By Robert Mann

Perhaps you have noticed not one Republican member of Louisiana’s congressional delegation condemned Donald Trump for his racist remarks about immigrants.

I know, Trump’s vulgar slur surprised no one. This kind of thing is routine. And it’s not as if Trump hides this personality trait. Among other offenses, he’s the original birther, for which he has never expressed regret.

But, after Trump’s racist Oval Office vulgarity, it’s clear how much hatred his dark heart harbors. So, were you at all surprised that our Republican members of Congress shrank from condemning comments that will prove a windfall for terrorist recruiting efforts in Africa?

No? Well, neither was I.

Could it be Trump has so compromised the consciences of these members they no longer care about hateful, bigoted language that undermines national security? Or has their loyalty to the Racist in Chief blinded them so they cannot recognize racism?

Maybe, but I suspect something far more prosaic. The collective failure of conscience by these Republicans tells us how they regard their constituents.

Trust me: Sen. John Kennedy, Rep. Steve Scalise and the rest of our delegation understand well the voters who elected them. The uniform silence of Kennedy, Scalise, Sen. Bill Cassidy and Reps. Garret Graves, Clay Higgins, Ralph Abraham and Mike Johnson tells us volumes.

What it says is they believe criticizing Trump is a political loser. They know denouncingTrump’s racism will cost them votes.

For all the talk about “economic anxiety” as the motivation for many Trump supporters, his greatest appeal has always been thinly veiled racism. Now that Trump has revealed himself as nothing more than a champion of the rich — and his poll numbers among Republicans remain strong — let’s call economic anxiety what it really is: racism.

Does this mean every Trump voter is a racist? No. But for most, racism is not a deal breaker and is, in fact, Trump’s greatest appeal. And it’s that appeal that intimidates Kennedy, Scalise and the rest.

I know, defending the marginalized has never been a Republican priority. That’s partly because so many Republican voters regard immigrants, minorities and the poor as lazy, shiftless moochers. It’s why you will often hear politicians, like Kennedy and Graves, vilify the poor in service of the rich.

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2 thoughts on “Why Louisiana’s GOP congressional delegation won’t condemn the Racist in Chief

  1. Though I would love to believe otherwise, I don’t think our elected officials will ever again fear us – they will only fear the machine they serve and will only change if it reverses direction. All of us who are not power brokers are disenfranchised – not just the poor and otherwise disadvantaged mentioned here. Winning, on a personal power level, is everything to all but a handful of our elected officials at every level of government. As long as they can get enough votes to stay in power, the rest of us are forgotten. I would like to believe the Republican Party could gain a collective conscience, but I don’t know what it would take for it to see a profit from doing so. Since creation of a true third party seems out of the question, the best those of us who disagree with current policies can do is work to strengthen the only viable opposition party.

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  2. Using race as a tactic to divide and conquer is as old as the republic it self, but perhaps LBJ expressed it like no other before or since. The irony may be that since the Reagan revolution became the predominate ideology for direction of economic, social, and regulatory policy—followed by the concentration of wealth and power into fewer hands—race-baiting may not even be necessary. Years of gerrymandering and voter restrictions have mitigated the need for it.
    But old habits die hard; and it is quite probable Trump’s ascension owes a lot to it, and the sycophants of the Republican oligarchy are beholden to their leader on the bet that money will win day for the foreseeable future.

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