Why Tennessee is a ‘red state’

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Tennesseans have demonstrated time after time that they are a GOP state when it comes to election time. The reasons that Tennessee continues to be a ‘red state’ are ironic when you look at the large number of citizens living below the poverty level, especially in rural areas. It is no secret that many of the policies and platforms that the Republicans support are detrimental to poor and struggling citizens.

Republicans claim to be conservative and traditional, but historically many of their conservative and traditional practices have wreaked havoc on the marginalized, especially people of color. Too often you find high profile Republicans quick to pontificate on their Christian values while manifesting the highest degree of hypocrisy on some on their positions that too often devalue or criticize the poor and downtrodden.

Some of the views held Republicans promote extravagant tax cuts for the rich and are apathetic to the concerns of the common workingman. In fact, many Republicans seem to feel those less fortunate are lazy, unproductive citizens who are responsible for their own dire conditions.

Many would argue that most Republicans represent a clique of well-to-do elitists working to help promote more wealth for them at the expense of what they consider an irresponsible public. Their rallying call is a strong, militaristic, whatever-the-cost, deregulation of industry. They claim forced regulations raise costs and cut out jobs. They desire the elimination or reduction of supplemental social services (food stamps, housing, and health care) that aid the needy. They usually promote guns rights, which they claim are protected by the Second amendment. They also demand unwavering patriotism, regardless of your condition in life, and an uncompromising ‘pro-life’ stance concerning abortion.

For the most part, many Republicans resonate an arrogant air of privilege and entitlement dismissing or impervious to the realities of those less fortunate. If you listen to many Republicans, they are quick to argue that the practices and positions taken by Democrats with their extreme liberalism have opened the gates contributing to a proliferation of welfare and a lack of productivity and a decay of morality among a noticeable segment of our population.

Many Republicans claim that the programs Democrats support keep the poor mentally and physically enslaved and don’t promote self-empowerment among the masses. No doubt, each political party has its pros and cons, but from a spiritual and moral position Democrats appear more humane and empathetic in their views to aide and uplift those with less.

Everyone is entitled to their personal views based on their interpretations, whether based on truth or lies. However, when it comes to the large group of White Republicans in Tennessee, many African Americans and people of color associate their affiliation with Tennessee’s historic ties to the Confederacy with its characteristic racism, discrimination and hate mongering. The racism and hate is so strong that it acts as a magnet unifying many Whites, regardless of their social status.

The saddest part for poor Whites claiming allegiance to the Republican Party is that the policies and laws enacted against minorities, the marginalized, and people of color affects poor Whites the most. It seems that they are willing to ‘shoot themselves in the foot’ at the thought of people of color advancing and possibly being able to afford the same entitlements and privileges they inherently enjoy.

While some Republicans may not consider themselves as racist, they must understand that adherence to many of the basic ideologies of the Republican Party (especially as manifested by President Trump) renders them as unsympathetic, and unconcerned with the needs of those less fortunate. It seems the Republicans’ quest to stay in power makes them blind or complicit to the actions of an incompetent, misogynist, racist and narcissistic president. Their allegiance to this president unites them to what many feel is his biggest support base, i.e., White Nationalists and Neo Nazis groups that resonate hate for people of color by blatantly promoting White supremacy.

Any Republican or decent human being with any sense of morality would have to disassociate or denounce the adverse positions taken by the president while under the ‘watch of the Republican Party.’ But in Tennessee, like many other southern states, the bond of racism and hate for people of color is so strong, that it supersedes decency, morality and truth. A return to ‘Making America Great Again’ when Whites reigned supreme and slavery flourished is only a fleeting dream—not to be repeated.

A word of advice for Republicans: Do not dignify the adverse actions of President Trump. That only serves to insult those with a moral compass or those who don’t like having their intelligence tested. It rationalizes and ‘plays games’ with those who don’t care or know better. Republicans must be cognizant of hurtful policies rendered by their political party. Tennessee, like it southern neighbors, can only continue to hold a Republican dominance until the righteous awaken and manifest their power and vote.