Despite promoting a racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynistic, oligarchic, anti-democratic agenda, the modern-day republican party has a distinct advantage over the Democratic party.
It’s in the messaging.
“Build the Wall”.
“Lock Her Up”.
“Make America Great Again”.
“States’ Rights” (although they usually omit the apostrophe).
“Hillary Lied and People Died”.
“Let’s go, Brandon” (sans comma).
These are simple, bumper sticker-ready slogans average Americans can remember and associate with republican smear campaigns.
While we should be proud of belonging to a party able to engage in nuance and complex ideas, the Democratic party today does not bother to get behind pithy saws like these, leaving republican politicians and right-wing hate media pundits to lie to their supporters about the liberal and progressive agenda.
Case in point:
Ask most people what “Critical Race Theory”, or “CRT”, is and even many Democrats can’t define it, let alone republicans.
Our failure to explain it, or even acknowledge it, though, has only encouraged detractors to appropriate it for their own propaganda.
In under four months, republicans’ misinformation flagship, Fox so-called “news”, mentioned critical race theory 1900 times, accusing it of a tactic to frighten white people into believing “woke” Socialist teachers are “indoctrinating” American students into feeling guilty about their inherent racism and personal oppression of African Americans.
This has led to scores of republicans flocking to school board meetings in protest, sometimes violently.
Several republican-led state legislatures, latching onto this outrage, have passed “anti-CRT” bills.
But what is Critical Race Theory?
Is it actually some nefarious leftist legerdemain intended to lure innocent Caucasian children into a bottomless pit of self-loathing?
A simple Google search is all one needs to discover that CRT is a 40-year-old law school program designed to educate future attorneys about racism’s institutional legacy in American legal systems and policies.
It is not nor has it ever been taught in American schools, nor is it a “woke” Marxist educators’ ploy to denigrate white students.
So, basically, hate media is urging parents to storm school board meetings to demand schools stop teaching something they have never taught.
Democrats and the media have an obligation to correct the narrative.
But since they don’t, people go on, without evidence, about how CRT is corrupting their children.
It’s all in the messaging.
It’s something Democrats aren’t too good at lately.
If they owned Critical Race Theory like they did “Obamacare” when republicans tried to turn it into a slur against Barack Obama’s signature healthcare legislation, the Affordable Care Act, it would probably fizzle out.
But as long as we keep letting republicans “define” who we are, we are going to continue being “who we are” even if it isn’t who we are.
Image credit: firedoglakedotcom via Flickr