Friday, May 22, 2015

The "Race Card" Card

Ever since our President became President, one segment of the American public has gone ballistic—the racist element. Practically before he took office, the right wing billionaire set decided to form a “Tea Party” to oppose him. And the GOP leadership decided that he was not to be treated seriously as a President, but instead, they would do everything within their power to oppose anything and everything he might say or propose.  Their goal—Make Obama a one term President.
In part, I guess, one might think that the far right rhetoric could be construed as simply the “other party” wishing to marginalize a Democrat, so that they could regain the power they had exercised under their right wing GOP leaders—you know, those paragons of American virtue—St. Ronald of Reagan, Bush I and Shrub. But the nearly hysterical quality to the opposition, especially from such as the “Tea Party”, seemed to go way beyond the normal right wing politics.  I finally decided that the only explanation that made sense was racism. And then the “Birther” movement began and it became very clear that racism was not only the preferred explanation, it was really the only plausible explanation, especially since he had not even proposed anything yet.
And then, Fox News (aka the Faux News Network), the PR wing of the far right GOP, began its campaign of hammering the President at every turn, amplifying every statement made by the most right wing of our GOP political establishment.
Finally, other real news commentators began saying the obvious—racism had taken over the GOP and its commentator wing.  And then came the response—“ahhh, they’re playing the “Race Card”.
And so, the “Race Card” card was born.  What, you ask, is the “Race Card” Card? Well, it is the standard reply to a charge of racism, averting the need to actually respond with facts. When someone calls out an obvious racist remark, the standard response now is, “oh, you’re playing the “Race Card.” And what that means is, “ I don’t have to explain myself, because you have adopted the standard ad hominem attack by calling me a racist. Whether I am a racist, or whether I am acting like a racist is irrelevant. If I say you are playing the “Race Card”, I no longer have to explain anything. And so, the “Race Card” Card became the standard rhetorical response by the right wing establishment, and the game continues today, six years later.
When I read articles in various papers and journals about some issue vaguely affecting our foreign policy, I often get distressed at the inevitable comments by the right wing folks in the land.  Think of the right wing  politicians writing to the leaders in Iran, telling them to ignore the President's efforts to rein in any possible Iranian nuclear arms efforts. Or think of the GOP's Ron Johnson, saying, "when it comes to a nuclear deal with Iran, he’s “not so sure” he trusts President Obama over the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei." What might the right wing have said, had any Democrat said something similar about St. Ronald of Reagan?
The level of vitriol against anything the President or his Administration does, or says is amazing. I keep thinking, where were you all, and what were you saying when St. Ronald of Reagan was selling arms to the Iranian terrorist regime, so he could arm the Nicaraguan terrorist thugs? Were you as hysterical then as you seem to be now?  And how about, when Shrub declared victory in Iraq, standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier? Did you huff and puff and threaten to blow the house down? And have any of you begun screaming about Ted Cruz, born in Canada to a Cuban father and American mother? Is there a Ted Cruz “birther” movement? No??? How come? Oh, yeah, he isn’t black is he?
When I read some of the commentary, including especially from people I actually know well, and they yell (writing in caps) that “every action taken by this President had made this Nation less safe—yes, every action,” I have to ask whether they have taken leave of their senses, or is their commentary just a racist rant?  “Do you mean that when the President arranged to kill Osama Bin Laden, and, unlike Shrub,  followed through with an actual kill, he made us less safe?”  
“And were you thinking that, when he signed into law the Affordable Care Act, making health insurance available to millions formerly uninsured, he was making us less safe?”
“Or were you just finding a way to label him as awful without actually calling him a Nigger”?
Is that what we have come to in this nation? We have governors threatening to secede from the country (think Texas), and even considering calling out their National Guard because of some military exercises in their state? Would they do that had John McCain (born in Panama by the way) won the Presidency? Oh, I thought not.
The right wing in this country seems no longer to care about what ordinary Americans think of them. Reminds me a bit actually of Russia and their view of Emperor Vlad. The Russians no longer seem to care what he says, how outrageously and obviously he is lying, so long as he continues to sing the song of the Russia of old (i.e., the old Soviet Empire days).  So, perhaps, the right wing here feels the same way. They hate having a Black man as President, and long for the days of old (when St. Ronald of Reagan was ruling as emperor here). And they don’t care how much they have to lie about that Black man President. They want a return to the days of olde (although in some respects they seem to want to return to, say, 1850, rather than 1980).
I no longer think this schism within this country will heal during my lifetime (increasingly short). In fact, I believe it is getting worse, mainly because the right wing seems to believe that it is ok again to be a racist—after all, that was one of St. Ronald of Reagan’s great accomplishments during his term.

I continue to hope that my grandchildren will work to overcome this racist element within our nation. But I am not any longer certain. One of my worries is that the worst elements in this nation actually take over the government in 2016 (think the British elections), and they encounter that Emperor Vlad Soviet Empire place, and that really bad things happen. But that’s for the kids to sort out.