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.