I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but despite my constant mockery of everything Obama during the presidential campaign (what can I say, I’m a partisan hack), I now realize how much I actually bought into some of his absolutely empty hope and change rhetoric.
When Barack Obama said he was a post-racial candidate, I initially believed him. He seemed different from Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who are incapable of seeing any issue as something other than a conflict between two races. I thought that while his election would be bad for a lot of issues I cared about, it might actually be worth losing on those issues just to move past silly race issues.
Yes, quite naive.
For me, the first indication that Obama was not at all post-racial was finding out what a racist loon his preacher for twenty years was. While I never actually thought Obama hated white people, it was disturbing how easily he tolerated that issue to gain street cred in Chicago. And what should have been obvious is that someone who is that cynical and opportunistic about race issues is going to be even more so when fighting for and wielding more power. Except now he has the entire national media with him.
So here we are: A black Democrat has been elected president, and suddenly all the positions on health care and taxes conservatives have always had are now racist. And I have come to the now obvious conclusion that America can never become post-racial while electing Democrats.
Liberals have always had a problem debating with conservatives. They don’t really understand conservatives’ attraction to individualism and honor and responsibility enough to be able to come up with coherent responses when people say they want low taxes and a small government. All liberals know is that they are very smart, and everyone else is very dumb for not seeing how smart they are and that they should run everything. So they come up with childish name-calling, such as “conservatives are greedy” and “conservatives are evil” to try and shut up what they don’t understand. And they find there is nothing better than the cry of “racism.”
No one likes to be called a racist — it’s about the same level as being called a pedophile — and it’s great for liberals to use, because there is very little defense for the charge. You are basically guilty until proven innocent — and you can’t prove yourself innocent. When called a racist, you can say, “No, I am not a racist.” To which the liberal can respond, “Though you try to hide it, I think deep down you are.” And there’s not much else you can do except maybe punch the guy in the face. But if the guy calling you racist is a minority, that itself might be de facto racism.
Now, even liberals know that if people were arguing with, say, Hillary Clinton about health care, they’d look pretty stupid crying racism. But now that they have a black president and all politics can be traced back to him, they’re free to cry racism for absolutely any political opinion contrary to Obama’s positions. And with public opinion already turning against the president and no other arguments left, that’s what they’ll do.
Why did people join in tea parties to protest runaway spending? Racism, says Janeane Garofalo to a nodding Keith Olbermann. Why are people against a bloated government takeover of health care? Racism, says Nobel Prize-winning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. MSNBC anchor Carlos Watson said that “socialist” is the new “N” word. Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution declared 45% to 65% of town hall protesters racists. Representative John Dingell compared protesters to the KKK.
It’s pretty mindless, though some try to dress it up to look smart — as liberals love to do. (It was almost entertaining to see Phillip Kennicot in the Washington Post try to show that depicting Obama as the Joker is racist, when in as many steps he could have just as easily shown it was commentary on how Obama is like Kevin Bacon). Still, it’s the debate equivalent of liberals covering their ears and screaming, “Shut up! Shut up!” And why not when they know that if the debate actually centered on the specifics of health care, or Obama’s spending, they would lose big?
But here is an opportunity for Obama to really show he’s post-racial. He could say that people who toss around charges of racism at everyone who disagrees with them are nothing but poison to a political debate. They are as useful to the issue of race as having a Ku Klux Klan member on TV, ranting undisputed. But Obama can’t speak out against mindless charges of racism, because if the Democrats lose the issue of racism, they lose everything.
As the Prop 8 controversy in California demonstrated, the Democrats enjoy a lot of minority support while at the same time ignoring their values. Instead of courting minorities on the issue, they just point to the other side and say, “Well, you can’t vote for them, they’re racist.” Thus we are at a point where someone’s “blackness” is questioned if he doesn’t share the same politics as a rich, white liberal.
If we really became a post-racial society and race was no longer an issue, what would the Democrats’ pitch be for their policies? If they actually had to argue against the idea of limited government and individual power on merit, basically all they would have is, “We’re really smart, and you’re stupid, so let us control everything.” That will attract those who want to be part of the elite ruling class and some weak-willed individuals, but the majority of people of all races would find it insulting. Without cries of racism to silence actual thought on the issues, they’d be a fringe party. And that’s why we will never have a post-racial society while electing Democrats: because post-racial is also post-the Democratic Party.