Our “Divisive” President

What are all these GOP folks complaining about? Biden needs to be less divisive? Jeebus Crikey Moses! Consider this:

  • We now have a woman “Blindian” Veep
  • Biden’s proposed the most diverse cabinet in American history
  • He’s delivered an unbroken message of unity since the election.

Divisive? As Inigo Montoya famously said to Vizzini, “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.”

And now even the Left is starting to complain. Because Biden isn’t going far enough fast enough. Forget that he’s done more good for the country in four days than Trump did in four years.

At least give the guy a week to settle in.

So far, I think Joe is doing a great job. He promised to start reversing some of Trump’s worst policies from day one… and that’s exactly what he’s done. (Unlike his predecessor’s “from Day One” promises.)

  • Millions of “Dreamer” immigrants protected
  • The Muslim ban reversed
  • He’s taken serious steps to address the pandemic
  • He’s proposed financial protections for the most vulnerable Americans
  • He’s re-engaged with the world through the Paris Accord and W.H.O.
  • He’s restored environmental protections.
  • And, of course, he redecorated the Oval Office. (Bye-bye, Jackson.)

Most importantly, he hasn’t gone golfing once since taking the oath of office.

Speaking of oaths, look at that family Bible he swore on. You take an oath on that thing, and you’d better mean it. That Bible almost proclaims God will strike you down if you break your word. (“Hey! I’d have let it go if you’d sworn on a paperback copy of Good News for Modern Man. But you took your oath on a real Bible. I had no choice.”)

I haven’t been keeping score, but one of the talking heads on the news mentioned Biden is only our second Catholic prez. I knew Kennedy was the first… but I hadn’t been paying attention since. That means we had a Quaker in the White House (Nixon) before our 2nd Catholic. Maybe we should adjust “white privilege” to “WASP privilege.”

Meanwhile, look at Biden’s picks for top posts: blacks, Hispanics, women, gays… and did I see an Asian in the mix? Plus – drum roll, please – these are people with experience and expertise. People who actually know what they’re doing. Merrick Garland for AG? Both a good choice and a sick burn on the GOP. Nicely played, sir!

I have no doubt Biden will try to reach across the aisle. Just as Obama did in the early days of his administration. But I fear he’ll get the same chilly reception.

Don’t you find it odd that pretty much the entire Republican party had a note on their childhood report cards that read: “Does not play well with others?” As if it were a GOP pre-requisite for holding office?

Look at the AZ GOP. They censured Cindy McCain, former Sen. Flake, and their own sitting governor for not supporting Trump’s conspiracy theories. (Plus, two of them flat out said they wouldn’t vote for Trump.) Much of the party appears to be digging in its heels. No compromise allowed.

But Biden is being too divisive.

The Party of Lincoln

I don’t want to beat a dead horse, so I’ll keep this short. Once again, racism has raised it’s ugly head in the form of a Republican leader.

Ronald Reagan, speaking to President Richard Nixon, made some tryly offensive racist remarks. “Last night, I tell you,” Reagan commented, “to watch that thing on television as I did. To see those monkeys from those African countries – damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes.”

That’s pretty bad… but so was Nixon’s response. He laughed.

That’s right. Two Republican presidents of the last half-century shared an incredibly racist moment.

The Republicans endlessly refer to themselves as “the party of Lincoln.” But literally half their presidents over the last 50 years were apparently unapologetic racists.

And Trump is no different.

A Consistent History of Racism

Reagan’s opposition to civil rights legislation is a matter of record. And how much more do you need from Nixon than that laugh? Well, how about this:

“We’re going to [put] more of these little Negro bastards on the welfare rolls at $2,400 a family—let people like Pat Moynihan … believe in all that crap. But I don’t believe in it. Work, work—throw ’em off the rolls…”

Now, to his credit (?), Nixon followed this up with a claim he had “the greatest affection for” African Americans. But he also noted, “…but I know they’re not going to make it for 500 years. They aren’t. You know it, too.”

Nixon also appeared to blame African nations for the U.N. vote to seat Beijing in place of Taiwan in 1971.

“As you can imagine, there’s strong feeling that we just shouldn’t, as he [Reagan] said,” Nixon complained to then-Secretary of State Rogers, “He saw these, as he said, he saw these… these, uh, these cannibals on television last night, and he says, ‘Christ, they weren’t even wearing shoes, and here the United States is going to submit its fate to that,’ and so forth and so on.”

“Negro bastards”… “cannibals”… No racism there, right?

Reagan made quite an impression on Nixon on that call. The president told Secretary Rogers, “Reagan called me last night, and I didn’t talk to him until this morning.”

“But he is,” Nixon continued, “of course, outraged. And I found out what outraged him… and he said, ‘These cannibals jumping up and down and all that.’ And apparently it was a pretty grotesque picture.”

Yup. There’s the “party of Lincoln,” actively pursuing racial equality. But here’s the salient point…

The Tail Follows the Head

You can claim there are simply “rogue elements” within the Republican Party who are also racist. But that’s not how a body works.

The tail wags when the head tells it to. And if the racist tail of the Republican Party is wagging, it’s only because they’ve gotten a message from the head.

Like neo-Nazis at the Charlottesville protests being “fine people.” Or the “Send her back,” chanters at Trump’s recent rally being “incredible patriots.”

Or the response to Trump’s misrepresentation of black NFL players’ protests against police violence. He re-cast the protests as being anti-flag and anti-American.

Or his frequent attacks on majority-black communities as “rat-infested, “crime-infested,” or any number of other negatives. Noting “no human being” would want to live in Baltimore… suggesting those who do are something less than human.

The resurgence of open racism in America has taken its cues from the Racist-in-Chief. Trump has normalized racist sentiments. He consistently depicts non-whites as sub-human. And when anyone dares push back, he accuses them of racism.

Lincoln Is Spinning in His Grave

Lincoln may have been a reluctant convert to equality. But he saw it as the key to a successful Union. And to his credit, he took the ultimate political gamble. He fought Congress to make black Americans at least nominally equal to white Americans.

But the party of Lincoln has been hijacked. The GOP long ago abandoned the idea of equality. And that’s been abundantly illustrated by the party’s leadership over the last 50 years. Just look at their opposition to the civil rights movement. And how they’re trying to roll its gains back even today.

Nixon was racist… Reagan was racist… and so is Trump.

Time and again, Trump denies his racism while sounding racist dog whistles. He claims ignorance, while white supremacists praise his words and actions. He protests his innocence, while his administration pursues a clearly racist agenda.

Why has the only black Republican Congressman just announced his retirement? Why is there only one black Cabinet member? And why has the Trump Organization been dogged by charges of racial discrimination since the 1970s?

Let’s face it. The party of Lincoln has become the party of White Privilege… and those in power are reluctant to share.

As for Honest Abe, he’s busy spinning in his grave.