Each of the last two Republican debates yielded an interesting moment in which the audience appears to be more conservative than the candidates on the stage.

In the first instance, Rick Perry was applauded for his vigorous support of the death penalty in Texas.

In the second, an audience member shouted, “Let him die”, when Ron Paul was asked what the fate should be for someone who chose to be uninsured and then fell ill with a life threatening condition.

Finally, in the most recent debate, the panel was asked by a gay soldier what their plan was regarding gays serving openly in the military.  The audience booed the questioner.

So let’s go through these one by one.

Texas executes more inmates than any other state in the union.  Studies have shown that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent to violent crime.  It is more expensive to administer than life imprisonment.  It is racially biased.  There is a large book of evidence which suggests that it results in the death of innocent people.  In Texas not only are the innocent executed, but also the mentally incompetent and those who aren’t old enough to have fully formed concepts of right and wrong.  We remain the only industrialized country world with a death penalty.  At the same time we self-righteously condemn Muslim countries for similar practices and cluck our tongues at sharia law.  Finally, as a Christian nation the death penalty violates the fourth commandment – Thou Shalt Not Kill.

Letting people in need of medical care die violates the Hippocratic Oath that all physicians take.  It violates the fourth commandment.  It also violates Christ’s directives to help the sick and emulate the behavior of the Good Samaritan.  Yet somehow, even though Ron Paul said that he wouldn’t let people die; the audience applauded the audience member who shouted an answer for Ron Paul.

Studies show that roughly 10% of the population is gay.  That 10% has held relatively constant through thousands of years of human history.  It has held constant in places were gays were persecuted as well as celebrated.  Large bodies of evidence point to the reality that being gay is not a lifestyle choice, but a genetic one.  That 10% also translates into all professions from ballet dancer to NFL lineman.  That means that somewhere around 10% of the volunteer military is also gay.  The active duty soldier currently serving in Iraq had good reason to ask the panel of Republican hopefuls how they would handle the recent repeal of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” military policy.  The audience booed the questioner.  So it is clear that as far as the Republican audience is concerned, gay people are not welcome in the military.  It doesn’t matter that this person is risking his life in defense of this country.  The fact that he had the courage to admit that he was gay didn’t overcome the bias that this Republican audience has against gays.

So where does this leave us.

If those who attend these debates are representative of the general population of Republican voters, they want a candidate that will preserve the death penalty for criminals and expand it to include anyone who doesn’t have insurance or is gay.  About here is where I’d find a dictionary definition of ignorant redneck, but then maybe they have just defined themselves.

What is interesting about this election cycle is that it is now somehow “safe” to express these sorts of opinions in polite company.  I’m sure these sorts of bigotries have existed in one way or another for years, but those who held them didn’t feel free to express themselves in public because they would be labeled as ignorant and unchristian.  They were sometimes associated with less educated rural or southern parts of the country.  Now they are out there for all to see on the national stage.  All I can figure is that this is yet another manifestation of the “know nothing” attitudes celebrated and supported by the Tea Party.   It’s now OK to be a racist.  It’s now OK to be an anti-gay bigot.  It’s now OK to be self-righteous regarding the poor and those who are in prison.  It’s now OK to ignore the sick and kill the innocent.  Fortunately all these people will have to answer to their maker just like you and me.

17 Responses to “Rednecks”

  1. keith says:

    YS)In the first instance, Rick Perry was applauded for his vigorous support of the death penalty in Texas.

    In the second, an audience member shouted, “Let him die”, when Ron Paul was asked what the fate should be for someone who chose to be uninsured and then fell ill with a life threatening condition.

    MR)These are nothing new….you’re are just seeing it for the first time.
    In EVERY election cycle I’ve been awayre of the Dem canidate who accepts the nomination in his address to the convention, thoughtfully boldly, dramatically, and in hightend tone says “and I will fight for the right of every women to have an abortion.” To which the entire convention, save one or two, leap to their feet for usually the longest and most thunderous applause!!!!!!!!! No that my friend is spritual wickedness in high places.

    Question; If I were to agree that the tea party has a higher percentage of racists, and if I also agree that the tea party is, as you’ve suggested, nothing more then just the more conservitive side of the party, then wouldn’t it be true that their effect on elections would be even more muted as these folks votes are long ago in the bag? So, What effect could they/can they have?

    Also, if the tea party gets behind Cain would they no longer be considered rasist? The progressive narritive has them driven against Obama soley by the color of his skin. So, if they back Cain would that prove they are not drive by the color of ones skin thus proving the “book of evidence” against them to be false and you all guilty of bearing false witness?

