Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

It’s time to discuss the racism angle in this election.

Posted by sanityinjection on September 19, 2008

Have you ever noticed how political columnists tend to repeat the same themes? One person will write a column, and pretty soon 6 others are writing about the same thing. It’s a lot easier than coming up with your own ideas, and it’s absolutely critical if your goal is to pound a political message down America’s collective throat. After all, how will we know what to believe unless the media tells us?

In response to the dead heat that the 2008 election has turned out to be – a development which completely flabbergasted the “talking heads” who had started to believe their own hype about Senator Obama being the Second Coming of Christ – the media seems to have coalesced around a new orthodox doctrine, which I mentioned in my announcement of the Walter Dobius Yellow Journalism Award for September (see separate post, below.) The media’s line of thinking goes like this:

1) The Bush Administration has ruined America at home and abroad and the voters are dissatisfied.

2) This election should be a cakewalk for the Democrats.

3) Barack Obama is a superb candidate and will be the best President America has ever had.

4) John McCain is merely an extension of George W. Bush; therefore, Obama should be rolling over McCain in this election.

5) Despite all this, the race remains neck and neck.

6) Since there is no logically conceivable reason why any voter could support McCain over Obama, all McCain supporters must be racists.

What is interesting about this coordinated media blast is that it seems to have come from nowhere. Up until now, the Obama campaign, far from whining about how Obama is being oppressed by da man, has presented their guy as the “post-racial” candidate – someone who can move America beyond racial stereotypes and prejudice, someone who does not see America as black vs. white. Now that the poll numbers have shifted and his lead has evaporated, suddenly Obama is the victim of racism. All those Pennsylvanians and Ohioans who voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary, turns out it’s not that they actually thought Hillary was the better candidate, they are just bigots. Of course, African-Americans who vote for Obama simply because he’s black, are not racists, they are “empowering their community” and “making history.”

In fairness, it must be acknowledged that racism does exist, and there are voters who will refuse to vote for Obama simply because he is black. We don’t know how significant that population is because it’s notoriously difficult to measure. Many people are genuinely unaware of the extent of their own prejudices, and fewer still are willing to admit them to pollsters. In the absence of reliable data, however, the media have claimed the right to make up the size of the racial vote as they see fit. They point to past elections where black candidates have led in the polls only to lose or eke out a win in the final tally, as evidence of hidden racism – as if polls in elections between white candidates never turned out to be inaccurate.

What this all comes back to is the fundamental intolerance of the modern American Left. It is not possible to disagree with the Left based on rational thought, moral principle, or strategic philosophy. The only possible explanation for an individual disagreeing with the Left is that the individual is Evil Incarnate. (If you think I am exaggerating, I invite you to read the DailyKos for one day.) Evil is not to be respected or tolerated, it is only to be stamped out by the Rainbow Armies of the Righteous. Thus, any means are justified in the Left’s pursuit of their ideal society of peace, justice, and legislated equality. And there is no ground for anyone to stand on to critique these goals or the methods used to achieve them.

So now the charge of racism is to be used as a club, to coerce the stupid, horse-brained masses into voting the way they are supposed to. After all, nobody wants their Obama-supporting neighbor telling everyone in town that they are a closet racist. But the true racists are unlikely to be swayed, so it is only the innocent who will be bullied.

I think that whether one is a supporter of Senator Obama or not, he and his campaign deserve better than this. Surely Obama’s policy proposals and vision for America should be able to stand on their own as arguments for his candidacy. Aren’t those the reasons why his supporters want him to succeed? If not….what are their reasons?

I believe that if elected, at the end of his first term President Obama would want to be known for some accomplishments beyond simply being the first black President. Let us then judge his candidacy on what he would like those accomplishments to be, and whether we think him capable of achieving them. Let us apply the epithet of “racist” only to those who would have us see Senator Obama, for good or for ill,  as a black man to the exclusion of all else, and not to those who audaciously seek to judge him by the same standards any white politician would be held to.

Advertisements

12 Responses to “It’s time to discuss the racism angle in this election.”

  1. The entire “racism”angle was not invented by the media and did not come out of nowhere. It came from the Obama campaign in the form of the memo – in the primaries – directed at the Clintons.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/01/12/obama-camps-memo-on-clin_n_81205.html
    Their surrogates in the media played the book throughout the primaries.
    Obama then tried to do it again to McCain – who thankfully nipped this in the bud.
    I agree with you that it’s a bad strategy – the real racists won’t mind it, people who wouldn’t care about the color of the candidate will get offended and turned off (like me). This is how I delt with it
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/i-am-a-racist

  2. sanityinjection said

    A recent poll indicates that as many as 33% of white Democrats harbor negative views about blacks. However, the poll also indicates something else:

    “Race is not the biggest factor driving Democrats and independents away from Obama. Doubts about his competency loom even larger, the poll indicates. More than a quarter of all Democrats expressed doubt that Obama can bring about the change they want, and they are likely to vote against him because of that.

