Opinion | GOP midterm strategy hinges on marginalization


Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

U.S. congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks with attendees at AmericaFest in Phoenix on Dec. 19. Senior columnist Andrew Prozorovsky believes that the GOP’s approaches rely and feed off of marginalization.

By Andrew Prozorovsky, Senior Columnist

The GOP playbook has been repeatedly tweaked and refined, preparing itself for a midterm season that already seems to favor Republican candidates.

Political junkies and media pundits saw a successful fear campaign with Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s upset victory in Virginia. Laws passed in Florida and Texas have gauged the nation’s tolerance for discriminatory legislation. And although Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to the Supreme Court, the GOP had the opportunity to test their “pedophile sympathizers” tactics.

To anyone paying attention, the GOP midterm strategy is quite obvious. The strategy is to pursue “cultural wedge issues,” which means targeting those who are already marginalized.

The Republican National Committee has failed to release a party platform this year, which has become an RNC convention during the Trump era. The closest thing to a real platform is Rick Scott’s 11-point plan, which, while aesthetically pleasing, openly advocates for revisionist history, erases transgender Americans and suggests the real victims are white, Christian Americans who are being oppressed by the “religion of wokeness.”

This starts with education policy. The contrived crisis of “critical race theory” is being taught at all levels.

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Schools and parental choice are large themes used to shelter children from spaces with LGBTQ+ individuals and have an extensive past with racism and segregation. While it was initially suspected the CRT “crisis” would be used to justify the removal of Black and Brown educators from their positions, it became clear at Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings.

Judge Jackson was accused by Republican senators of being a proponent of CRT for being on the board of Georgetown Day School, but the questions and messaging left little doubt of racial undertones. The questions posed weren’t honest and were meant to provoke a spectacle. 

The whole CRT moral panic revives Red Scare tactics and uses coded language to yet again mount an exhaustive effort to erase Black history and remove Black educators who, for obvious reasons, cannot ignore conversations of race in the classroom.

Then, there are the concerted efforts to attack gay Americans using the bills like Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education,” more notoriously known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. These bills court certain captured voter groups and excite them to turnout in the midterm elections while testing varying methods of legislative discrimination to see which are most palatable to the median voter.

In Texas, the state’s attorney general has argued celebrating Pride Week in schools is a violation of the law, as it is “indoctrination,” the same thing said about CRT and basically any non-traditionalist education.

Advocates of the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill argue it is an anti-grooming measure, which unsurprisingly seizes another opportunity to link pedophilia or predatorial behavior to homosexuality, an antiquated trope that unfortunately wasn’t left to die in the 20th Century.

Another example of this was at a recent Trump rally when Marjorie Taylor Greene asserted, “Pete Buttigieg and his husband need to stay out of our girls’ bathrooms,” which conflates Buttigieg’s gay partnership with a controversial transgender rights issue. It was no accident. It showcases the indiscriminate bigotry aimed at the LGBTQ+ community. The time of strategic retreat on gay rights after the 2015 Obergefell ruling is clearly over.

Yet another target is transgender Americans. They have been maligned by the GOP under the guise of reinstating “fairness in school sports.” It’s an easy target, as a majority of Americans believe transgender Americans should not be allowed to compete outside of their birth gender, but it’s a foot in the door to serve as a gateway to broader discriminatory measures against transgender people in the not-so-distant future.

Additionally, the GOP, as an institution disseminating the same talking points, seeks to reinforce stigmas around women who have abortions. Idaho is the newest state to mimic Texas’s controversial anti-abortion measure which allows private citizens to litigate against those who they suspect to have had an abortion.

After hearing unfavorable questions during the oral arguments for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, analysts predict the 6-3 conservative Supreme Court will effectively nullify, if not completely overturn, the landmark case Roe v. Wade, which set a precedent for abortion access.

As a result, Americans are preparing for a reality in which Roe is no longer relevant. What will be the next precedent targeted by the GOP in the courts? Obergefell (gay marriage), Casey (further abortion access) or Griswold (birth control) are reasonable guesses. 

A more far-fetched prediction would be a campaign against Loving v. Virginia (de facto legalization for interracial marriage) if Indiana Senator Mike Braun’s recent negative comments toward interracial marriage were more than just a faux pas.

GOP attacks on marginalized groups aren’t cherrypicked; the entire midterm gambit depends upon it. GOP stars like Senator Ted Cruz, former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis have weaponized dishonesty to regress America to a time when gay and transgender Americans were forced into the closet, abortion was a risky home procedure and willful ignorance toward anti-black discrimination was necessary to uphold the facade of American infallibility. 

Inflation and gas prices, while incredibly important issues to everyday Americans, are being used as a smokescreen to hide the fact that this November, minorities’ right to be recognized is on the ballot — nothing less is at stake.


Andrew is a senior in LAS.

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