It always surprises me how shocked people are when highly regarded Republican figures turn out to be bigots.
It is obvious where the party’s beliefs lie, which forces the question: When will Americans learn that intolerance is part of the Republican package?
Vocal Republican Rush Limbaugh recently revealed his true nature.
After backlash from his racist comments about Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, Limbaugh resigned from his job as a football commentator on ESPN on Oct. 1.
But Limbaugh did not apologize for his hateful words.
In fact “all this has become the tempest that it is because I must have been right about something,” he said on his talk show the next day.
Lately blatant bigotry has emerged among high-ranking Republicans, whether they are elected congressmen or self-appointed pundits.
The most high-profile example was ex-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott’s statement that if Strom Thurmond had been elected president on a segregationist platform in 1948, America “wouldn’t have had all these problems over the years.”
Soon after, journalists dug up questionable comments Lott was making about blacks for years.
Thurmond retired from the Senate in 2002 after holding the position of president pro tempore for years, capping the longest congressional career in history.
Lott was replaced as majority leader by Republican Senator Bill Frist after Republicans attempted to prove their detachment from Lott’s arguably racist views.
However, Frist said Thurmond had “carried out a life clearly unmatched in public service.” It is comforting to know that Frist’s views are so much different than Lott’s on the subject.
Republicans may deny the racist nature of their party, but even a brief look at the policies they oppose tells a different story.
The GOP attacks affirmative action at every opportunity, despite the fact that affirmative action programs are clearly still needed.
In their shouts to cut welfare, Republicans managed to stereotype every welfare recipient as a black woman who lives in the ghetto, having baby after baby, when welfare abuse is the exception to the rule.
Many members of the GOP also support the death penalty, in spite of the fact that death sentences are often imposed in an inequitable and racist manner.
After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, former presidential candidate Jerry Falwell informed us that God was punishing the United States for tolerating feminists and gays.
A few months later, Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum showed his true colors.
When asked to comment about the challenge to Texas sodomy laws in the Supreme Court, he proceeded to bash gays and compare consensual adult homosexual intercourse to incest, among other things.
This type of sentiment must account for the rationale behind the Republican reluctance to budge, even an inch, on the issue of gay marriages.
Log Cabin Republicans (a group for gay GOP members) aside, homosexuals are the one minority the Republicans do not even pretend to care about.
Homophobia, racism and sexism may not be planks in the platform of the Republican Party, but they are certainly found among the supports on which it was built.
Kyle Wind can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org