Too many liberals are saying that if Barack Obama somehow finds a way to lose this election, it will be the result of racist sentiments of many American voters. Jacob Weisberg, from Slate.com, wrote an article in August titled “Racism Is the Only Reason Obama Might Lose.” After Tuesday night’s debate, James Carville even hinted that the black community would react with violence to an Obama loss.
Would racism be the only reason? Liberals can’t imagine anything else at work — not, certainly, that divided support for Obama could have anything to do with his scant experience, proposal to raise taxes, suggestion that he’ll meet with tyrants, advocacy of premature withdrawal from Iraq, or that there are two people running for president and millions of Americans harbor major doubts about the Democrats’ wunderkind.
However, America has undergone a profound transformation in the last several weeks. Polls suggest that thousands, perhaps millions, of voters who might have once harbored racist thoughts are now expressing support for Obama and dispensing with their ignorant ways. It has been a remarkable change that has been strangely under-celebrated by the Left.
Of course, the suggestion that race had been holding back Obama prior to the economic meltdown is as absurd as the notion that Americans have suddenly experienced an epiphany just weeks later. Nonetheless, shameless Democrats continue to play the race-card frequently. Just yesterday, Democratic New York Congressman Gregory Meeks accused McCain and Palin of racism, saying, “They are trying to throw out these codes.” Another Democratic New York Congressman, Ed Towns, said, “Racism is alive and well in this country, and McCain and Palin are trying to appeal to that and it’s unfortunate.”
Earlier this week, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who should be feeling the heat of a financial conflagration he helped light, said that Republican attacks on the Community Reinvestment Act, which requires regulators to pressure banks into making sub-prime loans that led to the economic crisis, are racially motivated. A few weeks ago, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), said that Sarah Palin “don’t care too much what they do with Jews and blacks.” Democratic New York Gov. David Patterson said in September that Republicans were invoking the term “community organizer” as a code word for “black.” Howard Dean called the Republican Party “the White Party” over the summer.
And for Democrats seeking Republican racism, the prejudice almost always comes “encoded,” as Meeks’ accusation demonstrates. References to “states’ rights” do not — in any liberal’s mind — refer to a constitutionally-mandated division of powers. Liberals only hear them as code words for denying blacks’ rights. Sub-prime borrower doesn’t refer to a debtor’s ability to repay a loan in Barney Frank’s mind. It refers to race. Questions about Obama’s elitism and misunderstanding of rural life reflect a cryptonym for “inner-city black” and hence an appeal to people clinging to guns and religion.
In a September 14th op-ed in the Washington Post, Randall Kennedy, a former professor of mine at Harvard Law School, wrote, “If Obama loses…I’ll believe that American voters have made a huge mistake. And I’ll think that an important ingredient of their error is racial prejudice — not the hateful, snarling, open bigotry that terrorized my parents in their youth, but rather a vague, sophisticated, low-key prejudice that is chameleonlike in its ability to adapt to new surroundings and to hide even from those firmly in its grip.”
Kennedy is a good man, not the type to try and stoke racial flames for political purposes like many of the names listed above. However, the temptation to use the label “racist” is too great for liberals to overcome regardless of the justification. And while it may not always be a “snarling, open” temptation, it is often a vague, unarticulated, but clearly premeditated attraction driven by political aspiration.
In reality, the true victims of racism in this election are the roughly 10 percent of blacks who say they intend to vote for John McCain and who are consistently degraded as if their votes are less thoughtful or meaningful. Nonetheless, if Barack Obama loses this election, all of America will be victims to the reprehensible political tactics of those who will claim it was racially motivated.
Barack’s Obama ascendancy will suddenly become a symbol not for racial advancement but for racial discord. For that, the Democratic Party should be ashamed.