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Monday, December 8, 2008

Republicans Send 1st Ever Vietnamese-American to US Congress

Yet, according to the main stream media, the GOP fails to recruit minorities and there are few minorities on the GOP podium.

Allow me to provide you with a reality check.

Let’s forget for a moment that Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president and that Frederick Douglass served as his adviser. Let’s also overlook that segregation and Jim Crow laws were the result of Democratic legislation and that Martin Luther King registered as a Republican in 1956. Let’s not remember that it was Republican president Ronald Reagan who made MLK’s birthday a national holiday.

Let’s also ignore the fact that Colin Powell, a Republican, was the first African American to serve as Secretary of State (the Nation’s highest cabinet office). For that matter, let’s also not pay attention to the rest of George W. Bush’s other major appointments of Black Americans (such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Secretary of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson, Former Secretary of Education Rod Paige, and current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice). Let’s also close our eyes to the fact that Michael S. Steele will likely be the next chairman of the R.N.C.. While we’re at it, let’s just neglect to mention all African American Republicans and pretend like their ground breaking efforts somehow don’t matter because they registered with the red team instead of the blue one.

If you do all of this, then you’ll have some conception of how the main stream media portrays the GOP. After all, have you not heard the Republican Party referred to as the “Rich Old White Guy Party?”

Somehow, people fail to remember that it is the Republican Party which typically lowers taxes, it was the Republican Party which fought to abolish slavery and later give equal rights to women and minorities, and it is the Republican Party whose conservative stances on social issues most closely correlate to the stances of a mostly Christian population of black Americans. Suddenly, because the democrats were the first to get a black man elected president, the Republican Party is comprised entirely of bigots?

Isn’t it odd how a couple decades of mass media (aka: cable television and the internet) have managed to erase the inconvenient pages of history?

Beyond the large collection of stellar African American Republicans, the GOP has a whole host of other influential minority leaders. The Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal (the youngest current governor in America, the first non-white to serve as governor of Louisiana, and the first Indian American elected to state-wide office in U.S. history), the Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger (Austrian-American), U.S. Congressman for the state of Ohio District 7 Steve Austria (Pilipino-American), Governor of the U.S. Territory of Guam Felix Perez Camacho, Governor Elect of the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico Luis Fortuño, Member of the California State Assembly Van Tran (Vietnamese-American), Senator Mel Martinez (Cuban-American), Congressman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Cuban-American), Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Cuban-American), Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (Latin-American), Congressman Devin Nunes (Portuguese-American), former U.S. Senator from New Hampshire John Sununu (the only Arab-American member of Congress), and U.S. Congressman Tom Cole (the only Native American in congress) are just a few of the many high-ranking minority Republicans serving today.

Women too have a strong presence within the Republican Party. The first woman to ever get elected to congress was a Republican: Jeannette Rankin, Congresswoman from Montana. Six of the first seven women who served in the U.S. House of Representatives were also Republican. The first woman to chair a congressional committee was Republican (Mae Ella Nolan, California). In relation to the 19th amendment (which gave women the right to vote in America) 26 of the 36 states that ratified it had Republican-controlled legislatures. Of the nine states that voted against ratification, eight were controlled by Democrats. Twelve states, all Republican, had given women full suffrage before the federal amendment was even ratified. The proposal to give women the right to vote was defeated four times prior to 1919 by a Democratic-controlled Senate. When the Republican Party regained control of Congress, the Equal Suffrage Amendment finally passed (304-88).

Prominent female Republican senators and governors include first female Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell, Hawaiian Governor Linda Lingle, U.S. Senator from Maine Susan Collins, first female U.S. senator from North Carolina and former chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee Elizabeth Dole, first woman to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate Kay Bailey Hutchison, United States Senator from Alaska Lisa Murkowski, and United States Senator from Maine Olympia Snowe (Snowe is also a member of the Greek Orthodox Church).

In the 110th Congress, there are 21 Republican women in the House of Representatives: Michele Bachmann (Minnesota), Judy Borg Biggert (Illinois), Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee), Mary Bono Mack (California), Virginia (Ginny) Brown-Waite (Florida), Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia), Barbara L. Cubin (Wyoming), Jo Ann Davis (Virginia), Thelma Drake (Virginia), Jo Ann Emerson (Missouri), Mary Fallin (Oklahoma), Virginia Foxx (North Carolina), Kay Granger (Texas), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Washington), Candice Miller (Michigan), Marilyn N. Musgrave (Colorado), Sue Myrick (North Carolina), Deborah Pryce (Ohio), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida), Jean Schmidt (Ohio), and Heather A. Wilson, (New Mexico).

Even the Log Cabin Republicans (the GOP’s gay and lesbian wing), got it’s kick start from Ronald Reagan’s opposition to the Briggs Initiative, which proposed a statewide ballot initiative to prevent gay and lesbian people from teaching in public schools and would have permitted the firing of any educator who was determined to be "advocating, imposing, encouraging or promoting" homosexuality.

In Anh "Joseph" Cao, America has its first ever Vietnamese-American congressman. But, sadly, this amazing story of human triumph barely creates a blip on the MSM radar. No, they’re too busy discussing what kind of “hypo-allergenic” dog President Elect Obama is going to get!

Certainly we can say that the Democratic Party has more minority leaders than the Republican Party. But to portray the Republican Party as a club of only rich, Christian, heterosexual white men is not only false, it's also ignorant.

So, I extend my heart-felt congratulations to Cao for his landmark election. In this victory, Republicans achieve yet another triumph for American diversity which will no doubt be widely ignored by the main stream media.

1 comment:

Jelly Doughnut said...

Lies! CNN said so! /sarcasm

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