Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Racism in the Presidential Race?

After Barack Obama won the Democrat nomination, most pundits expected him to take a big lead over John McCain. He didn’t. McCain has been competitive, keeping Obama’s lead within the margin of error. He really hasn’t run a particularly brilliant campaign, and voters are tired of Republican dominance, so why the competitive race?

Liberals have the answer: racism. Plain, old-fashioned, Southern strategy racism. According to this line of thought, McCain is playing on racial fears to stay close to Obama. Obama seems to agree with this idea—he suggested that the fact that he “doesn’t look like the other presidents on the dollar bill” will be used against him by GOP operatives.

The most commonly cited example of this phenomenon is McCain’s “Celeb” ad. In this ad, Brittany Spears and Paris Hilton are shown with Barack Obama; ostensibly there to suggest that Obama is an empty-headed celebrity. But liberals see a deeper truth: the images of two white blonde women are there to stoke deep-seated white fears of black men running off with their women. Keith Olbermann summed up the liberal position by noting “three phallic symbols (Berlin’s Victory Column, the Washington Monument, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa), two blondes, and one black man” in McCain’s ad.

I think that Olbermann is overthinking the whole “phallic symbol” thing, because the Washington Monument and Leaning Tower of Pisa don’t actually appear in the ad at all. (I’m not sure, but I think that Olbermann saw a long shot of the Victory Column, and assumed it must be the Washington Monument, and thought he saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa in a slanted shot of the Column). And the racism seen in the white-black pairing is probably equally imaginary—the primary purpose of the grouping is to imply that Obama and Paris Hilton are similar intellectually, not that Obama will start seducing white women.

Liberals claim that the “seducing” message is not intended to be obvious, but rather is a concealed code image. And that is the problem with Left’s “racism” accusation—it is wholly theoretical. There is no concrete evidence for it, and the whole case rests on speculation. It is impossible to prove that McCain isn’t intending to send a racist message—even employing Occam’s Razor doesn’t prove that McCain didn’t intend anything dishonorable. And McCain’s denials don’t prove anything, as the Obama campaign says that his hasty defense against charges of racism is just more racism—if he wasn’t racist, would he mention the subject at all?

You can’t win against that kind of logic. But for the record, McCain has done everything possible to avoid even the appearance of racial impropriety—when a staffer tried to link Jeremiah Wright to more radical black leaders, he was fired and condemned, and when radio talk show host Bill Cunningham continually referred to “Barack Hussein (nudge nudge) Obama”, he was thrown overboard as well. McCain wouldn’t even capitalize on the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s comments.

In fact, Obama faced more racism from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Hillary suggested that she would look out for “hard working white Americans” (presumbably them shiftless black folks could just fend for themselves), and claimed that Obama hadn’t done his “spadework.” Mario Cuomo reminded voters that Obama couldn’t “shuck and jive” his way around a press conference. Perhaps one or even two of these statements were just innocents slips of the tongue, but that all three were strikes me as unlikely. Obama has been treated much better (from a racial standpoint) by the McCain campaign.

However, the racial accusations will continue, for two reasons. The first is that, true or not, accusations of racism work. Obama doesn’t need to fool all of the people all of time—if he can just persuade a few, he will have done well. It doesn’t matter whether the charges are true or not—there is a relatively small but still useful core of voters who will always fall for them. Besides, perceived racism always rallies the liberal base.

The second reason is that liberals will need an explanation if McCain wins. In 1992, George H. W. Bush won because of the Willie Horton ad. In 2000, his son won due to a stolen Florida election. In 2004, Bush won because he swift boated John Kerry. Liberals seldom realize that sometimes the country is tired of their politics (the 2000 election), or that the Democrats often nominate weak candidates (Kerry, Dukakis), thus the constant rationalizations. If McCain wins, liberals will firmly believe that his victory was due solely to cleverly deployed GOP racism.

14 Comments:

At August 6, 2008 at 2:01 PM , Blogger DD2 aka Debonair Dude said...

There's a lot of racist crap out there. But in this case, the only racist here is Obama.
He promotes it and then he complains about it.

 
At August 6, 2008 at 3:28 PM , Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

DD2 is correct...Hussein is a whitey hater and a classic Jew hater if ever there was one !..great read,:)

 
At August 7, 2008 at 8:28 AM , Blogger Napqueen said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At August 7, 2008 at 8:30 AM , Blogger Napqueen said...

