“They are who we thought they were.” In one of the greatest sports rants, Dennis Green was asked about his team’s (Arizona Cardinals) performance against the Chicago Bears. The Cardinals had played the Bears the next to last game of the preseason, which typically is a dress rehearsal for the upcoming season. Teams play their starting lineups for at least half the game and in many cases through much of the third quarter as a preview of what their teams will do when the regular season starts. Coach Green’s disappointment in his team’s plays resulted in one of the most memorable rants in a post-game press conference in the clip at the bottom of this post.
While a few Republicans, very few publicly, are dismayed at Trumpism, many Democrats are touting Coach Green’s refrain, “They are who we thought they were.”
Many who see the racism that is visible in the trump’s action and speech are not surprised and what they are seeing and hearing. Democrats have touted their party as being the party of inclusion, even though, at times the party’s policies and actions may not reflect those values, the positions and policies on criminal justice come immediately to mind, they are much more inclusive in outreach than Republicans have been in the post-civil rights era.
For Republicans, the view of many that make up the bulk of the democratic party, people of color, LBGTQ and other marginalized groups, there has always been an undercurrent of bias, or outright racism. Even in the midst of Republicans efforts to include people of color and women and making consorted efforts to ensure minorities and women were represented in Republican leadership roles, i.e. Michael Steele, Roberto Gonzales, Sarah Palin, and others, they were never able to overcome the image of being the party of primarily white men. What was always present was that the party wanted to narrowly define what it meant to be American.
Trump removed the undercurrent of racism and made defining America as a country to be led by white men. Barack Obama made it easy to sell. It became easy for Republicans to say, this “inclusion” is not who America is and it is not who or what we want to be. It was easy to galvanize Republicans against the black head of the Democratic Party. One could argue that Barack Obama was a gift to the Republican Party.
I don’t think anyone could have predicted that the Republican Party would be or was a party that would embrace lying and criminal activity. I don’t think, and maybe I’m wrong, that anyone would have imagined that their belief of a homogeneous society was this paramount to Republicans’ beliefs or desires. But, if you look at the plans the party has had and been waiting to put into place, with respect to their agenda relating to judges, and their legislative agenda, for example, overturning civil rights legislation and reversing SCOTUS rulings we should have known that they would do almost anything to get their agenda into place.
For Democrats, the galvanized Republicans and their full embrace of Trump, including his broad character flaws, it makes it easy to say, “They are who we thought they were.” Democrats have to also say, “we had them and we let them off the hook.”
Here’s Denny Green