The prevailing assumption throughout the healthcare debate was that Republicans were a monolith — all of them rich, well-to-do whites who themselves, of course, couldn’t possibly have known anyone who lacked health insurance — not even anyone from the huge swath of poor whites who lack it — and that their opposition to running a healthcare system for more than 300 million people out of Washington couldn’t have stemmed from a different understanding of economics or public policy, but instead necessarily had to have been motivated by the drive to keep minorities out of their hospitals.

Likewise, during the financial-regulation debate, opposition to the Democrats’ legislation couldn’t have possibly stemmed from fear of over-regulation or of stifling the economy, but instead must have had its origin in the massive, white Republican monolith’s need to protect its own kind: white bankers on Wall Street. This assumption continues in the debate to extend Bush-era tax cuts and unemployment benefits to those struggling to find employment.

As if Republicans had no skin in the game, and only black and Hispanic Democrats lost their homes and saw their 401(k)s cut in half as a result of the crash! As if Republicans can never relate to and understand the plight of the unemployed.

How ludicrous. What an insidious state of affairs this is!

How can we accomplish anything of major national importance — whether it be helping the unemployed finding jobs or overhauling the financial system — if those who stand on one side of the divide are assumed to be acting and thinking out of a deep hatred for people of color and the poor?

Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 169, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook at, and follow him on Twitter at