To the Editor:
Republicans are using Dixiecrat “states rights” arguments to suppress the voting rights of Americans and particularly of Native American, Black and Hispanic citizens. Not all Republicans are racist. But as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said of NAACP member Sen. Barry Goldwater when he voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, “While not himself a racist, Mr. Goldwater articulates a philosophy which gives aid and comfort to the racists.”
There is a direct line from Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy, to appeal to disgruntled white supremacists. To Ronald Reagan’s dog whistle rally in Philadelphia, Miss., where Civil Rights activists had been murdered by racist law enforcement and vigilantes. To Trump’s mad dog vision for a Juneteenth rally in Tulsa, where over 800 Black people were massacred by whites, many of whom had been deputized and armed by local authorities. To the GOP January 6 insurrection when Republican officials cheered right wing extremists carrying Confederate flags, on their way to sacking the Capitol.
The effete intolerance of William F. Buckley Jr., the rabid intolerance of Buckley’s Murdoch media acolytes, and the violent racism of Buckley’s talk radio heirs has brought the GOP to the apex of American power. It has tragically brought the United States to the nadir of American democracy.
As the 2022 election nears, Republican support for injustice places a great historical, practical and personal burden on we who would not aid and comfort racists. A burden we can only shoulder strategically united in support of Democratic candidates. Because without a Democratic majority in Congress, Civil Rights legislation will not even be debated. While in Republican dominated states, even more abusive voter suppression will be made law.