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The Republican Party has become what Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill described to me as a “race to the bottom,” where the easiest way to lose traction in your candidacy is to prove yourself qualified for the job.

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Now that some of the best Republican candidates have been sent packing, we can talk about the sad souls who may have a chance at running the most powerful nation in the world.  Where is Colin Powell when you need him? Here are some quick dysfunctional takeaways from the GOP convention:

1) It’s OK to be a racist,  and you don’t even have to apologize for it: The GOP has a great way of rewarding candidates for disrespectful quips toward people of color.  If you tell them to get off their lazy butts and stop asking for welfare, you are credited for helping to civilize the savages.  Thank God for Republicans.  Without them, we wouldn’t know the first thing about living as decent, hard-working Americans.  I think I’ll send Rick Santorum a thank-you card right now.

2) The less you’re willing to compromise, the more other Republicans will support you: There is little concern about how our nation’s extremist divisions threaten to shake our democracy at its very core.  Little thought about how our disrespectful foreign policy has made much of the world hate us.  All that matters is that we are Americans, damnit, and we can do whatever the hell the want.

3) Any sin or hypocrisy can be forgiven if it’s far enough in the past: Can someone please explain why Herman Cain having one girlfriend is a problem, but Newt Gingrich‘s numerous affairs and abandonment of his dying wife are not?  Oh yeah, Gingrich’s indiscretions happened in the ’90s and the other one was more recent.  If I had to choose between my sister marrying Herman Cain or Newt Gingrich, I’d have to tell her to go with the brother – at least he keeps paying the bills after he cheats on you.

4) It’s cool to be unpatriotic: If you can hate President Barack Obama more than the next person and find creative ways to blame him for every one of the nation’s problems, you are a sure winner in the Republican race for the White House.  Disrespect for the presidency is at an all-time high now that a black butt has tarnished the seat in the Oval office.

5) If only we could get rid of those pesky poor people: Many Republicans live under the premise that if every American simply chose to work hard, none of us would be struggling economically.  The idea that poor, black or brown people also have good values has been thrown out the window for the last 30 years.  The Republican anti-poverty plan is to inject each of these poor kids with a big fat dose of Christianity, ambition and common sense, which would surely lead them to the top of the country that gives them more opportunities than they deserve.  If they reject it, then the plan is just to build more prisons.

Feel free to add your top dysfunction GOP takeaways below — after all, they are many!

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.


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