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This week on the National Review Online, NRO editor Jonah Goldberg and National Review’s Editor At Large John O’Sullivan had a discussion about GOP outreach.

“I see that the way we will get the Hispanics and the other groups, the Asians, as part of the Republican Coalition is to get them first part of the great American Coalition. Make them think of themselves, not make but, persuade them to think of themselves primarily as Americans. Restore the overarching, all-encompassing concept of an American identity, which we used to have, which we knew how to bring about and which in the last 20 or 30 years very largely as a result of the democrats wanting to emphasize ethnicity rather than American-ness. We have lost that and frankly one of the reasons we have not regained it and doing very badly at the moment is because the Republicans have neither had the imagination nor the courage to think how they could appeal to these other ethnic groups as Americans and craft an appeal that won them over. They have got to do that.”
Thanks are due to both these gentlemen for this remarkable view into the white conservative mind, where “ethnicity” and “American-ness” are incompatible. And, needless to say, whites have no ethnicity, just American nationality.

And we wonder why Mitt Romney was so shocked to find that enough of us who don’t fit into this narrow view of “American” would vote against him to cause him to lose so decisively. Perhaps he was puzzled as to how to appeal to “other groups” as American.

Josh Marshall was at his understated best when responding to this “Republicans had neither the imagination nor the courage to think how they could appeal to these other ethnic groups as Americans…” drivel, saying of the GOP outreach strategy, “this might take a while.”

It’s like getting into a time machine and traveling back to when overt white supremacist politicking was so mainstream, equating American with white was considered the polite way of asserting white racial dominance.

I guess that’s why they think it takes courage “to think how they could appeal to these other ethnic groups as Americans…” When spreading fear and loathing is a staple of your political strategy, there’s always that danger of getting high on your own supply.

Originally posted to scotnakagawa on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:40 AM PST.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And unbelievable maleness. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avsp, dickensgirl, FloraLine, skrekk

    What do we want? Time Travel! When do we want it? It's irrelevant.

    by NCJim on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:42:55 AM PST

  •  Awesome title. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, rigcath

    In Roviet Union, money spends YOU!

    by Troubadour on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:00:32 AM PST

  •  Stuck in 1850: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Kaina PDX, mookins
    Though in many natural objects, whiteness refiningly enhances beauty, as if imparting some special virtue of its own, as in marbles, japonicas, and pearls; and though various nations have in some way recognised a certain royal preeminence in this hue; even the barbaric, grand old kings of Pegu placing the title "Lord of the White Elephants" above all their other magniloquent ascriptions of dominion; and the modern kings of Siam unfurling the same snow-white quadruped in the royal standard; and the Hanoverian flag bearing the one figure of a snow-white charger; and the great Austrian Empire, Caesarian, heir to overlording Rome, having for the imperial color the same imperial hue; and though this pre-eminence in it applies to the human race itself, giving the white man ideal mastership over every dusky tribe; and though, besides, all this, whiteness has been even made significant of gladness, for among the Romans a white stone marked a joyful day; and though in other mortal sympathies and symbolizings, this same hue is made the emblem of many touching, noble things- the innocence of brides, the benignity of age; though among the Red Men of America the giving of the white belt of wampum was the deepest pledge of honor; though in many climes, whiteness typifies the majesty of Justice in the ermine of the Judge, and contributes to the daily state of kings and queens drawn by milk-white steeds; though even in the higher mysteries of the most august religions it has been made the symbol of the divine spotlessness and power; by the Persian fire worshippers, the white forked flame being held the holiest on the altar; and in the Greek mythologies, Great Jove himself being made incarnate in a snow-white bull; and though to the noble Iroquois, the midwinter sacrifice of the sacred White Dog was by far the holiest festival of their theology, that spotless, faithful creature being held the purest envoy they could send to the Great Spirit with the annual tidings of their own fidelity; and though directly from the Latin word for white, all Christian priests derive the name of one part of their sacred vesture, the alb or tunic, worn beneath the cassock; and though among the holy pomps of the Romish faith, white is specially employed in the celebration of the Passion of our Lord; though in the Vision of St. John, white robes are given to the redeemed, and the four-and-twenty elders stand clothed in white before the great-white throne, and the Holy One that sitteth there white like wool; yet for all these accumulated associations, with whatever is sweet, and honorable, and sublime, there yet lurks an elusive something in the innermost idea of this hue, which strikes more of panic to the soul than that redness which affrights in blood.
    _Moby Dick, "The Whiteness of the Whale."

