In an interview with Channel 13 in Orlando, Grayson said “I think that would be a shame, but what really pushes immigration to the side is the fact that many people in the Republican Party don’t want to do anything that would help brown people. There’s an underlying insinuation of racism in the way that Washington, D.C. Republicans look at this issue.”
Of course, the right is having a field day with this quote, but Democrats within Grayson’s district should really wonder if he is the right congressman for them. Maybe it is time for a Darren Soto or someone else to step up to the plate. Yes, it is a risk, but possibly a risk worth taking.
But this editorial isn’t about who should run and who shouldn’t. In fact, this editorial isn’t about Grayson’s classification of Hispanics as brown people. Instead, it is Grayson’s classification that those who are against immigration reform have some sort of hidden racist agenda.
But does Grayson’s off-the-cuff remark expose a larger problem that Democrats might have with the electorate? I think so.
As I have mentioned in one of my recent posts, I am very conservative on immigration. The reason why I am conservative on the issues is because of the economy. Currently, we do not have enough jobs for Americans. So, how can we make sure the American workforce is at full employment when we allow others coming into this country, legally or illegally, to compete for these jobs? I look at immigration as an economic issue, not a social issue.
But if I were to say that I am conservative on immigration, the traditional progressive would immediately claim that it has to do with race, much like Rep. Grayson said.
Progressives don’t let the other side explain why they might hold the views that they do, and already have a preconceived notion of what the position of a person is regarding a position on a certain issue. You are against immigration equals “you hate Hispanics”, and that is that. The close-mindedness of this debate does show a weakness for the Democratic Party, and that is judging a book by its cover.
What is even more ironic is that progressives will say that we need Hispanics to “do the jobs that Americans won’t do”. Honestly, I don’t know what can be more racially insulting than telling a group of people that they are only good enough to do low-skill labor. If you ask me, that in itself is racist. Why the Republicans never picked up on this is beyond me.
Anyway, back to the Democratic Party and progressives. There is a climate in Democratic politics which states that if you are against something or not a supporter of someone, it is because you do not like them because of their color, race, sex, sexual orientation, or whatever. Take for example the 2008 Presidential Election. Obama supporters claimed that if you didn’t like Obama, it was because he was black. Same with Hillary supporters…if you didn’t like Hillary it was because she was a woman. This was a determining factor in my voter for Ralph Nader.
In the 2008 election, I had to deal with both of these issues. I had my reasons why I didn’t support those candidates. The reason that I didn’t support Obama was because, as an Illinois native, all I saw Obama do as a US Senator was run for president. He contributed nothing legislatively for the State of Illinois. And if he didn’t do anything for Illinois, why would he do anything for the American people? That is the reason I didn’t support Obama. As for Hillary, I didn’t support her because I think she would have returned us to the DLC-economic policies of her husband. In both cases, I had the reasons why I didn’t support either candidate. But the debate never got that far because the progressive mind already had the preconceived notion that it had to do with race or sex.
To those within progressive circles, this might sound like a small issue. But in fact, accusing people of racism, sexism and the likes can lead to real political consequences. The best example of this is the current federal election in Australia. Julia Gillard was the Prime Minister of Australia. During her time as PM, she constantly accused those in both her party and the opposition Coalition (a mixture of National Party and Liberal Party members) of being misogynists. Not only did this lead to those within her own party despising her, but the electorate were rejecting her as well. In the last two-party preferred vote poll done with Gillard representing the Labor Party, the party was on track to have their biggest lost since the late Harold Holt replaced the retiring patriarch of Liberal politics, Sir Robert Menties, and thrashed the Labor Party.
But the voters were tired of her accusations of sexism, as well as other things, and the party replaced her as Prime Minister with former PM Kevin Rudd. With Rudd as the leader of the Labor Party, two-party preferred votes between Labor and the Coalition is dead even. This showed that her man-bashing approach to politics was not electorally popular. Basically, if you insult the electorate by assuming they do not like someone, or something, because of some racially-motivated, sexually-motivated, or whatever-motivated conspiracy, voters will tune you out and seek an alternative.
This is not to say that the Republicans don’t play this sort of game as well. If you oppose Republican policies, you are look at as not being “patriotic”. But when compared to one another, one side is calling someone non-patriotic, and the other side is calling someone a racist or a sexist. Which one would you consider more of an insult? Exactly!
What is even more interesting is that progressives have different rules for different folks. For example, if a white conservative says “all black people commit crime”, progressives will point out that the person shouldn’t accuse all black people of committing crime, and rightfully so. On the other hand, progressives will turn around and “pull a Grayson”, saying “all people who oppose immigration reform are racists”. Basically, they do not practice what they preach.
Even with all of this said, I am not trying to dismiss racism as a motivation for conservative thinking on immigration. Do I think that there are a lot of people out there who are anti-immigration because they have racist tendencies? Absolutely, and a large number of them as well. But the progressive movement paints everyone who is anti-immigration as being racist, which is where the problem lies.
The “insult” factor that currently exists in Democratic politics will turn people away from voting Democratic. Yes, they might not turn out to vote at all, but that just hurts the Democrats. But we have come to a point where Democrats have become as closed-minded and extreme as the Republicans. People wonder why there is voter apathy in this country…and this helps to explain it.