When I was a young co-ed at Arizona State University, my sister was the president of the College Republicans. I was her secretary. As the daughters of a Catholic, Reagan democrat, military man, our party affiliation was not all that surprising. However, the fact that our father also happened to be Mexican-American, was the source of much consternation among ASU’s race-based campus crowd.
When we manned our Republican recruitment booth by the Memorial Union or attended events with conservative speakers, our liberal (and largely Hispanic) detractors called us “coconuts” – you know, brown on the outside, white on the inside. Never mind that many of the Mecha and La Raza students who were doing the name-calling couldn’t speak a lick of Spanish (my sister and I have near native command of the language), or that their understanding of Mexican culture was limited to Taco Bell and low-rider vehicles (which they displayed on the main campus lawn in honor of Hispanic "Cultural" Awareness Week).
For conservative minorities, especially conservative minority women, Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination and the warnings from the left not to “bully” her are a reminder of the double standard with which we live out our social and political lives. The recognition that there are two separate rulebooks for minorities: one for liberals and one for conservatives. In the liberal rulebook, whites must be sensitive and considerate of a minority’s life story and the unique obstacles he or she faced and/or overcame. In the conservative rulebook, well, there really is no rulebook because there are no rules. It’s always open season on conservative minorities.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/20/obama.inauguration/art.obama.bush.cnn.jpg caption="The Obamas met with the Bushes at the White House on Tuesday after a morning church service."]
Since the election, I have made a point of helping my kids understand that as Americans, we must respect the office of the President and that even though mom and dad didn’t vote for him, Barack Obama, is “our” President and Michelle is “our” First Lady. Today I reminded them that this is our inauguration party too!
Interestingly, I was in D.C. in 2000, when George Bush was inaugurated. With our baby in her stroller, my husband and I were confronted with hundreds of angry protesters hell-bent on destroying what should have been a bi-partisan celebration of the “peaceful transition of power”. They yelled at us and shook their fists as we peacefully walked down the street trying to find a spot on the parade route. Sadly, as Laura and President Bush drove by, our cheers were challenged by a band of sore losers behind us who booed and screamed “Usurper!”
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Blogger, TV host, mother
So the question is where do we Republicans go from here? At this point it’s cliché to say that we're being punished for George Bush’s sins and for economic crises that happened on our watch, and unfortunately, in the final months of a close election.
There’s no point in reminding the voters about Chris Dodd and Barney Frank who pushed mortgages for the poor but no regulations to prevent fraud, and the Democratic Congress, which took control in 2006 but did little while the mortgage and credit derivatives markets spun out of control.
The voters wanted change, even if they didn’t exactly know what Obama’s nebulous definition of change looked like. This was not the year for old white guys (or women – hello, Hillary), who had spent a lot of time in Washington.
Now, the Democrats celebrate. On the Republican side, a quieter transition is also occurring. The future of the Republican Party will be passed to a new generation of young, smart, conservative, and principled leaders like Wisconsin’s Rep. Paul Ryan who will help the Party shed its tired image and restore its core principles. FULL POST
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