I am a women who is college educated, intelligent and who speaks four languages. I was the first in my family to go to college, I worked two jobs while in college as a full time student. I never got more than 3 hours of sleep for five years despite this I maintaine a profession as a School Teacher.
The majority of people with whom I know are either conservative’s or republican’s who are racist.
Most conservative and republicans want to pretend that racism does not exist, it does, it is alive and well in their party.
When I speak of overt or covert racism and I speak from experience.
The men of my family have fought in every single United States war since the civil war-Thats a Fact-. Can you say that of the men in your family?
For you to say that most Republicans are not racist or that racism is non existent is to insult my intelligence.
Most republicans and conservative’s alike are closet racist, and or subscribe to racist ideologies including you Sir.

 
At August 7, 2008 at 10:19 AM , Blogger Daniel Ruwe said...

"I am a women who is college educated, intelligent and who speaks four languages. I was the first in my family to go to college, I worked two jobs while in college as a full time student. I never got more than 3 hours of sleep for five years despite this I maintaine a profession as a School Teacher. "
Sure. Four languages, 3 hours of sleep for five years--totally plausible. And after all that education, you still don't know that "school teacher" isn't capitalized.
"The majority of people with whom I know are either conservative’s or republican’s who are racist."
There shouldn't be an apostrophe after the "s" in conservatives and Republicans. "Republicans" should be capitalized.
"Most conservative and republicans want to pretend that racism does not exist, it does, it is alive and well in their party."
Whatever.
"When I speak of overt or covert racism and I speak from experience.
The men of my family have fought in every single United States war since the civil war-Thats a Fact-. Can you say that of the men in your family?"
That doesn't follow. In fact, it doesn't even make sense. And there are at least three more grammar errors there.
"For you to say that most Republicans are not racist or that racism is non existent is to insult my intelligence."
Your what?
"Most republicans and conservative’s alike are closet racist, and or subscribe to racist ideologies including you Sir."
There are five more grammar mistakes there.

Y'know, napqueen, I have an idea that maybe you aren't a teacher at all.

 
At August 7, 2008 at 12:42 PM , Anonymous napqueen said...

Perhaps I did make some grammatical errors, as for my credentials as a teacher, I can assure you that I am, but I’ll admit I am not an English major, I am a 3rd grade music teacher.
And thank your for correcting my grammar.
I do have a degree in translation and I do speak four languages,
English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

Unfortunately basic grammar is not one of my skills and I recognize that.

I must admit, there are cases that I suck big time at writing proper use of grammar. I hate when I do that. It’s not easy when you try to use a proper words to make them look, well definable. What’s worse is that, whenever I write a post, I make more errors in my typing than anything else. Sometimes my bad use of grammar and or my spelling is reflected by my typing and not from anything else.
Language works on so many levels at once that getting it right on each one is difficult. At first I really do not worry about the use of grammar, spelling, typing mistakes etc. It’’s okay if you forgot spellings once in a while but no matter what, sometimes I want people to correct me,
Sometimes my spelling mistakes come from typing too fast. I have to read my work again and again, because I miss the mistakes constantly. Thanks God for the spell checker, it highlights words that could be wrong. But I sometimes believe this does not help to improve spelling.
By the way, English is not my first language, Spanish is.

 
At August 7, 2008 at 1:05 PM , Anonymous napqueen said...

Daniel, I recently and randomly found this blog, and it's become one of my favorites. I enjoy debating and quibbling with people from the opposing political parties. I recently created my own blog--and when they try to insult me and my political values I strike back. I do understand that you have never personally attacked me and I apologize for using your blog board as a battle ground. You have been extremely nice about that. I am just a third grade music teacher who is looking to share her values with others. I realize that this is primarily a conservative board and that I probably am not welcomed here, if that is the case just say so and I’ll go quietly.
Espero que usted entienda

Thanks and keep blogging!
:)

 
At August 7, 2008 at 1:32 PM , Blogger Napqueen said...

Fear is something Conservatives obviously have in abundance. Unfortunately, reading this thread, it is apparent that a chest pumping manifestation of fear also infects some of us.
Also I find that conservative talk show hosts blowhards hate each other completely. These hacks all hate each other, they are all competitive for audience ratings.
More than anything, I am disturbed by Michael Savage. He is so full of hatred and racism, I find him appalling.
And as fars as Rush Limbaugh using Rush Limbaugh's book as toilet paper shows disrespect for your backsideand.
Michael Savage is insane. Not politically insane, but really insane, he should be on meds..

 
At August 7, 2008 at 2:04 PM , Anonymous napqueen said...

My point behind this post is I am sick and tired of being portrayed by moonbat right wingers who insist that all liberals don’t love our country and that we’re on the side of terrorists. Beth's response to me is a paradox; are you admitting Beth that the war in Iraq was a big mistake? You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

 
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