  2. Jeff Beamsley says:


    I think it would be wonderful if Herman Cain won the Republican nomination. I don’t care much for his positions, but it would present an interesting choice for all racists in this country. My thought is that they would likely stay home or try to support a third party candidate.

    Cain, however, is going to have to get much higher poll numbers before you can start making the case that there are no racists in the Tea Party.

    The Tea Party demonstrated their influence on Republican politics in the 2010 election and they are doing so again in this election cycle. So these days Republicans who want to get elected have to pay attention to the Tea Party agenda. More importantly from a national perspective, the Tea Party is more than willing to punish Republican politicians whom they feel fail to pass muster by running candidates against them on Republican primaries. So there is less room in the Republican party these days for diversity of opinion. Instead there is more rigid ideology.

  3. keith says:

    and again what % of the tea party is racists?

    also what am I to make of the mostly young and white protesters in NYC? are they racists also, due to their WHITE appearence?

  4. keith says:

    you failed to address the thundrous applase the EVERY four years is given to the Dem nomine when they BOLDLY and with great theater proclaim they will “defend a womens right to have an abortion.” Thats after 45,000,000 or more of them. Lets put that in context of the guy who appaulds after someone who CHOOSES NOT TO BE COVERED by health care is turned away from care because he his wishes were not to be covered……you lose in that comparison my friend.

  5. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Regarding racists in the tea party

    As far as the demonstrators NYC, please remember what the definition of racism. It has nothing to do with demographics and everything to do with attitudes about another race. If you for example think that African American people as a race are lazier, less intelligent, or more untrustworthy than white pepole – you are a racist.

    In this case I don’t think the NYC protesters had any beef with any particular race. They just didn’t like rich people.

    Not sure how many more times I need to continue to repeat this, but I guess it will be as many times as you bring it up.

  6. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I only lose the comparison in your mind. As I’ve explained before, I support a woman’s right to choose and don’t feel that this is an any way in conflict with the teachings of Jesus. So I’m one of those guys who applaud politicians who support that position.

    As far as what the audience at the Republican debate were applauding, now you are the one attempting to apply a nuanced answer. They were applauding the audience member who yelled “Let him die”. It was no coincidence that the same audience also applauded the fact the Gov. Perry has approved executions of over 200 people. This is an audience that feels that government should kill MORE people rather than less. I’m certain that if one of the Republican candidates had said that if they were President, they would seek to have the death penalty enforced in all 50 states – they would have received THUNDEROUS applause.

    That is the reason I used the word Redneck to describe them.

    It’s folks who can drag a black man by a chain behind a truck until he is dead. It’s folks who can beat a gay man to death after impaling him on a barbed wire fence. It’s people who can shoot a physician through the head in front of his family with a high powered rifle because that physician performs abortions.

    I know that it is my job to love them. I also know that I have some work to do in that regard.

  7. keith says:

    ….and thundrous applause for 45,000,000 deaths and to the assurence there will be 45,000,000 more…….
    we will not reach agreement here.

    You site very isolated instances and in each case you are correct. We should not kill the abortion doctor, its murder. We should not drag the black man behind the truck, thats murder, and the gay person should not be harrassed. All those are wrong. Now do each of those 15,000,000 times and we are on par with one another. TO this there would need to be a republican candidate saying I support our right to murder the abortion doctor, drag the black man behind the car until death and harrass and kill homosexuals. To THIS the crowd would need to stand and give the most thundorus applause of the 4 year cycle…. When this occurs you and I will be on the same page. Not ustil then.

    Of all your arguements, your support of abortion is the single hardests for me to understand. Its very clear its murder, except that its the law of our land.

  8. keith says:

    This response points out many of your flaws and one of the major reasons I started responding to you. You site this to support racism in the Tea party. So lets look closely at this. I will make my points by numbering them in the body or the articule. They will be captured by (). This will allow you to respond to the point I’ve made by the corresponding number.

    Washington (CNN) (#1 you call for objectivity and then use CNN, I’ve told you you are blind to bias. This again proves that blindness. If my sources are to be dismissed then CNN is also.)- The perception that Tea Party anger is fueled by racism has nagged the movement since it began. A fresh poll indicates that while Tea Party supporters say the movement is not prejudiced against President Obama, critics believe it is. (#2 Of course its critics believe so, THEY are the ones who have created the narative. The Narative is still being created and this articule is part of keeping that narative alive)

