It’s a race against time, and against diversity.
For Republicans that foe was illustrated last week on stage in Miami — two helpings of dynamic Democrats running for president.
Featured: candidates of varied colors, fiery nonsubmissive women, a gay mayor. In sum, the debates represented something for which today’s Republican Party isn’t programmed: a world of difference.
The R’s will protest that they have blacks and browns, and quite a few women, and even a smattering of gay people among them.
The fact Republicans can claim these things doesn’t mean they haven’t made that D-word — diversity — their everyday enemy. Just look at a MAGA crowd and listen to their leader talk about “the other.”
More importantly, look at what the Supreme Court did that same week. It ruled that Republicans in power could continue to marginalize and undermine communities of diversity to make seats in Congress and the statehouse invulnerable.
The Supreme Court will not intervene as the GOP seeks every day and in every way to negate the one-man-one-vote protections of the Voting Rights Act.
The court will look the other way as the choices of black and brown voters are neutralized and tokenized.
This will happen through vengeful gerrymandering and through guileful vote-suppression tactics aimed squarely at the poor and people of color.
These clear intentions were built into the quest to include a citizenship question on the census. Reduce census participation by Latinos — the better to minimize them and under-represent them.
Texas Republicans were so dead-set on the citizenship question that they appeared willing to lose a congressional district or more, even though the question would mean a population undercount.
No worry. Because gerrymandering now looms as large and destructive as ever, the district lost would be one that served those very Latino citizens.
Right now, Republicans are furiously counting all the black and brown bodies in each state they control so as to make those bodies count for less than before.
It really is a race against time, for this nation is getting more black and brown each day, and the Party of Trump is not.
Throw in increasingly exasperated women and an increasingly active LGBTQ community, both segments of all colors, seeing Trumpism as a remnant of ages-old oppression.
And then, again, there is race.
I have said a time or two that racism, or at least racial exclusivity, will be the demise of the GOP. Now it appears that race — or the racial opportunism of gerrymandering and vote suppression, and the representative abomination that is the Electoral College — stands to be the GOP’s only means of enduring.
It may work for a while, because GOP-controlled Legislatures, not constrained by federal courts, will strengthen their hand with unfair districts.
But as said, this nation every day is becoming less like the Republican Party.
Yes, look at that stage in Miami with all the brilliance and promise inherent.
By the way, last week a federal judge sentenced Alex Fields Jr., a neo-Nazi, to prison for life for killing Heather Heyer when he drove his car into a crowd protesting a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, W. Va.
President Trump showed his true colors after that vehicular horror. He spoke of “good people on both sides.” The Republican hierarchy stood mute.
Yes, this is what it has come to. We know good people on both partisan sides of the debate about the direction of this country, but so many on one side — the Trump side — are so focused on maintaining their political advantages that they simply cannot change what they do and say about race.
The political science aphorism is: “Demography is destiny.” The Republican Party is going all-in on how to define who they are. There’s no turning back now.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.