Yesterday, over at FiveThirtyEight, David Wasserman wrote, After The Midterms, The Diversity Gap in the House Will Be Wider Than Ever. The numbers are stark. In fact, it would not at all be incorrect to call the Republicans the White Man’s Party. I do a lot of work for a black Baptist church and it has a far larger white constituency than the Republican Party has women or minority groups.
The United States is 31% white male. But the Republicans in the House of Representatives are 89% white male. And the trend is in the wrong direction. It was only 86% before the 2012 election. And since then, it has gotten worse still. There have been six special elections when Republicans won and every one of them was a white male.
Compare this to the Democrats. After the 2012 election, of the 201 Democrats in the House, there were “61 women, 43 African-Americans and six LGBT members.” The Republicans have no openly gay members of the House. But to be fair, the Republican Party has always been a big supporter of self-hating closeted gay politicians. Oh, and in the two special elections since 2012, the Democrats have picked up two more women.
What this all makes me think of is William Buckley statement, “A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop…” This is the basis of the Republican Party. Forget “freedom” and “responsibility.” This is all about the fact that white men have traditionally had ultimate power in this country. And they are afraid they are losing it. This is why they vilify the poor, because it is a way of arguing that white men deserve to be rich because they are better. The poor are over-represented by minority groups. This includes the LGBT community, who are poorer than their straight counterparts.
So a conservative really is someone who stands athwart equal opportunity, yelling stop! Worse than that. He doesn’t just yell stop. He uses the privilege that he has from centuries of repressing other groups to distort the system so that those who have been repressed continue to be repressed. At the same time, he yells, “It’s their own fault!” And he works the system he mostly controls to make sure that when he screws up, the government is there to bail him out. At the same time, he yells, “Food stamps are welfare that must be stopped!” And he congratulates himself on all his philanthropy, that mostly involves being a Job Creator™. At the same time, he yells, “If only there were no minimum wage, I’d hire more 8-year-olds to work in my business.”
Well America, what’s it gonna be? Are you going to continue to vote for politicians who not only don’t look like you, they don’t look after you? You might think that the country is badly in need of change. But these rich white Republicans don’t agree. They stand athwart your attempt to improve your life and yell, stop! And they have an army of lawyers, cops, and PR men to enforce their demand.