    In an ABC News/Washington Post survey released Wednesday, 87-percent of Tea Party supporters said that racism does not play a part in the movement’s opposition to the president’s policies. A small number, one in 10, said that anger at having an African-American president is a reason to support the Tea Party movement. (#3 How does this compare to national averages? What % of democrats are racists? Is this number higher or lower? This is import to know. The margin of error list below of +/- 3.5% means the difference between the 87% and 90% is nothing. At this point I’m not sure what evidence is shown to prove rasism)

    While a vast majority of the movement’s supporters questioned in the poll, deny that prejudice is at play – the survey suggests that the Tea Party may have a tough time convincing its critics. (#4 paraphasing, So we will start by calling the VAST MAJORITY of tea party supporters liars. Why? Because their critics say so. Example “The Tigers are not a good baseball team.” Why? The Yankees said so.” Another Example, Lawyer, “Your Honor, this man stole my clients car.” The judge, “What evidence do you have?” Lawyer, “Because I said so.” Jeff do you need more examples?)

    According to the poll, 57-percent of Tea Party opponents believe that racism is fueling the movement. Meanwhile, 24-percent of Americans who have a neutral view of Tea Parties also feel that racism is a factor. (#5 Jeff, can you believe these to comments? Because 57% of your oppents SAY YOU ARE!!!!!! Then 24% of those nutural SAY YOU ARE!!! Why don’t they say 76% of those neutral say YOU AREN’T!!!! It would have been just as easy to say that. Further, the 76% is only an 11% differential to what the tea party thinks of itself! You are Siting this as PROOF that the tea party is racist Jeff? For your sake I hope there is something else in the articule that helps your point…)

    The poll also delves into a long-debated question: is racism still a major problem in America? Overall, 75-percent of people questioned believe it is, but that belief drops to 61 percent among conservative voters and 58 percent among Tea Party supporters. (#6 So I’m guessing they site this to prove tea partiers as lairs. As they believe less then the whole that racism plays a role 75% to 58%. It is just as easy to conclude the tea party is telling the truth. Assuming both the DEMS and the Conservatives are telling the truth this would prove the Dems are racist to a higher degree as they pull the percentage UP. I can make this arguement as comfortably, given the data they are showing, as they can.)

    The survey identifies 81-percent of Tea Party supporters as white, compared to roughly three-quarters of the general population. (#7 are you calling that significant?)

    The ABC News/Washington Post poll (#8 Jeff, do I need to comment about ABC NEWS and The Washington Post? Again, wheres the consistancy on your part)was conducted April 22-25 and questioned 1,001 adults by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

    Jeff, Please give me some understanding as to why you used this. It is clearly garbage and contains no evidence. It assumes to be conclusive only if you believe the tea party to be liars. If we assume the dems and the conservitives are both telling the truth, which we should to give the poll credibilty, then its the dems who use there racist tendencies, evidenced in the data, when voting. If we assume the conservitives to be lairs then my point is made all the more. In a word this is “crap.”

    Jeff, This is merely part of the narative. Do I believe some tea party members to be racist, yes I certain three are. Do I believe democrats to be racists and NOT supportive of Obama simply by the color of his skin, yes I do. Do I believe no side to be greater then the other. No, but that would contradict the data shown in the articule. It clearly points out that Dems consider their racist tendencies more then conservitives when voting, so I would be wrong.

  9. keith says:

    Heres what you would do if I would have sited the second link

    kos, salon, etc……….

    Need I say more?

  10. keith says:

    Would really like a response to this………you’ve used a link to support your thoughts which is purely garbage, and thats being nice. Please respond to my response of 10-4-2011 at 5:44pm.

  11. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Honestly, I just grabbed a couple of links from a simple google search.

    The definitive study is the one done by the University of Washington which is the one that I cited in the original post on this subject.

    They have recently added a postscript to the study to address some of the criticism that they received.

    Since the public has become aware of the data, several people have come forward to challenge our initial findings, specifically, that supporters of the Tea Party appear racially intolerant. A principal charge, one not without intellectual merit, is that the observed relationship between support for the Tea Party and racial resentment is more about the relatively conservative politics of Tea Partiers than racism. Indeed, conservatives tend to believe in a small government, one that doesn’t do much to help people who, they believe, should make an effort to do for themselves. This is certainly a legitimate view; it’s one to which many Americans have adhered from the beginning of the Republic. In short, some of our critics charge that, instead of the racism we observe associated with support for the Tea Party, we’re merely observing Tea Partiers’ conservatism at work. In other words, support for the Tea Party, they suggest, is simply a proxy for conservatism.

