The Thin Veneer of Moral Outrage

While most Republicans gradually came around to condemning the racist attacks of Trump on Judge Curiel, their moral outrage did not extend beyond words to actions (e.g. withdrawing their support of their racist for President.) Their leading moral contortionist, Paul Ryan, called the Trump attack the “text book definition of racism,” but somehow justified his continuing support. Of course, the suspicion is that Republicans really are basing their campaign on bigotry – just not flagrant bigotry. (You know, kind of like the “Willie Horton” type campaign of the older, “nicer” Bush.) Others suggest a pragmatic explanation – the GOP can’t afford to alienate Hispanic voters the same way they had alienated African-American voters since the Goldwater days. Maybe their reactions to the most recent racist attack of Trump (“Pocahantas”) offers some additional insight.

When Trump calls Elizabeth Warren “Pocahantas” most Republicans dismiss the slur as “funny.” Invoking a stereotype of Native Americans is just as racist as any other. For example, if Trump has tried to label Ben Carson as “little black Sambo” (another equally offending cartoon stereotype), I suspect that the Same Republicans would be apoplectic. However, Native Americans are not a large voting bloc and offending them is not as problematic to their electoral aspirations. Besides that, Ms. Warren scares them. Senator Elizabeth Warren is an effective voice for progressives, and is fearless of the man most Republicans do fear. She not only exposes their use of nationalism to appeal to grievance-mongering, fear and scapegoating. She also points out their agenda to serve the needs of the 1% at the expense of working families. Worse of all, her fearless responses to Trump point out their own cowardice in failing to do the same.

So the continuing support of a racist, misogynist, pathological liar and sick narcissist (those are all labels Republicans themselves have given to Trump) by Republicans is really about what they truly are at best – moral cowards.

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