Commentary: The Racist Rantings of Ted Nugent and Republican Silence

The onetime rock star has hit a new low in repulsive statements, which have been met with little to no criticism from the GOP.

Posted: 02/19/2014 03:55 PM EST

There is something so utterly repugnant about the recent statements of Ted Nugent, the 1970s rock star who is the darling of the conservative right wing. Nugent, of course, has become far better known for preposterous political commentary than anything he has done lately in the world of entertainment.

In a recent interview, Nugent said that by electing President Obama, American voters had allowed a "Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured, subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster Barack Hussein to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America." If that weren’t enough, Nugent also referred to the president of United States as a chimpanzee.

The hateful language is despicable and tragic. But what is even more abominable is the way Nugent is being embraced by conservative politicians, particularly Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the likely Republican candidate for governor of Texas. Nugent is a strong supporter of Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign and the Texas attorney general has not shown the slightest inclination to distance himself from his controversial booster. In fact, at a recent campaign event, he introduced Abbott as his “friend” and referred to him as a “blood brother.”

“I don’t know what he may have said or done in his background,” Abbott said about Nugent. “What I do know is that he stands for the Constitution. He stands against the federal government overreaching.”

Nugent’s kind of talk is deeply repulsive. And as CNN’s Wolf Blitzer pointed out recently, the language he used is steeped in the phraseology of Nazi officials in their description of Jewish citizens in Germany.

"That’s what the Nazis called Jews to justify the genocide of the Jewish community," Blitzer said in a one-on-one discussion with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

"They called them untermenschen, subhuman mongrels. If you read some of the literature that the Nazis put out there, there is a long history of that specific phrase he used involving the president of the United States."

What is equally distressing is the unwillingness of Republican officials to condemn this kind of language. There can be no doubt of the racist and highly insulting nature of Nugent’s words. Yet Republican leaders have largely remained silent. Gingrich, for example, deflected the attention from Nugent and Abbott, suggesting that Democratic allies had tossed around equally inflammatory words.

This has become a pattern for Nugent. When President Obama won reelection in 2012, the singer made his opinion known via social media. On Twitter, he wrote, “Pimps whores & welfare brats & their soulless supporters have a president to destroy America.”

Nugent is the man who came to the defense of George Zimmerman, labeling Trayvon Martin as “a gangsta wannabe” who was bloodthirsty. He also offered his deep sympathy for Zimmerman, whom he feared might be the target of prosecution by attorney general Eric Holder. By the way, Nugent referred to Holder as “the most corrupt and racist attorney general in the history of the nation.”

Until Republican officials demonstrate the strength of character to offer the kind of condemnation these words deserve, they will never be viewed by progressive minded Americans as being fit for their support.

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Follow Jonathan Hicks on Twitter: @HicksJonathan

 (Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

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