Say what you want about President Bush. No president has ever been able to do as much to advance the cause of racial harmony and a color blind agenda. He did this the logical and old fashioned way, by appointing prominent and competent people of all races and creeds, thereby exposing the idiocy of racial prejudice for what it is.
Enter Rev. Jeremiah Wright and some of Bill Clinton’s more scorched earth supporters. After eight years of unprecedented unity among people of all races, at a time when racism was exposed as a bankrupt philosophy by the straightforward reality of highly competent people of all races being given equal footing in the public arena, it is shameful and unspeakable that demagogues would be allowed to tear it asunder.
The greatest damage, however, was done by the media. While Bill Clinton’s Jesse Jackson comment was shameful (and harmful as well), it was they who ascribed racist connotations to many other comments made by Clinton and others that had little to do with race. Most of Bill Clinton’s comments, when analyzed honestly, seem to be poorly worded attacks, made in angst, that poke fun at the absurdity of Obama’s radical views. They were designed to alert voters to the fact that Obama’s core constituency is outside the mainstream, not to race bait, and although some of them unseemly, they are in line with Clinton’s method of grasping at straws to win at any cost.
Are his statements still shameful? Yes, as Clinton should have known that some would be viewed in the context of race. But other comments, such as the “fairytale” one, had nothing to do with race (and is actually a fairly accurate description of the Obama platform), yet are being ascribed racial connotations that don’t exist.
Let me be even clearer, Bill Clinton’s Jackson comment does seem to be race baiting and it is beyond appalling and despicable that he would go to that length to win. But to attribute 100 more comments that have nothing to do with race, and everything to do with Barack’s incompetence, to racism is to fan flames that should not exist and can cause far more damage than Clinton’s one comment ever could.
More significantly, contrary to the inflammatory media hype, the people of West Virginia certainly didn’t turn their backs on Obama because of race. Imagine how they would have reacted to the candidacy of another three year senator, one who happened to be a white man and a West Virginia native, whose beloved preacher of 20 years just happens to believe that the US is responsible for all the problems in the world and who counts among his friends radical “intellectuals” (funny how that word has the opposite meaning of what it was intended for), including a one-time terrorist of the Weather Underground. Couple that with his naïve proposition to meet with an Iranian dictator in his first year in office, and I doubt such a candidate would earn 3%. Yet this hasn’t stopped the media from chalking up his primary defeats to racism. After all, the people of the Midwest aren’t California latte sipping pretentious yuppies-types and as such, are deserving of disdain. Who cares if by doing so the media is fanning the flames of racial strife? After all, Obama’s candidacy is on the line!
If Democrats had nominated Harold Ford Jr., while his policies (like those of most Democrats) are still too far to the left and not what the nation needs during challenging times, their ticket would have truly been a historic one. Ford is a decent man and about as good as we can hope for in a candidate coming from today’s Democratic Party. Instead they chose one of the most incompetent and inexperienced candidates ever, even by their standards. So please excuse the good people of the Midwest for their less than enthusiastic support for the friend of William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright without calling them racists. I’m sure that a friend of David Duke would receive even less support there. We should hope he’d receive none. And we wouldn’t call those who opposed such a candidate anti-white. We’d rightly call them “smart.”
And the reason for the media’s distortions: Right now, their darling of the day is Obama. They will stop at nothing to promote him and to silence his critics. Those who criticize him legitimately, whether for his cluelessness on national security, for his dangerous economic vision, or for his naïve befriending of radicals (a characteristic that can most readily foretells how he would deal with terrorists abroad) must be ascribed depraved reasoning for their criticism of him, as a means of blunting all opposition. All this must come as a shock their darling of yesteryear, the Clinton camp, who now see themselves tarred and feathered as racists for saying that the new man on campus is an empty suit. For many Democrats it’s only ok when they do this to Republicans, like when they call Republicans in Mississippi racists for saying that a candidate is aligning himself with extremists like Obama.
Like many people, I would love for there to be an African-American president, as it would help end whatever vestiges that still exist of racial strife on all sides. But I won’t support someone who opposes family values, national security or economic common sense just because of the candidate’s race. To do so is the opposite of the color-blind and ideas/values based society that was fought for by the original leaders of the civil rights movement and their supporters, many of whom were Republicans or then-liberals (in the true sense of the word), such as one Mr. Charlton Heston.
In the end, the entire case against an Obama candidacy boils down to one simple reality. In an ideal world Barack Obama would be a high level and eloquent negotiator, the CEO of a social services organization or a practicing activist-style attorney. While the presidency does have an important societal aspect, he’s also running for Commander in Chief and for a position with great influence on the economy. There are many people of all races who are qualified to fill these rolls but everything about Obama shows that he’s not one of them.
Now if only his opponents to can stick to that message and deliver it with clarity.