Any of you who have the courage to read me know that I believe Republicans hate President Obama for two reasons. The first is because, unlike Republican Presidents since the 1980’s, he is intelligent. The secondary reason is because he is black. Republican Racism materializes more frequently than one might believe.
Personal attacks are forbidden, even in the hateful world of politics. The Bush twins were not continually harassed by the media for excessive drinking and DUI’s. The Clintons swore to make life miserable for anyone who wrote derogatory remarks about Chelsea. And that’s the way it should be.
Unfortunately a racist attitude prevents some members of the GOP from being themselves and presenting an element of class and intelligence. The latest is Elizabeth Lauten who is the communications director for Representative Stephen Fincher of Tennessee.
We are all aware that the problem of racism in the south is no better than it was in the 1950’s and 1960’s, but most of those in politics attempt to conceal it. Ms. Lauten may have imbibed an excessive amount of Holiday cheer, but she made an ass of herself and her employer.
Her criticism of two teenage girls and their reaction to President Obama’s traditional pardoning of the Thanksgiving Day Turkeys was not only unforgivable, it was representative of the prejudice and ignorance of far too many Americans.
Sasha and Malia Obama were typical teenagers as the rolled their eyes, crossed their arms and were obviously cynical of the traditional action by their father. Mr. Obama was acting dutifully as a father, offering his daughters an experience he knew would be a fond remembrance in later years. Ms. Lauten tweeted, chastening the first daughters for their lack of respect. She added that they should show some class but forgave them because their mother and father lack respect for their positions and the country. She continued her personal attack by telling them that they should dress in a manner to deserve respect, not like they ‘deserve a spot at the bar.’
Hatred is the best way to describe a multitude of Republican devotees. But why? If our government is going to work, it must work together; both sides must admire positive efforts by both sides and damn the negative which can destroy a once great nation. Politics and prejudice must be put aside and compromise and deliberation return to Congress.
In a ‘half-apology,’ Lauten apologized to Sasha and Malia. She said that she would have been devastated to receive such negative accusations when she was a teenage girl. She also claimed that she now realizes how hurtful her words might have been towards two young women. As Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler used to say on Saturday Night Live, ‘Really.’
It is my experience in nearly 70 years of life that people say what they mean. Politicians continually make apologies for what they claim were misstatements, or comments ‘made out of context.’ Revelations after the fact prove that their original comments were exactly what they intended to convey.
Sadly, Lauten is emblematic of far too many Republicans and their supporters. They will never forgive our nation for electing an intelligent, black President.
By James Turnage