Unsavory Ties Connect Bush, BJU

In last year’s presidential election, George W. Bush was quick to say that the Republican Party was filled with compassionate conservatism and was the true party of inclusiveness. Yet, how does the Republican Party reconcile that promise of inclusiveness with their celebrated relationship with Bob Jones University, a university known for its racial and religious intolerance?

That Bush visited and spoke at the university during the presidential race exposes how uncommitted he is to what he preaches, for his mere presence speaks volumes of his acceptance of the university’s discriminatory policies.

At the time that Bush visited the Christian fundamentalist university, interracial dating and marriage were explicitly prohibited to Bob Jones students. In addition, Bob Jones University has displayed intolerance toward Catholics and Mormons.

Even with these blatantly racist and intolerant policies, Bush made it a priority to stop at the university during his campaign to give a speech. It was made evident through his mere presence that all his touted beliefs of a new inclusive GOP were nothing more than a facade donned to win the trust of the American people and the coveted office of president.

All of Bush’s preaching of a more racially inclusive party is no more than a temporary and superficial face-lift, for racial intolerance still remains at the core of the Republican Party.

The fact that Bob Jones University is a frequent stop for conservative politicians is evidence of this power. For example, when U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft was still a senator, he spoke at the university’s commencement ceremony and earned an honorary degree.

It is clear that a politician must woo Bob Jones’ extremists as a rite of passage of acceptance into conservative power. So the question that remains is this: Just how inclusive is the Republican Party if they readily embrace their relationship with Bob Jones University?

We can only deem the actions of President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft as an acceptance of the university’s bigoted policies.

To be fair to Bush, he did apologize for not taking the opportunity while speaking at the university to address his difference of opinion with the school’s policy toward racial and religious intolerance.

In a letter to Cardinal O’Connor, Bush wrote that his appearance at Bob Jones University was a “”missed opportunity causing needless offense, which I deeply regret.””

Yet interestingly enough, Bush did not apologize for going to the university in the first place. This deafening omission on his part leaves the door open for more visits, thus securing the extremist religious conservative base of the Republican Party.

That is how Bush successfully neutralized John McCain’s threat to his candidacy for president last year by securing the all-powerful conservative base.

The old cliche that actions speak louder than words is aptly applied to Bush. He speaks of being racially inclusive, yet he overtly caters to the extremist and bigoted base of his party.

It does not add up. In my mind, Bush is like a little boy who only apologizes for stealing a cookie after he is caught with his hand in the jar. But in Bush’s case, he only apologized after he was caught in a blatant case of hypocrisy because of the media frenzy surrounding his visit.

Bush’s appearance at Bob Jones University completely drones out his political rhetoric of inclusiveness and “”compassionate conservatism.””

That the Republican Party still cultivates and embraces its connection to Bob Jones University and its extremist base of support is nothing short of political suicide.

Though a fluke made Bush president, the Republican Party’s inner fragmentation and hypocrisy toward racial inclusion will be its undoing and political power will be lost.

All it takes is enough fed-up people to force those extremist bigots into extinction, thus severing this unsavory connection with Bob Jones University once and for all.

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2320
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2320
$500
Contributed
Our Goal