Along the Tracks

Friday, December 13, 2002

Thank you, Mr. Bush

The president eloquently expressed his disdain at Trent Lott's segregationist comments in such a way that, without directly calling for Lott to step down as majority leader, have provided the cover for Senate Republicans to oust him. Either Lott will step down voluntarily, or a fire-breather like John McCain will force the issue.

Unfortunately, until it happens, the GOP will continue to get its daily lashing - and not undeserved. Nixon's "Southern strategy," which accepted old segregationists into the Republican tent, was nothing short of evil. Of course, since Nixon did it, that should hardly be surprising. But Republicans who continued over the next 30-plus years to just "let the South be the South" are guilty of crimes of omission: failing to lift people out of ignorance, failing to require commitment to an across-the-board moral agenda, and failing to expunge themselves of the unrepentant.

The GOP is paying the price now. It won't be paid in full until a clear commitment to equal opportunity for all is solidified in planks and policies, with sound, conservative-value arguments as the foundation.

George W. Bush should be the man to lead this effort.

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