    To address this issue, we turn to regression, a statistical technique that allows analysts to tease out how one variable affects another. This is important because it permits us to account for the presence of other variables that may also affect the outcome while isolating the impact of the effect of the variable of interest on the result. So, in this case, if support for the Tea Party is truly a proxy for conservatism, the relationship between racial resentment and support for the Tea Party should evaporate once we control for conservatism. Otherwise, there’s something else going on with support for the Tea Party; it’s not just conservatism. To make things a little easier, we combined all of the items (questions) that comprise racial resentment, making them into a scale.

    As the figure shows, even as we account for conservatism and partisanship, support for the Tea Party remains a valid predictor of racial resentment. We’re not saying that ideology isn’t important, because it is: as people become more conservative, it increases by 23 percent the chance that they’re racially resentful. Also, Democrats are 15 percent less likely than Republicans to be racially resentful. Even so, support for the Tea Party makes one 25 percent more likely to be racially resentful than those who don’t support the Tea Party.

    Similar results obtain for racial profiling and the ability for authorities to detain people without putting them on trial. Again, controlling for ideology (conservatism) and partisanship, support for the Tea Party increases the probability that individuals agree that it’s okay to “racially profile someone on account of their race or religion” by approximately 27 percent. Support for the Tea Party also increases the probability, by 28 percent, that the authorities should have ability to detain individuals without being charged, for as long as authorities like. Of course, in both cases, conservatism also matters: increasing the likelihood that people will agree with racial profiling and indefinite detention by 30 and 33 percent, respectively.
    Tea Party Website Content Analysis

    Supporters of the tea party have continuously claimed that their views and opinions reflect those of mainstream America. New results examining the content from over thirty official tea party websites from close to a dozen different states suggests otherwise. Differences in content emerge when comparing the content from official tea party websites to the content from the National Review online, a mainstream conservative commentary.

  12. keith says:

    so……….why has rick perry lost tea party support, evangelical christian, southern, white, male, middle age, a hunting ranch with a name not uncommon to 1950’s conversation amoungst “gentlemen?” where did that tea party support go? it seems herman cain………….huh?

  13. Jeff Beamsley says:


    Basically yes.

    I didn’t say that every Tea Party person was a racist. There are just more of them in the Tea Party than either the Republicans in general or the Democrats.

    As I’ve said before, I suspect that the racists in the Tea Party are still four square behind Perry. His support after all hasn’t gone to zero. But at this point, they may be all that is left of his support. And certainly the name of his hunting camp helped him with this faction of the Tea Party.

    That also basically supports my point with regard to the elect-ability of Cain. Those die-hard Perry supports aren’t likely to ever support Cain even if Perry drops out of the race.

    The real question, however, is will they support Romney?

  14. keith says:


    YS)I didn’t say that every Tea Party person was a racist. There are just more of them in the Tea Party than either the Republicans in general or the Democrats.

    MR)In the articule you posted I instested you respond to it proved that Dems are more influenced by race the republicans. I don’t understand you comment above.

    Also I do not believe the % of folks who will not vote for Cain verse Obama to be significate. My Opinion.

  15. Jeff Beamsley says:


    What I have shared is academic research which supports the conclusions that I have drawn regarding racism in the both the Tea Party and the Republican party.

    I’m not sure what you mean by your comment of being “influenced by race”.

    It is not a racist act for an African American to vote for another African American because they feel some affinity for that person because of their race.

    It IS a racist act for an African American to vote for another African American because they hate Caucasians.

    You seem to be having a hard time making this distinction.

  16. keith says:

    Re-read the post where I clearly point out garbage in to of your “What I have shared is academic research which supports the conclusions that I have drawn regarding racism in the both the Tea Party and the Republican party.” Jeff, its all a naritive created by those who oppose the tea party. In fact the one article says its dems who are more influenced by race. Your having a hard time with your side being decptive… I say BOTH SIDES ARE…..

    Now the naritive for tea party supporting Herman Cain from the left is “Its racist to say your not racist, by supporting herman cain.” So Jeff, the only conclusion from the left, regardless of actions, is the right is racist…..

    Yopu should hear the folks on MSNBC, CNN, and their guests make this claim…..

  17. Jeff Beamsley says:


    Let’s go through this again carefully.

    I posted some random links which were poorly researched.

    My claim about racism in the Tea Party is supported by solid academic research, not polls by a particular network intended to support a particular point of view. I understand that you don’t agree with this particular research. Please don’t attempt to discount it by lumping it in the same bucket with other articles which we both agree are weak.

    I also don’t claim that everyone on the right is racist. What is clear, however, is that Republicans and to an even larger degree Tea Party Republicans harbor more folks with racist views than either the Democrats or the population in general.

    It is my claim that Republicans court these votes through both language and policy.

    Not going to defend MSNBC or CNN.

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