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:09:13 AM PST

  •  Wow... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles

    Make them think of themselves...

    Naw, he said it right...or he said what he really thought, no retracting that.

  •  "The Hispanics" and "The Asians"? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kaina PDX, mookins, Miggles, madhaus

    The way that these two people talk about ethnicity is bizarre.

    Putting "the" in front of Hispanics and Asians is like grammatically fencing people off from the rest of the population. If they had said that they wanted to attract Hispanics and Asians into the GOP they would be using peoples' ethnicity as an adjective, indicating ethnicity as one characteristic.  

    By saying they want to get "the Hispanics" and "the Asians" into the Republican Coalition They are saying that "The Hispanics" and "The Asians" are monolithic groups who all have the same interests.

    Lucky for me "The Caucasians" aren't one monolithic group that all think alike.  I couldn't stand thinking like Goldberg and O'Sullivan.  Hmmm, their names indicate that they might be of Irish and Jewish descent.  Does that mean the GOP has "the Irish" and "the Jews" in their camp?  Oops, my family has some of both of those ethnicities.  I guess I'd better turn in my dKos membership and find a site more appropriate to my ethnic imperatives.  Do any of you have the urls for right-wing web sites?

    "The Trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat." attributed to Lily Tomlin

    by uniqity on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:25:04 AM PST

    •  Could be a way of objectifying these groups, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, chuco35

      which seems to be how the GOP deals with their lack of humanity.  Reminds me of southerners.  They don't go to bed at night, they "get in the bed."

      "They love the founding fathers so much they will destroy everything they created and remake it in Rush Limbaughs image." MinistryofTruth, 9/29/11

      by AnnieR on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:36:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah, that'll work. I'm a mutt but have a famously (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mookins, madhaus, Oh Mary Oh

    Irish last name.  Even though my DNA is less than 50 percent Irish (I.e., the real kind, not Anglo-Norman-Irish or Anglo-Irish) & my last Irish ancestors arrived in the U.S. more than at least 140 years ago, I consider myself IRISH-American and have long been an afficianado of Irish history & literature and, of course, have a healthy historical contempt for the Brits and their empirizing (and thus for our own).  

    It seems to me that it's an almost universal human compulsion to learn about, and identify with, one's "roots" and that it's inevitable and POSITIVE for almost all Americans to see themselves as "hyphenated" Americans -- except, of course, for those who consider themselves the "true," purely American Americans, like (cough, cough) Bill O'Reilly & Sean Hannity.  

    Some of my almost pugnacious identification with the Irish comes from the fact that around 1900 my grandfather, all of whose forebearers were Irish Celts, changed his name from Patrick to George in an attempt to get around the "Irish Need Not Apply Signs." (Like many Irish clans, mine has Scotch, Scotch-Irish, and/or Protestant variants.  Hell, some people with my last name were even Tories during the Revolution & had to emigrate to Canada.) Republicans seem to be saying, in effect, that "No 'Minorities' Need Apply" unless they change their name to George.  Good luck with that.  

    •  I'm a mix of Irish (Reilly), Scottish (Monroe) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      Welsh (Thomas), Polish and Jewish (Tservin), which make me also part Danish, part Norwegian, and very likely part Russian, part Cossack, and all Kossack! But no bloody-minded Norman French English aristocracy that I know of, thank you very much.

