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Why would a black man be a Republican?

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This guy Shermichael Singleton was on a T.V. news show over the weekend, attacking Democrats and defending Trump’s “witch hunt” bullshit. You could almost visualize him memorizing the Trump/Fox “News” talking points: impeachment will backfire on Democrats! Nancy Pelosi really didn’t want this but her “radical left wing” pushed her into it! What the Congress should really be investigating is Hillary Clinton’s emails!

Amazing, no? This is what I’d expect from some white nationalist hack at Breitbart, or the neo-nazi-in-chief at Fox, Sean Hannity.

But Shermichael Singleton is a black man.

How does a black man—one with self-respect or the slightest notion of history—join the Republican Party and go on national T.V. to defend the most criminal president in history—a man who himself is clearly a racist, and who instigates the worst racist elements in America? Surely Singleton has to know that vast numbers of Trump’s base would love to lynch him. Surely he knows how uncomfortable he would be if he were in one of their gulags—say, rural northern Alabama, or a West Texas oil town—and tried to order a cup of coffee. He’d be met with hostile stares, sneers, or worse.

Of course, he might pre-empt an attack by wearing a MAGA hat. But he’d still be damned uncomfortable, and as he considered the possibility of getting attacked, he’d have to remind himself that his potential attackers, to a man and to a woman, are Trump Republicans. So how does Shermichael Singleton explain himself to himself?

My hunch: he’s all about pure political ambition. It showed in his smirks as he spewed his propaganda. The Republican Party, he figures, needs black people like him—craves black people, would do almost anything to get black people—even pay them money. Especially if the black person is good-looking and articulate, which Shermichael Singleton just happens to be.

So who is Shermichael Singleton?

To begin with, he’s young: 28 years old. He’s a “Republican political consultant,” in the words of this website, but the weird thing is that he was fired from his job as Deputy Chief of Staff at HUD (where his boss was another black Republican, Ben Carson). Fired? By Whom? None other than [trumpet blare] Trump himself.

Why? Because one month before the 2016 election, Singleton slammed Trump in an op-ed piece. “Trump has taken us to a new moral low,” he wrote, calling his rise as the Republican candidate for president “a hostile takeover” and warning that “the moral fiber of the Republican Party is at stake.”

No wonder Trump fired him. What I can’t understand is why Shermichael Singleton remains a Republican, out there spewing rightwing propaganda, if he actually realizes what happened to his party. If he’s a moderate, as he claims to be, then he has to realize that his Republican Party no longer exists; it has become the party of Trump—of white nationalism, of ignorance, of pathology.

And yet he apparently believes that his party can be restored to some semblance of mental health. It cannot. When you look at Shermichael’s resumé, you can’t help but be impressed. He’s clearly not mentally ill (as are so many Republicans, including Trump). I can only conclude that Shermichael is looking at the main chance: the opportunity to rise, perhaps rapidly, in the world of political entrepreneurialism. He realizes that, as an ambitious black man, he could only go so far as a pundit, consultant and T.V. commentator in the Democratic Party, which is stuffed with ambitious, young black wannabes.

But the Republican Party! Ah, that’s El Dorado for Shermichael. So little competition to be one of the official blacks in the GOP! And Shermichael parlayed that opportunity to the max. He’s now a paid consultant at CNN and advertises his services as a political consultant for “high-profile clients and political candidates”; included in his talents is being a Republican opposition researcher, which is to say he specializes in digging up dirt on Democrats.

In the end, few will care about Shermichael Singleton, and in fact I wish him well. I hope he makes a lot of money and has a nice, big house in Georgetown. But it’s important to see him, and the few other black men and women who continue to be Republican operatives, as what they are: not operating out of genuine political belief, but as career opportunists.

  1. Bob Rossi says:

    ” What the Congress should really be investigating is Hillary Clinton’s emails!”
    Or maybe Whitewater.

  2. Or maybe Vince Foster. Or TravelGate. These Republicans have been lying for decades, to destroy Democratic politicians.

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