GOP Autopsy: Dead and Buried

March 18, 2016

gop-dead

By Guest Contributor: Bel Leong-Hong, Chair of the Democratic National Committee’s AAPI Caucus

Three years ago today, the Republican National Committee released a report as part of their “Growth and Opportunity Project,” known as the GOP Autopsy, explaining their overwhelming losses in the 2012 election. When it came to the issues that matter to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, the autopsy vowed to embrace comprehensive immigration reform and recommended that the GOP be more inclusive of the community in party messaging and flexibility in party policies. Basically, it recommended they be more like Democrats.

But it seems that the GOP has thrown this autopsy out the window, because the fear-mongering and anti-immigrant rhetoric has actually gotten worse since 2012, as often demonstrated by their presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.

In 2012, Mitt Romney called us a nation of freeloaders and proposed that undocumented immigrants self-deport. Former Michigan Congressman Pete Hoekstra aired a racist ad during his campaign for the U.S. Senate featuring an offensive, fake Asian-American accent. This year, Republican candidates are promoting the same problematic ideologies, only more extreme. Ted Cruz proposed deporting all 12 million undocumented immigrants currently in the US (including children and DREAMers) and an end to birthright citizenship. All of the candidates have said they would get rid of DACA and DAPA. Trump has called for a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S. and a database to track Muslims already here. It is absolutely abhorrent and terrifying that a current presidential candidate in our country would suggest a policy akin to that of an authoritarian regime. What’s worse, this kind of Republican rhetoric isn’t just confined to national politics, Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock of Virginia suggested that immigrants should be tracked like Fed Ex packages. Needless to say, there would be no hope of comprehensive immigration reform under Republican leadership.

And what about the GOP Autopsy’s goal of simply using more inclusive language toward women and people of color? We certainly haven’t seen a shred of evidence that this was ever put into practice by any of the past or present Republican candidates. Donald Trump accused a female reporter of having “blood coming out of her wherever” and John Kasich said that “women left their kitchens” to participate in the political process. This after alarming and ignorant assertions by 2012 Senate candidates that pregnancies as a result of rape were “something God intended to happen” and that “legitimate rape” does not result in pregnancy. At a campaign rally in Iowa, Donald Trump mocked Asians using a fake, broken-English accent. Both he and Jeb Bush have referred to the children of immigrants as “anchor babies.” Carly Fiorina resorted to stereotyping an entire culture for political gain by saying, “The Chinese can take a test, but what they can’t do is innovate. They are not terribly imaginative. They’re not entrepreneurial.”

The Republican Party, with Donald Trump as its leader, has taken the fear-mongering and victim blaming to a new level. We watch as Constitutional rights like freedom of the press are threatened by Trump’s treatment of journalists and how freedom of speech is thrown out along with protesters of color at campaign events. The Republican National Committee has not explicitly denounced Trump’s crowd tactics, instead blaming protesters for the violence inflicted on them and had called Trump a “net positive” for the GOP.

As Democrats, we plan to fight the GOP’s divisive rhetoric and backwards policies all the way to the election. We are the party of progress, growth and innovation, and we will win because the Republican Party has walked away from its reform plan, just as it has walked away from women and communities of color long ago.

Bel Leong-Hong is the Democratic National Committee’s AAPI Caucus Chair. She is a first generation Chinese American who fled the rise of Communism in both China and Cuba and served a distinguished 30 year career in the U.S. government. She is a business owner and serves as a fierce advocate of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Learn more about Reappropriate’s guest contributor program and submit your own writing here.

  • Malcolm Shields

    We all knew this was gonna happen. It just shows that the GOP only care about gaining power and with Trump claiming riots will break out if he doesn’t get the nomination, the country will witness the demise of major political party.

  • trer24

    Even the issue that Republicans base the entire foundation of their platform upon- fiscal responsibility-is a dud. Look at what they did to Kansas…

  • Ryan Clarke

    Be careful about demonizing the “other” party in favor of mindless fealty to the other party. Always make sure you negotiate real benefits for Asians including action against the bamboo ceiling and discrimination at admissions to Harvard.

Comment Policy

Before posting, please review the following guidelines:

  • No ad hominem attacks: A person's identity, personal history, or background is not up for debate. Talk about ideas, not people.
  • Be courteous: Respect everyone else in this space.
  • Present evidence: This space endeavours to encourage academic and rational debate around identity politics. Do your best to build an argument backed not just with your own ideas, but also with science.
  • Don't be pedantic: Listen to those debating you not just for places to attack, but also where you might learn and even change your own opinion. Repeatedly arguing the same point irrespective of presented counterfacts will now be considered a violation of this site's comment policy.
  • Respect the humanity of all groups: To elevate the quality of debate, this site will no longer tolerate (racial, cultural, gender, etc.) supremacist or inferiority lines of argumentation. There are other places on the internet where nationalist arguments can be expressed; this blog is not those places.
  • Don't be an asshole: If you think your behaviour would get you punched in the face outside of the internets, don't say it on the internets.
  • Don't abuse Disqus features: Don't upvote your own comments. Don't flag other people's comments without reasonable cause. Basically, don't try to game the system. You are not being slick.

Is your comment not approved, unpublished, or deleted? Here are some common reasons why:

  • Did you sign in? You are required to register an account with Disqus or one of your social media accounts in order to comment.
  • Did your comment get caught in the spam filter? Disqus is set to automatically detect and filter out spam comments. Sometimes, its algorithm gets over-zealous, particularly if you post multiple comments in rapid succession, if your comment contains keywords often associated with spam, and/or if your comment contains multiple links. If your comment has been erroneously caught in the spam filter, contact me and I will retrieve it.
  • Did a comment get flagged? Comments will be default be published but flagged comments will be temporarily removed from view until they are reviewed by me.
  • Did you not play nice? You may have gotten banned and a bunch of your comments may have been therefore deleted. Sorry.

I monitor all comment threads, and try to address comments requiring moderation within 24-48 hours. Comments that violate this comment policy may receive a warning and removal of offensive content; overt or repeat violations are subject to deletion and/or banning of comment authors without warning.

I reserve final decision over how this comment policy will be enforced.

Summary:

Play nice and don't be a jerk, and you'll do just fine.