjob and a leftwing religious nutjob? Nothing. I got it wing nut troll…your out to “save the world” utilizing your religious mumbo jumbo. You hate America, and wish to see it delve into a homogeneous third world craphole. Got it troll, your unhinged.

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