    Three in 10 of those Democrats who don’t trust Obama’s change-making credentials say they plan to vote for McCain.”

    http://www.onenewsnow.com/Election2008/Default.aspx?id=258258

  3. sanityinjection said

    The racism drumbeat continues. You’d think these people would at least try to make it look like they’re not getting their material directly from the Obama campaign, but they don’t even bother:

    http://www.progressive.org/mag/comment1008.html

  4. sanityinjection said

    Dennis Prager agrees with me and makes some good points here:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/09/liberals_warnings_about_obama.html

  5. tubby said

    The blogosphere has blown this out of proportion. I don’t appreciate any “bullying” that may be going on, but that’s the nature of partisan blogs. Of course this election is partially about race – it can’t help but be. Obama’s candidacy is historic, and his victory in November would be a huge turning point in America’s history. Independent and undecided patriots all over this country are asking themselves if they want Obama to transform the face of this nation from that of the white, blue-blooded Freemason to one of an ethnically diverse populist. A minority of swayable “innocents” notwithstanding, there is a larger, more important component of the population who, deep down, are struggling with the implications of an Obama presidency on this country’s heritage.

    As a Southern transplant having moved to the Northeast, I’ve shed enough of my racist roots to not really be all that affected. Growing up, I observed the many degrees of racism. My high school acquaintances ran the gamut among those with who “befriended” the black guys, the quiet snobs, and blatant bigots. I ran mostly with the former group, but I knew enough of the latter groups to understand their mindset. They weren’t closed-minded, unreasonable, unintelligent people — they just had preconceptions engrained by their upbringing. I think it’s the undecided “quiet snobs” that we should be concerned with, and whose numbers we cannot properly measure. These people can’t deny a component of racism permeating their worldview. Should they vote on November 4th, on some level their view will influence their decision. In my opinion, *this* is why the claim of the election being about racism can be fairly made.

  6. sanityinjection said

    The issue is not whether racism will affect how some people choose to vote. Of course it will. The issue is whether it’s responsible for a journalist to flatly declare that the only possible motivation to vote against Obama is a racist one. In addition to being a deliberate falsehood, it’s potentially incendiary if Obama loses.

  7. tubby said

    I think you’ve been reading too much Daily Kos 😉 As much as the line is being blurred lately, blogs are still thoroughly partisan and should be treated as such. I challenge you to show me any mainstream media outlet that has *clearly stated* that flat declaration you mention above.

  8. sanityinjection said

    Tubby:

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/16/cafferty-obama-race-a-factor/

    It may be a blog, but it’s the blog of a CNN reporter, on the CNN website.

  9. RealWorldRadical said

    CNN really doesn’t want to let go of a theme. Here’s my favorite if-you don’t-vote-Obama-you’re-a-racist piece:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/05/14/navarrette/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

    And yet another, by a third author, from CNN which explains how they *know* those who won’t vote Obama are racists, and describes how to shame them into voting the right way.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/10/martin.bias/index.html

  10. sanityinjection said

    Jonah Goldberg actually sums this whole mess up better than I can:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/09/the_media_play_the_race_card_o.html

    By the way, now that Obama has regained the lead in national polling, does that mean we’re suddenly not racists anymore?

  11. tubby said

    Folks like Cafferty, Navarrette, and Roland Martin represent the extreme end of the spectrum. At the end of the day, they are activists fighting for their cause on a personal, emotional level. It’s commentary, not journalism (fine, commentary is a brand of journalism…). Navarrette’s crappy article was over-the-top propaganda bordering on incendiary. Cafferty is the Left’s Rush Limbaugh, akin to jerks like Dick Morris or Bill O’Reilly who are just there to start fires. By his own admission: “I get paid to ask questions I don’t know the answers to and to complain about the things that bother me.”

    Roland Martin is obviously biased too, but I actually agree with the spirit of his article. Sure, making any *assumption* about racist tendencies is wrong. In his article, Goldberg points out the Democrats’ dirty secret that a major part of their working- and middle-class white constituency is racist. So let’s correlate that with what Martin is saying. Let’s say you live in a generally Democrat-leaning middle-class white community, and you feel very strongly about Barack Obama’s candidacy. A group of your friends in this community is on the fence about how they are voting. You should exercise your constitutional right to advocate your candidate, and could phrase the question something like: “If racism might play a role in your decision in November, I’m here to tell you why you should question that, and why Obama’s candidacy is worthy of merit…”. If your target isn’t interested in your view, they’ll tell you and you’ll move on. My point is that if you know somebody who has prejudices which will impact their rational principles on POLICY and on where our country is headed, you have every right to approach them about this.

    Put another way: free speech is a good thing when done on a grassroots level. When talking heads in the media use it to scare people into voting one way because they are “secretly racist” – not so much. This is exactly the kind of fear-mongering that most reasonable Democrats and independents (including myself) oppose.

  12. sanityinjection said

    A Democrat-leaning columnist weighs in to support me on the racism issue:

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/380244_obamarace24.html

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: