“That one”… (you know, the black one)

A Polemical Essay by: That Girl

I’ll say this: I don’t think John McCain is racist. But he sure knows how to hang with the worst of them.

With a Bear Market currently mauling a little china shop known as the Global Financial System and McCain’s less than spectacular performance in demonstrating the urgency of the economic meltdown (outside of suspending his campaign for a few hours while negotiating alternative debate dates -> a stunt that smelled more like a steaming pile of politics than the cool breeze of “Maverick” it was intended to ostentate), it seems the McCain campaign feels it has little choice but to pander to the lowest common denominator of their party by resorting to tar-slinging tactics (read: mud-slinging with a racist adhesive).

The past few days have seen a noticeable shift in political maneuvering from the McCain camp with concerted attempts to not only link Obama with domestic terrorists:

… but allude to foreign terrorist alliances by virtue of his middle name:

… which has been conspicuously added to both Palin’s:

… and McCain’s introductions of late:

Add to this tack a solid Southern Dixiecrat base still smarting over that whole Civil War thing:

Comparative Analysis -> These maps demonstrate correlate divisions between Red/Blue states of the 2004 Election Cycle and the Secessionist/Unionist states of the Civil War...

Comparative Analysis -> These maps demonstrate correlate divisions between Red/Blue states of the 2004 Election Cycle and the Secessionist/Unionist states of the Civil War. Coincidence?

… and it’s not exactly surprising that hatred toward a black presidential candidate would rear its head so ugly and quick in America…

**********

By now, we’re all more than likely aware of the incendiary campaign rhetoric and subsequent malicious comments produced by angry Republican mob participants over the course of the previous few days…

(Listen for “treason” @ 0:31 seconds):

(… and “kill him” @ 0:13 seconds):

… and McCain’s lukewarm attempt at backpedaling:

“[Senator Obama] is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared about as President of the United States,” he said, before adding: “If I didn’t think I would be one heck of a better president I wouldn’t be running.”

… as the McCain camp signaled its refusal to alter its strategy by actually defending these bigots:

“Barack Obama’s assault on our supporters is insulting and unsurprising.

[snip]

“It is clear that [he] just doesn’t understand regular people and the issues they care about. He dismisses hardworking middle class Americans as clinging to guns and religion, while at the same time attacking average Americans at McCain rallies who are angry at Washington, Wall Street and the status quo.” (emphasis mine)

What.

This seeming lack of concern on the part of the Republican campaign for the historically proven consequences of such rhetoric and obtuse approval is nothing short of inexcusable and frankly, boggles the mind.

These supporters aren’t “regular people”. They are the most unhinged elements of our society. They can’t be “angry at… the status quo”. They are the status quo: white, bible thumping social conservatives spoiled on eight long years of flaunting moral superiority like an American badge of entitlement, pointing to “traitors of the war” while requiring the greatest restriction of civil rights since that guy McCarthy invented his own “ism” -> all in the name of waging a righteous Crusade to “democratize” “terrorist” nations.

So, while these particular Republican supporters may also be frustrated by “business as usual” in Washington and on Wall Street, make no mistake: if they’re pissed, at the end of the day, it’s because their brass-balled, hegemonic endorsements are shriveling like so many raisins in the sun.

The problem with the Republican ticket is this: the position of the Presidentcy of the United States, at all times, (but especially times like these) requires a greater moral compass than those currently demonstrated by either the Republican presidential or vice presidential nominees in practicing their “Win at all costs” campaign philosophy. Worse, by activating, harboring, and comforting the most unacceptably radical elements of our society by political means, the Republican Party has effectively condemned all social progress made since the Civil War in advancing Equality, Opportunity and all those other novel concepts given lip service by the GOP when speaking of the Constitution.

Is John McCain racist? I don’t believe so. But he walks a perilous line:

John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us. You are doing this in wartime. You are doing this as our economy collapses. You are doing this in a country with a history of assassinations.

… when [your supporters] scream out “Terrorist” or “Kill him,” history will hold you responsible for all that follows.

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7 Comments

Filed under Democratic Party, McCain, Media, Negative Campaigning, Obama, Palin, Republican, Uncategorized, Vice-President

7 responses to ““That one”… (you know, the black one)

  1. bbohnert

    Christy, polemic indeed. I don’t think it is fair to say explicitly or implicitly that Mccain is a racist. Now, some of the most vocal supporters that we see at these rallies on the other hand, that clearly is a different story. I think the truth came out when Mccain genuinely looked aghast when someone bellowed “terrorist” in response to his question of “who is Barack Obama?” Mccain is playing the game and sold his soul to the political devil, plain and simple. Does he believe what he says, probably not but he knows some of the people that show up to his rallies do (they are not too subtle about it) and he needs those voters to win. My hope is that there will be a severe backlash and Mccain will find himself under a pile of electoral rubble on an election night landslide- not because I support Obama but because this behavior is unacceptable. Period.

  2. Lance Thibert

    It was only a matter of time until this kind of stuff became part of the mainstream political discourse. Honestly I’m happy we only have 22 days left, and am frankly surprised it didnt happen sooner. the GOP’s ammunition has run out, and they are simply throwing whatever they have left at Obama. It’s quite funny, eight years ago the GOP could do no wrong, the president rallied the country and the two parties together to fight terrorism. Now, all they have left is calling Obama, a fellow american citizen, a terrorist.

    I’m reminded of the old Post Civil War political tactic where republican candidates would remind people the the democrats (especially the southern ones) were ex confederates and traitors. It was called waving the bloody shirt. After a few decades it wore off, as people no longer bought it, and it was known as waving the “pink shirt”. In essence, republicans today are waving the pink shirt of 9/11 to try and win this election.

    Next I expect Palin or whoever the attack dog is next week to claim the the democrats flew planes into the world trade center.

  3. Tony Robinson

    I just love the energy and wit in this post. There is such a fantastic array of excellent material and links. That “McCain mob” video link was fascinating and disturbing. I honestly have a hard time comprehending mentalities like that, taking pride in their ignorance such as saying they had “honestly never heard of Obama,” or saying straight up that they believe Obama is a terrorist. A deeper, willed ignorance that is indeed bred of some kind of terror at the new America that Obama represents is at work in some of those quotes.

    I agree with Brian, that I don’t think McCain himself harbors such bizarre racist, Obama is a islamo-fascist fantasies. But he has truly become a tragic figure. I just read his book Worth the Fighting For, and it has some amazing revelations. In that book, he spends immense energy detailing what he himself describes as his competing desires–the desire to win high office and his desire to live a life of honor/principle, even if it means failing.

    He says he wants most of all to have the courage to be a “beautiful fatalist”–someone who stands up for honesty and justice and principle, even when they know they are going to die for it. And he says that many times in life, he has lived just that way, but then he documents his fear that he will sacrifice his honor if he was every really tempted with the belief that maybe one day he really could be president.

    He wrote this book soon after losing to Bush in 2000, and he spends great detail talking about how he sacrificed his honor in South Carolina when he said the Confederate flag should be allowed to fly because it wasn’t a symbol of racism. McCain said he was so hungry to win South Carolina and he knew he faced a choice between “losing or lying. I chose lying.” that’s his own quote in the book. He lied and said he loved the confederate flag, lost anyway, and was ashamed of himself.

    He says that he learned that he could be tempted, and that if he didn’t know if he could be trusted to maintain his honor if he ever got close enough to believe he could win the presidency. “Luckily,” he says, “I will never have that chance again.” That was back eight years ago, when McCain had no idea where he would be today.

    And now look what’s happening to him, right before our eyes. He is being tempted mightily, and coming up wanting in some ways, catering to the lowest elements in America.

    He is a good man, I believe, but he is human, all too human, and his campaign is more a story of human tragedy and the human fall than it is a story of inner evil and corruption. His recent efforts to take a step back from the brink, and actually denounce his own audience while they boo him for supporting Obama’s character is evidence of McCain’s own virtue and his ongoing struggle between blind ambition and his beautiful fatalism.

    I’ll bring the book to class and share a few quotes from it…

  4. Christy Boerckel

    Brian,

    I truly respect your opinion, but your utilitarianism on this topic astounds me.

    “Does he believe what he says, probably not but he knows some of the people that show up to his rallies do (they are not too subtle about it) and he needs those voters to win.”

    And what of the rest of us?

    Just because he needs them doesn’t mean we do as a nation. At this moment, we dwell (beholden to the actions of an administration proved reckless and incompetent time and time again) under a house of cards; a perfect storm is at the bay.

    Environmental, economic, and security concerns threaten to overwhelm us at once given the right circumstances, and McCain/Palin can’t think of anything relevant to say to a population desperate for answers and assurances? The only thing that comes to their minds is the restoration of a discussion (we’ve spent close to 150 years trying to refocus, mind you) on how frightened we are by brown people with funny names?

