RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
If you read all of the talking points being presented by GOP representatives at this year’s CPAC conference you will hear how the GOP needs to be more inclusive and reach out to those groups who consistently vote for Democrats in no small numbers, like racial minorities and women.
“The Republican Party does not need to change our principles, but we might need to change just about everything else we are doing,” said Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. It was time, he said, “to recalibrate the compass of conservatism.”
Sally Bradshaw, a party strategist in Florida who is an adviser to former Gov. Jeb Bush, said Republicans needed to recruit stronger and more diverse candidates to win races. “I think you’re going to see a very renewed, aggressive effort by this party to put on a different face,” Ms. Bradshaw said.
Henry Barbour, a member of the Republican National Committee from Mississippi who is also on the panel, said the party should not dilute its conservative values, but it needed to broaden its appeal to compete with Democrats. “We did get whipped in the presidential election, and that’s not something that is taken lightly,” Mr. Barbour said. “The demographic changes in America are real, and they are a wake-up call to the Republican Party.” SOURCE
A blind man could have spelled this out to the GOP and in fact this message has been trumpeted every year for at least the last 12 years. But more than being inclusive to the diverse makeup of this nation’s population, there is one area where they need to start being exclusive if Republicans really want to “broaden its appeal to compete with Democrats” and “recruit stronger and more diverse candidates to win races.” Ostracize those who express insensitive and backward-thinking comments like this one audience member attending a CPAC panel discussing minority outreach.
“I’d be fine with that,” Scott Terry of North Carolina said when asked if he’d accept a society where African-Americans were permanently subservient to whites.
During an exchange of views at the panel meeting, 30-year-old Scott Terry, asked whether Republicans could endorse races remaining separate but equal. After the presenter, K. Carl Smith of Frederick Douglass Republicans, answered by referencing a letter by Frederick Douglass forgiving his former master, [Terry] said “For what? For feeding him and housing him?” Several people in the audience cheered and applauded Terry’s outburst.
After the exchange, Terry muttered under his breath, “why can’t we just have segregation?” noting the Constitution’s protections for freedom of association. SOURCE
At one point a woman, who the Tea Party identified as a representative of Voice of Russia, asked Terry the question “How many black women were there?” regarding the GOP’s roots, Terry retorted, “I didn’t know the legacy of the Republican Party included women correcting men in public.” Is spousal abuse in the future of this man’s wife?
Terry no doubt doesn’t speak for the majority of the Republican party but his affiliation with it and the failure of the GOP to disassociate itself with such people is evidence that changing direction for 2014 and beyond will likely not come anytime soon.
A 3rd party candidate that would incorporate the views of people like Scott Terry will never win any national election so they attach themselves to the more conservative of the two prominent Parties in order to get some traction with their values. Yet it is this low-brow mentality that will always associate racial and gender bias with the GOP and prevent any grand sweep of gaining woman and minority votes.
Their reluctance to cut ties with such people is indicative of Party leaders who still think they need this portion of their base to win elections. It seems clear however that by keeping such people appeased does more damage than it serves their interests. Those who have left the GOP to side with Democrats and those who traditionally vote Democratic are not likely to be wooed by a Party that tolerates a point of view that claims to be superior to those who don’t look like them.
Ironically it is this backward class of people who profess to elevate a Constitution that attempted to view all people equally even though the framers’ words fell short of their actions. It is most likely this reality about the origins of our Constitution that such people cling to rather than the spirit it evokes from freedom loving people of both genders and all races around the world today. What Reagan epitomized as “a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere” is really nothing more to the Scott Terry’s of this country than a dimly lit lantern on a dung heap for white men only to revel in a past that exists no more.