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Jewish World Review August 8, 2000/ 7 Menachem-Av, 5760

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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Consumer Reports

Outreach: Good strategy and long-run policy --
PHILADELPHIA | In the interest of full disclosure, I admit up front that I do not hate white people. I don't even hate rich white people, some of whom have managed to achieve enviable lifestyles without genetically superior athletic skills.

Not that all those blandly similar faces pooling into a Caucasian sea on the Republican convention floor are all rich. Except for a few oil barons at the top, most of the folks wearing funny hats and dancing badly to salsa music are notably middle class, their fashions so unhip as to be unacceptable in the circus-sized news-media tents virtually billowing with cynically good taste and just the right attitude.

Which is: Been there; done that; seen it; hated it; spun it; named it.

They named "it" hypocrisy. And, yes, hypocrisy is not only ubiquitous here in the freedom city, it is, like the new-improved Grand Old Party, inclusive. As in the blindfold game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, it's hard to know on which ass to pin the label.

By turns, critics (read: the news media) have said the Republican convention is a masquerade, a charade, a ruse, a Potemkin village, a fake city of diversity erected to fool the electorate into believing that the GOP loves, oh, just everybody.

The convention podium is more diverse than the convention floor, everyone asserts, as though this were the sort of revelation that leads millions to slap their foreheads and exclaim: "I just knew it!" Of course everyone knows it.

Is it possible that television viewers, those insipidly stupid American voters, could fail to note that only two of the 18 speakers opening night were white, Christian males while the cheering audience was mostly just that? Does the idiot populace fail to observe that the GOP's parade of Latinos, blacks and gays is contrived to send a message?

Not likely. And, so what? What is the message? That Republicans are hypocritical or that Republicans are trying to convey an intention of inclusiveness? Hypocrisy, or legitimate outreach?

Let's pretend for a moment that we don't hate Republicans or white people or "rich" white people. Let's pretend for a moment that the GOP wants to change its face and advance some ideas that cannot in any way be construed as "white" ideas.

Fundamentally, those ideas include:

Government botches nearly everything it touches; less is more.

People deserve to have choices when educating their children.

Americans deserve more freedom from government micro-management.

Voters, regardless of race, gender or quota, are smart enough to figure this out.

What about those ideas benefits whites more than blacks and other minorities?

Nothing. Nada. In fact, one could argue that minorities would benefit more than whites from some of the Republican proposals. When it comes to education, whites already have more choices than, say, African-Americans. The very people who want to give minorities educational options already have their kids in private schools.

For the record keepers, Bush's educational programs have significantly improved test scores for minority children in Texas. Since taking office, 13 percent of Bush's appointments have been Hispanic, including Secretary of State Tony Garza; 9 percent have been black. Bush earns 40 percent of Texas' Latino vote. Maybe, just maybe, what Bush's party is presenting on the convention stage isn't a Potemkin village but a projection of how the GOP envisions a new party and a new administration. In the short run, Republican diversity may be a strategy, but, in the long run, it's good policy.

The hypocrites, meanwhile, may be the news-media folks who for years have criticized the GOP for ignoring non-whites and now criticize them for trying to do better. As veteran White House reporter Carl Cannon put it:

"You can't beat the crap out of these people and tell them to do different, and then attack them when they do it. What does the criticism really mean?

"It means they don't want the Republicans to have a successful convention."

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.


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08/01/00: Bush's choice of grown-up Cheney is a stroke of genius
07/24/00: Fired up and grossed out over stupid Canadians
07/20/00: Lack of judgment --- our critical flaw
07/18/00: 'Progress' for women often a step back
07/11/00: School essay watchdogs cannibalize our children
07/06/00: Youths fear marriage --- blame boomers
06/28/00: Eminem might just have a point
06/21/00: Bridging the day-care divide
06/15/00: N.Y. baby case ends up with multiracial scrambled eggs
05/31/00: The war only time wins
05/25/00: The opposite of sex
05/18/00: World War II gave us our true heroes
05/11/00: Boy Crazy! stacks deck against guys
05/09/00: Finding out where the boys are
05/05/00: A born Ms. Leader -- Barbie for prez
04/25/00: From here to paternity
04/14/00: Boys should be boys, not viewed as criminals in training
04/11/00: Oh, for a standard of what is socially, morally acceptable
04/06/00: Womyn's Contempt for Commitment --- and the bastards it creates
04/04/00: Sue-happy American society is out of control
03/30/00: Duct-taped baby serves as warning
03/28/00: Stay-home parents know that their kids need them
03/24/00: No 'Great Expectations' when schools shun the classics
03/21/00: It's common sense to restrict Internet usage in libraries
03/17/00: You want to be just a mom? For shame!
03/14/00: Colonoscopy: Important, but bad TV
03/10/00: I made a mistake about trigger-locks
03/08/00: After this school shooting, no easy target for our contempt
03/03/00: Car crash helps bridge our divide
02/28/00: Nasty politics? Americans like it down, dirty
02/14/00: College testing via Lego-building -- yeah, right
02/02/00: Bubba should spare us phony love theatrics
01/26/00: What sets off Those Who Speak for Women
01/13/00: Fools in love: Premarital counseling could help school kids
01/11/00: Who funds these studies!?
12/29/99: Grandparents' rights impinge on family autonomy
12/13/99: When did fathers become fair game?
12/09/99: Don't be stupid about at-risk kids
12/07/99: Pokemon is no substitute for a father
12/02/99: Blaming the victim --- men
11/30/99: Baby-killer's story has less-than-Precious ending
11/23/99: Pendulum swings back toward discipline, responsibility
11/18/99: Put the babies first in this mighty mess
11/11/99: Skip the applause for this baby news
11/09/99: Gore could benefit from a secret in Wolf's clothing
11/03/99: Who needs 'birds and bees' when we have MTV?
11/01/99: Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say
10/26/99: Children's needs must take priority in divorce system
10/19/99: The deadbeat dad is less a scoundrel than an object of pity
10/15/99: Bullying boys ... and girls
10/12/99: Divorced dads ready to wage a revolution
10/04/99: A father's best gift? His presence
09/30/99: Sorry, guys, Faludi is no friend of yours
09/28/99: Science's new findings: Scary future for families
09/23/99: The great blurring of need and want
09/21/99:Focus on more than baby's first 3 years
09/16/99: Commentary from kids sheds no light on day-care debate
09/14/99: Fathers' group seeks to right inequities
09/09/99: Son now has a license to grow up
09/07/99: A slap in the face of domestic violence
09/01/99: No, ma'am: Legislation on manners misses the mark
08/26/99: For better boys, try a little tenderness
08/24/99:The ABC's of campaign questions
08/19/99: Male 'sluts'
08/11/99: Language doesn't excuse bad behavior
08/09/99: When justice delayed is still justice
08/03/99: Unemployment? Not in this profession
07/30/99: It's not about race -- it's about crack babies
07/22/99: Tragedy tells us what's important
07/19/99: Study denouncing fathers sends danger signals
07/15/99:'Happy marriage' belongs in the Dictionary of Oxymorons next to 'deliciously low-fat.'
07/11/99: 'Brother Man': An American demagogue in Paris
07/08/99: Only parents can fix broken families
07/06/99: America is home, sweet home
07/01/99: Tales out of Yuppiedom
06/28/99: Men aren't the only abusers
06/23/99: Is the entire country guzzling LSD punch?
06/20/99: The voice remains -- as always -- there beside me 06/16/99:Stating the obvious, a new growth industry
06/14/99: Calling for a cease-fire in the gender war
06/10/99: We owe children an apology

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