    How must we be made to suffer the consequences of supporting the very same racist ideology that threatened to rip the nation in two, on more than one occasion so that one man’s ambition may be met? Should we not expect our potential leaders to put unity above the demands of their egos? And if they cannot demonstrate the will to master their desires in the face of such overwhelming necessity, how do we see clear to trust them with our livelihoods?

    You say that the behavior on the parts of each individual supporter is unacceptable. What of John McCain’s behavior? You say only that:

    “Mccain is playing the game and sold his soul to the political devil, plain and simple.”

    I say his deal with the devil is our eternity in hell to spend and there’s nothing plain or simple about that. McCain’s life has become a tragedy and I’m sad for him… but his candidacy represents a malignancy within this republic that will consume us if not held firmly in check, then approached with the utmost and delicate of intent.

    McCain and Palin would do just as well to give cigarettes to cancer patients considering their audiences and rhetoric of late. And there is simply no apology or excuse to be made for that. It’s clear (to me at least) that their thoughtless, reckless, devil-may-care displays in character should do nothing less than disqualify both of them from the positions they seek.

  5. Stephen Noriega

    Christy,

    I admired your post. I don’t think you need to have the slightest apology for the polemic nature of your comments. Sometimes it is necessary to communicate with passion, evidence and conviction.

    You spoke about the unrepentant nature of Palin’s rallies. I also saw John McCain try to dampen the ignorant fires of his audience but I never saw Palin do it. If we are supposed to think that Sarah Palin is ready for the Vice Presidency, shouldn’t she be able to confront some of her fringe followers? I do not see the relevance of Tony’s tragic figure of John McCain if Sarah Palin is going to continue to stir such attitudes.

    It is often the instigators we excuse instead of the dim-witted tools of their agendas. Fox News never gets in trouble for referring to Barack Obama as BHO (We never see JSM). Sarah Palin is not confronted the way she should for saying that Obama pals around with terrorists. If Palin said that about me I would have standing to sue her for slander. Obama would have standing but he’s running for president.

    McCain should be ashamed of himself. When he sold his soul to South Carolina, the Bush campaign inferred that he had a child with an African American woman. The rumors had no evidence but they helped torpedo JSM. Now he allows those kinds of inferences to excrete onto BHO, in the name of winning, far from the realm of honor and integrity.

    We can see the subtle versions of racism even in McCain’s attempts of being respectable. When the crazy lady suggested that Barack Obama was Arab, John McCain denied that, saying that Barack Obama was not an Arab, he was a decent family man. Would he ever say, “He’s not Jewish, he’s a decent man.” Would he ever say, “He’s actually half white. He’s a decent man.” No, he wouldn’t.

    I believe this form of campaigning cost JSM more than just integrity. Colin Powell endorsed Obama, in part because of his perception of the JSM campaign tactics.

    I believe this time, when people are worried about their future and need a person of serenity instead of scare tactics, JSM will have misplayed his hand right out of the White House.

    Thank you for your polemic. Passion to truth is often better than one alone.

  6. Hawzien Gebremedhin

    It’s sad that in 2008 people still react this way to a black man in office. I agree with you Christy, I don’t think McCain is racist, but for some people in his party, it’s hard to say they’re not.

    What I don’t get, and what I haven’t understood throughout this whole presidential campaign is the issue with Obama’s religion. So what if Obama was a Muslim? What’s the big deal? Christians, Jews, and Muslims all pray to one God, do they not? So why is being Muslim such a bad thing? Ever since 911, majority of Americans relate Muslims to terrorists, when only 10% of all Muslims agree with such activities. America has turned being Muslim into such a bad thing that even Barack Obama has to prove to the nation that he is a church going Christian. What about the Islamic Americans out there, caught in the middle? This presidential run has shown me the ignorance of Americans and how much change actually needs to come.

  7. Matt Knipple

    I do not believe McCain is a racist just like you said. He is showing more and more, indirectly, that he cannot stand Obama and in the end that is going to hurt him, I believe. Yes, political opponents may not agree with each other and may not like each other that much, but McCain makes it painfully obvious. The poor guy needs to start watching what he says and think before he speaks. I could not believe he said, “that one”. What a boneheaded move! In the end this won’t lose the election for McCain but it certaintly does not help him in any sort of way. I know he may be old but my grandpa thinks before he speaks, and he has a lot less to lose than McCain.

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