At a time when some pundits are attempting to divine a nonexistent civil war on the left, it seems to us that the divide on the right is of greater consequence.
With the GOP now the Party of Trump, there is still an active debate between those embracing the white nationalism of the President and right-of-center voices resisting Trump and fighting for a tolerant and pluralistic America. Today this debate shows up in sharp relief, as Laura Ingraham decries an America that is becoming increasingly diverse and Jennifer Rubin decries a Republican Party that has elevated xenophobia to a preeminent position within the party.
Here’s what they are saying:
Because in some parts of the country, it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted on the American people and they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like. From Virginia to California, we see stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed. Now, much of this is related to both illegal and in some cases legal immigration that of course progressives love.
Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin: “Trump is driving progressive and moderate Democrats together, not sparking a civil war”:
…Republicans have elevated immigration — xenophobia, if you will — to a preeminent position in the party’s agenda. It’s more important to Trump and his base than virtually anything else. He talks about it incessantly, returns to the issue when things are going badly and manages to convert his anti-immigrant ideas into vivid portraits of suffering by innocents (be they “dreamers” or children of migrants). That infuriates not only minority voters but parents, employees in diverse workplaces and young voters who are coming to see the GOP not as merely wrong, but as cruel, racist and irrational. Trump may think pounding the drum on immigration is the way to save his party. More likely, it has been a key reminder of the values shared by voters outside his base.
Yes, reuniting America around shared values of tolerance, rationality, kindness and honesty may be the “backlash,” if you will, to Trump. Not in anger, but in disgust, Americans may be coming to their senses.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
The American experiment is reflected in our national motto E Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One. Originally meant to unite states into a union, it came to mean a united nation built from many strands of background, birthplace and creed. Imperfect and unfinished, the project is to forge a nation based not on common bloodline but on shared ideals.
That vision is newly threatened by a radical ultra-nationalism that views white populists as the real Americans and everyone else as ‘the other.’ Trump, Laura Ingraham and their like seem to want America to go back to a day when whites were on top, men dominated and everyone else submitted. Jennifer Rubin – and the majority of Americans – believe in an America that defines membership based on character and contribution, regardless of skin color, ethnicity, accent, gender, belief system, sexual preference and place of birth.
This November, it won’t just be candidates on the ballot. The contest will be between a political party that prioritizes race, power and privilege versus a political party that prioritizes equal opportunity regardless of race. For the sake of the American ideal, let us work to preserve our foundational values and endeavor to make them real in the lives of one and all.