Nikki Haley a great choice as a Republican presidential candidate

Ruben Nararrette
Liberal Opinion

Ruben Navarrette

Columnist, host & author
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Nikki Haley, a former South Carolina governor, announced she’s running for president, challenging former President Trump for the GOP nomination. While some in the media are questioning why Haley is running, others within her own party believe she shouldn’t be ruled out.

Haley is the first woman of color to run for the Republican nomination, and, as Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette argues, she will both excite and terrify her competition.

Now, the GOP field for the nomination has gotten more crowded with the entry of another contestant, one who happens to bring a refreshing splash of color to what otherwise is sure to be a mostly white field of presidential hopefuls. The color comes compliments of Nikki Haley, a former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador who recently entered the race for the White House.

Haley’s Indian-American and the daughter of immigrants. Like all elected officials, she has both strengths and weaknesses. Much of her politics on issues ranging from abortion to immigration to education is in line with GOP talking points. She’s a traditional conservative, but her appearance speaks loudly. And what it says out loud is this: “I am not your father’s Republican. And this is not your father’s Republican party.”

When they see Haley onstage in the debates next to white male after white male after white male, Republican voters will get the message. A vote for change and progress as we step into the future means a vote for Haley.

Already I sense from GOP friends excitement about her candidacy. Imagine Haley as the Republican nominee squaring off against President Biden or California Governor Gavin Newsom. Imagine what would happen if either of these white men went to the Democratic playbook and tried to portray this woman of color as racist. They’d be laughed off the stage and they should be. What is unknown, however, is how other Republicans are going to react to Haley’s candidacy. Especially the six or seven GOP presidential candidates that Haley may wind up running against. Diversity excites some people, but it terrifies others. Republicans, like other Americans, can be found in both camps.

When it comes to assessing the value of diversity, the Republican Party is a hot mess a blatant inconsistency and absurd contradictions. It claims to ignore race and ethnicity right up to the point where it can’t stop talking about those things. It pretends not to notice skin color, but it won’t hesitate to play racial fearmongering games to scare up votes from white people. The GOP just can’t make up its mind about what it believes in or what principles it stands for, when race ethnicity are concerned. That is, of course, with the exception of the unifying principle of worshipping at the twin altars at which Republicans and Democrats alike bend the knee, self preservation and reelection. It’s time to sort all this out. Is the Republican Party really 100% colorblind, like some of its members claim, or does it become color conscious suddenly, when it finds that the exploitation of race is convenient, and politically advantageous? After all, the political party that sniped that Supreme Court nominee Kunitachi brown Jackson was an affirmative action hire is the same party that with a Supreme Court nomination 30 years earlier thought that a grossly under qualified black man named Clarence Thomas was the perfect replacement for another more qualified black man named Thurgood Marshall. I imagined the odds when they’re preserving the status quo by keeping Latinos and black folks out of private clubs or universities or fortune 500 companies, Republicans like to preach about the sanctity of merit, and they shy away from any mention of race or ethnicity. They probably think it makes them look enlightened. They would, it seems just as soon bleached out every bit of color in America’s cultural fabric, so we’re all treated the same. They incessantly and insufferably, quote Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. About how human beings ought to judge one another by the content of our character and not the color of our skin. As if they really believe that. In Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who will likely be a strong contender for the GOP nomination for president in 2024. recently declared war on programs that foster diversity, equity and inclusion, dei, at, say colleges and universities and Sunshine State. DeSantis also went after critical race theory, a way of studying US history by looking at racial patterns. DeSantis has been trying for the last few years to claim the culture wars as his own personal battlefield. It’s the one thing he hopes will set him apart. In what could be a crowded field of GOP hopefuls in 2024. Yes, that sounds about right. Now, the GOP field for the nomination has gotten more crowded with the entry of another contestant, one who happens to bring a refreshing splash of color to what otherwise is sure to be a mostly white field of presidential hopefuls. The color comes compliments of Nikki Haley, a former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador who recently entered the race for the White House. Halley’s Indian American and the daughter of immigrants. Like all elected officials, she has both strengths and weaknesses. Much of her politics on issues ranging from abortion to immigration to education is in line with GOP talking points. She’s a traditional conservative, but her parents speaks loudly. And what says out loud is this. I am not your father’s Republican. And this is not your father’s Republican party when they see Haley onstage in the debates next to white male after white male after white male Republican voters who will get the message. A vote for change and progress as we step into the future means a vote for Haley. Already I sense from GOP friends excitement about her candidacy. Imagine Haley as the Republican nominee squaring off against President Biden or California Governor Gavin Newsom. Imagine what would happen if either of these white men went to the Democratic playbook and tried to portray this woman of color as racist. They’d be laughed off the stage and they should be. What is unknown, however, is how other Republicans are going to react to Haley’s candidacy. Especially the six or seven GOP presidential candidates that Haley may wind up running against diversity excites some people, but it terrifies others. Republicans, like other Americans, can be found in both camps.


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