      I am also 100% Black African some tens of thousands of years back, just like you and these, these—Never mind.

      America—We built that!

      by Mokurai on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:00:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Urgh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    Don't the Republicans even bother to study history?

    "The Hispanics" (if you're speaking of folk of Spanish decent) got to the Western Hemisphere BEFORE the Anglos, back in the 16th century. There's a reason Central and South American have Spanish or Portugese as their chief language.

    "The Asians" were mainly imported as help in 19th century California and Hawai'i. You know, doing work the white folk wouldn't do...

    And of course no mention of those who were here first. Terrific.

  •  To tell an American that you think they're not (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, unionboy, madhaus, Oh Mary Oh, skrekk

    American and now you you're going to have to 'persuade' them into it-wow that is seriously insulting and arrogant.

  •  Anytime you use "the" in front of a race or (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, madhaus

    ethnic group, such as "the blacks", "the Asians, or "the Hispanics", you are seriously off on the wrong foot as far as not being insulting to a member of that group. Assuming that ethnic citizens "...do not think of themselves primarily as Americans" is also a tad condescending.

    The discussion basically blames people of color for not being as American as they need to be, in order to avoid taking the country down.

    "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

    by chuco35 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:19:25 AM PST

  •  The fundamantal problem with this strategy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    is that every immigrant community is already American, and delighted to be so. More American, in fact, than the nativists. Immigrants really do believe, on average, far more than the average Republican does in equality, opportunity, fairness, public education, infrastructure, services, being able to vote without impediment, even the Republic with Liberty and Justice for all that I keep swearing allegiance to, even though I have never seen it.

    Apart from immigrants like Rupert Murdoch, of course.

    America—We built that!

    by Mokurai on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:10:16 AM PST

  •  Dear Village Idiot Jonah Goldberg, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    They already Think of Themselves as Americans.

    They Just want to Be TREATED as Americans.
    Just like YOU are Treated.  Just like Everyone Else.

    You Don't EARN Votes with Bullshit Voter ID Laws.

    You Don't EARN Votes promoting "Self-Deportation".

    You Don't EARN Votes by Creating Roadblocks that Make
    it Harder for Other People to achieve all those things
    that YOU Already Have.

    Talk is Cheap. Your "Make them Think" Concept is just
    more Worthless Propaganda.  It might get the Base Excited,
    But it Doesn't win Elections. Research 11/7/2012 for all
    the Details.  Hire a 6th Grader to Help with the MATH.

    A Free Clue for the Clueless: Your Problem isn't just
    people with an Ethnic origin that doesn't Match your Own.

    You have the SAME problem with Women, the LGBT Community,
    and People with Disabilities.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:32:28 AM PST

  •  Makes perfect sense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madhaus, Oh Mary Oh

    When we only let white men into the room (hell, into the neighborhood), we enjoyed "the overarching, all-encompassing concept of an American identity..., which we knew how to bring about," by only letting white men into the room. It was like a happy and reassuring Hall of Mirrors!

    Why hello! You look just like an American! And so do you! Because so do I!

    And now these "others," these ethnics, these pigment-burdened, these vaginazis, have barged into the party and yet persist in not being white men. They do not reflect my idea of myself back to me, and so they compromise and confuse my simple, "overarching, all-encompassing concept of an American identity."

    Sure, I'm male. I'm white. I enjoy privileges conferred on me by centuries of subordinating everyone else to the whims of white men. But that's not my identity! I'm just an American! Why can't these "others" be just Americans? Why can't they be my mirror?

  •  The GOP needs to remove the beam (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    from their own eye(s).."

    "“Make them think of themselves, not make but, persuade them to think of themselves primarily as Americans."
    The GOP needs to work on themselves ..to BELIEVE all of "The Others" as Americans. Hey GOP,  how did that "birtherism" crap spewed by Trump et al work out for you.

    Its still a "marketing" game to the GOP...really sad, sad, sad.  

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