Back when it started to become obvious that Barack Obama would, at the very least, campaign for the leadership of the Democratic Party for the 2008 election, many political observers in the United States wrote that an underlying problem with his candidacy was that open and honest criticism of this particular candidate would automatically be labelled as racism by his supporters.
This is similar to the Canadian problem where even legitimate criticism or resistance to the demandeur status of Quebec and the general Quebec-centric policies of the federal government are shouted down as racism.
Once Obama made the Democratic ticket, the presidency was literally his to lose. By then, the racism card had been well played. America had been put in a bit of a Catch-22 situation.
Many Americans voted for Obama simply on the basis that they felt that rejecting him on the ballot box would simply reaffirm the widespread myth of American racism, in spite of their misgivings.
Unfortunately, it’s not just the racism card that’s in play; it’s now the whole deck.
It started in earnest back in the spring, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans took to the streets to protest the massive corporate bailouts. As the movement behind the citizen-led protests grew, many media outlets, MSNBC and CNN in particular, openly declared that the “Tea Party” protesters were simply racists.
This theme has continued, and even grown, as the public turned out in droves to voice their opposition to the Democratic Party’s planned overhaul of the U.S. health-care system.
Congressional leader Nancy Pelosi, who openly cheered on those who questioned Republicans and protested the Iraq war, has shrilly denounced tax and “Obamacare” protesters as “Nazi’s” and “right-wing terrorists,”
It’s worth noting that Pelosi is now less popular among Americans than even the much-vilified Dick Cheney, MSNBC and CNN are plunging in the ratings, and Obama’s approval rating has collapsed further and faster than any president since Truman.
This is all a necessarily long-winded way of getting to a point.
Barack Obama ran on the slogan of “Hope and Change.” Elect the Harvard lawyer and help transform the nature of American politics. Divisiveness would end. A new civility would reign over the body politic. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
The problem is, those of us on the right knew otherwise.
During the eight years of the Bush administration, political discourse in the United States reached lows that have only just been eclipsed by the ugliness that the hard left of the Democratic Party has unleashed upon its critics.
It wasn’t common Americans who began the Bush=Hitler meme, or the “Chimpy McBush” moniker, but liberal elites.
Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and other prominent black Republicans were labelled “Oreo’s” by the very people who claim that only racists and Nazis are opposed to Obama’s spending plans.
In Canada, the same phenomenon occurs, with Liberals, the Bloc and the NDP claiming that the Harper Conservatives are “divisive,” simply on the basis that they won’t blindly adopt their policies. At the very same time, all three parties openly proclaim their unwillingness to work with the current government and staunchly maintain doctrinaire positions, with no hint of compromise.
The issue of the Obama debate is pertinent in Canada for a reason.
Both the Liberals and NDP have gone so far as to hire media consultants and election strategists who worked on the Obama campaign, which is an entire column in itself.
The Democrats are the party of division. They denounce as racist those who have the audacity to question exactly who financed an unremarkable law student’s time at Harvard, when there is no public record of him receiving any scholarships and his family clearly lacked the funds.
They openly denounce as racists those who dare to question Obama’s close relationship with corrupt property developer Tony Rezko, and others, in the same fashion that many Americans questioned Dick Cheney’s relationship with Haliburton.
They denounce as racists those who question Obama’s commitment to health care reform, when his wife, until recently, worked as an administrator at a public Chicago hospital.
They denounce as racists those who question the propriety of Obama’s unhealthy relationship with an allegedly corrupt, federally funded social action group — ACORN — or his close relationship with a one-time activist — Bill Ayers — or the fact that the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac foundations contributed heavily to his campaign, in spite of their presence at ground zero of the American mortgage meltdown.
Just think, the NDP and the Liberals have now brought these people to an election near you. Don’t you feel better, now?
Bill Greenwood is a local freelance columnist.