According to the latest news stories, Republican Party strategists are beginning to caution their candidates not to pile on the mosque issue, and Muslims in general, too heavily. It could backfire.
Grover Norquist, a member of the GOP brain trust, happens to be married to a Muslim, and he is one of those urging restraint. In fact, he says Muslim-bashing is a loser in the long run, and he’s right. To know a member of a group personally is to humanize that group.
This is one of the theories as to why Americans have become more accepting of gays, and why each year it’s a heavier lift to get people riled up against them as a campaign issue. As gays have come out into the mainstream, more and more people realize they have one in their family, one whom they love and who hasn’t sprouted horns. Why shouldn’t they have equal rights?
One thing Americans don’t like is watching somebody get bullied, just because of who they are. It might give some people a thrill at first, but after a while the revulsion sets in.
The Republican Party, while it may gain a temporary advantage for the coming election, runs a risk of crossing that fine line and starting to look like it’s simply beating up on people who don’t happen to be white, straight and Christian.
A suggestion: Dump the crazies and go back to being the Republican Party you used to be, decades ago: socially moderate, fiscally conservative. It’s probably too late for that, but if you really want to capture the all-important American Independent Middle, it’s more of a winner than the line you’re pushing right now.
Better for the country, too.