“We oppose statehood for the District of Columbia.”
“We support the right of the United States citizens of Puerto Rico to be admitted to the Union as a fully sovereign state if they freely so determine.”
These are the words of the 2012 Republican Party Platform.
I commend to your reading the Republican Party platform not because it is profound and thoughtful, but rather because it reveals and puts to writing the dismissive attitude of the Republican Party today toward their fellow Americans who live in the District of Columbia.
Why is that?
What is it about the District of Columbia which causes Republicans to be intellectually dishonest and hypocritical about American democracy and individual rights?
Moreover, when the GOP platform comments about inept one-party rule, it has to be looking at itself in the mirror.
Despite the fact the DC Home Rule Act guarantees a minority seat on the Council of the District of Columbia, the Republican Party has become so distant to the people of the District it forced out one the last two Republican members of the Council of the District of Columbia. The other left the Republican Party and became an Independent. The DC GOP sacrificed its last two Republican council members to adhere to the national policies of the Republican Party.
Any assessing why there is not now any GOP members on the Council of the District of Columbia cannot be attributed to District voters being unwilling to elect one. This heavily registered Democratic city has over the years voted for three (3) At-large Members to the Council; CM Jerry Moore (74, 76, 80), CM Carol Schwartz (96, 00, 04), and CM David Catania (97, 98, 02, 06 – now an Independent). The fact there is not a GOP member on the Council today is due to the open hostility of the GOP and its reluctance to support issues important to the voters of the District.
The Republican Party today is hardly the Republican Party of Frederick Douglass, former Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke (who grew up in LeDroit Park/ Bloomingdale), Otto W. Scruggs, and Robert W. Harmon. The political show being orchestrated by its presidential nominee former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in Tampa, Florida is nonetheless hardcore politics against the people of the District of Columbia.
What the Republican Party has built today is a political organization of intolerance, that is mean-spirited, supports interference in District affairs, and hostile to the principle of human rights for all Americans. What the Republican Party of today wants to do is impose its will on the people of the District of Columbia, rather than listen to the people of the District of Columbia.
On two critical local issues: private school vouchers and gun control, the Republican Party disregarded the will of the people of the District. This indifference is on top of the Republican Party strident opposition to District of Columbia statehood.
The Republican Party today has made conservatism a bad word. Sadly, the Republican Party today has branded itself so narrowly its supporters and delegates at its national convention feel free to express its views negatively in racial terms.
According to CNN, two Republican convention delegates threw peanuts at one its African-American media staff and made a very disparaging racist remark. While disavowing the delegate’s actions, the Republican Party by its own deeds set the tone which made these delegates feel at home with Republicans rather than in the Democratic Party under the positive and inclusive leadership of President Obama.
As it pushes critical issues affecting Americans to include Americans living in the District of Columbia, the Republican Party today is too negative, too hostile, and too insensitive to match the love of freedom portrayed by Sojourner Truth, the hearts of Frederick Douglass and Edward Brooke, and inspirational teachings of community service from my beloved grandfather Otto and Uncle Robert.
By their examples and teachings, I hope I learned how to be a man, an uncle, a godfather, a father, a friend, and a husband.
I hope I have been faithful to their meaning of self-less service to others regardless of politics.
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