The Shadow Surfaces: it’s in “the Gifts”
After their stunning loss, Republicans struggled to explain why. If Obama is so bad, “the worst” in history, in fact, then HOW in the world, could he win re-election? How bad must it make them look? Of course, they had to come up with all sort of cockamamie explanations, not even stopping short of putting down the American public itself:
Conservatives Struggle To Explain How Mitt Romney Lost 2012 Presidential Election
(And of course, let’s not forget the “47% takers” and “maggots” comments!)
Some, would even come to admit the same things their opponents would claim: their narrow audience.
But Romney himself stayed firm with the first approach, pushed to the hilt: Coming right out and naming two racial group, blacks and Hispanics (along with an age: the young), as being bought with “gifts”.
Mitt Romney: Obama Won With ‘Gifts’ To Blacks, Hispanics, Young Voters
In other words, the “takers” nonsense, again. This is what people had been saying about blacks ever since the programs of the 60’s. It’s like they’re lazy fools, being “bought” by Dems looking for votes, and also to “keep them enslaved” through dependency on the government, at the same time. So they actually try to make it appear that they are on blacks’ side against the “true oppressors”. However, they give it away with the blaming and condescending, demeaning attitude and statements (often coded; usually poorly at that) towards the people themselves, and not just the politicians supposedly “using” them. So now they wonder why this “altruism” toward the people isn’t rewarded. “We’re the ones doing what’s really in your best interests; including showing you your problems, and the evil of our opponents taking advantage of it; why can’t y’all see that?” The conclusion? They must really be stupid, or lazy freeloaders, or both! So then, it was like minorities were a political football to use against one’s opponents.
You had Reagan’s “chickens, ducks, and ‘strapping young bucks'”, Jim Quinn’s “Grasshoppers” (Where the “NAAGB” and others help them sap the ant colony dry), and now Romney’s “47%”. Of course, that figure cannot be just blacks, so it looked like the perfect method of burying race in the rhetoric, to deflect criticism.
As you can see on my outline of race here: https://erictb.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/review-the-new-jim-crow; “excision of race from conservative public discourse” replaced by “New race-neutral language appealing to old racist sentiments” has been the tactic since the end of Jim Crow in the Civil Rights era. All the civil rights issues go right out the window; all they wanted the whole time is “freebies”. So just focus on how this is draining the country, and you no longer have to mention race; just focus on “taxes” and “big government spending” as the sole cause; and there; you’ve identified the culprit “takers” automatically!
But apparently, that tactic is not even enough. Sometimes, someone still has to come out and drive the real point home more clearly.
So what does Romney do but blatantly throw race right back to the surface? Like it was nothing. And as I keep saying, these are the same people who scream the loudest about a “race card” being played on them! OK when they play it, though!
As one commenter on that last article on Romney pointed out:
“You can’t show such extreme disrespect for the masses in this country, and still expect to win the election. So Romney and the Republicans got exactly what they so richly deserved, especially when they still haven’t learned a thing from it, and are on their way to extinction like the Whigs.”
In other words, perhaps it’s this whole premise of blacks and others as “takers” who only want “gifts” in the first place that pushes them to the other side; not these supposed “gifts”. Unless you think that more respect than that would be an undeserved “gift”. Apparently, many people must feel that way. Some in online debates years ago have even said blacks shouldn’t worry about how whites feel about them; they should just work on improving themselves! Man, it must be nice to be in such a position to talk down to entire groups of other people, as if they had to prove themselves to you!
This article REALLY hits the nail on the head:
The beating heart of modern conservatism is its visceral appeal to anxieties and fears of white Christians. This is a different statement than saying the beating heart of modern conservatism is white racism or white supremacy [.e. what those guilty accuse others of saying about them]. It’s not, or not principally. It is simply white “identity” politics, with all of the pathos and ugliness that implies. And if you don’t believe that, go read some conservative comment threads, or click over to the Drudge Report or Fox News, two outlets with a preternatural sense of the deepest anxieties of the modern conservative base.
Look at the ceaseless coverage of the New Black panthers, and voter fraud and immigrants living high on the hog off government welfare, and the absolute frenzy the right whipped up over the so-called Ground Zero Mosque.
Not to mention all the secession chatter really exploding, now to all 50 states, with some states collecting enough signatures to meet the requirement for federal review (the government, and even these states’ governors all seem to be dismissing these pleas, however).
When have we EVER seen the nation willing to pull itself apart like this?
To really see this attitude in place, just look at former Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin’s reasons for moving to Montana:
We determined that the cold weather climate of Montana was an asset, not a liability! Why? Because it keeps out undesirables: people who are comfort-oriented and not liberty-oriented! Let the “beautiful people” go to California or Hawaii or Florida. People who live in the mountains live here for reasons other than weather and personal comfort. And when what’s coming actually comes, we will need rugged people who mean business, not people who are looking for a sunroom!
He earlier talked about how big cities rob states of liberties. Even though he doesn’t mention race or even Obama here; it’s clearly an “US vs THEM” mentality, with the small “us”=”good”, virtuous, strong/’rugged’, led here by God, not selfish and ‘comfort-oriented’; “them”=”bad; selfish” etc. (He tries to deny this, but the division is clear). Let’s go and hide in the wilderness, and wait for the “day of reckoning” to fall upon THEM, and arm ourselves in case they come our way. (Isn’t that worrying about one’s own comfort too? And this is apparently a Christian; a pastor even, who is supposed to believe ALL men are fallen. What happened to that? It’s pure projection of one’s own portion of fallenness on all other groups of people).
While he’s much more radical than the mainstream conservatives, it’s still the same basic premises; only carried out further.
So all of this makes it obvious that feelings about Obama are stronger than just about his policies. One of those things where they probably couldn’t quite put their finger on it if they tried.
Even if people tried to make themselves like blacks, he still represents several things that clearly go against what they believe are the true American values instilled by their forefathers. Most of them believed blacks were inferior, and good only as slaves; so that right there creates a dilemma for these modern patriots who on one hand insist they aren’t racist, yet continuously maintain that they represent the values of these forefathers.
I think everyone must think at some time “what would [insert historic hero or ancestor] think of me if he could see me now?” And you know how central racial suppression was to their vision of both the nation and the Gospel. Yeah; modern BJU leaders (for instance), what would BJ Sr. think of the concessions you have made on the race issue, given the stuff he said about it? (Even calling those who disagreed, “enemies of God”!)
Then you add to that the policies they believe are un-American. They will insist it is just the policies, but it is all apart of a grand representation of the antithesis of everything the forefathers lived (and died) for, including the race issue, which again, was inseparable back then. What would they (even most of those against slavery, like in the North) think of the country electing a black man as President? If they were too “savage” just to live in society as free men and just so much as equals, how could one lead us of all things? It must be the most unimaginable betrayal in history. And you know it!
Again, it was bad enough he got in in the first place, but we figured he’d go down in flames, tarnishing the image of “the first black president” in history, forever. But for him to be RE-elected? That wasn’t ever supposed to happen!
So in the shock of the moment, a lot of shadow stuff has sprung to the surface. In cases like this, what is suppressed we often lose control of, and it erupts regardless of the careful masks we wear.
Another tactic that has been used is the “good ones” exceptions. So they can argue that they’re not racist, because they actually like blacks who don’t fit the behavior they’re criticizing. So it’s the behavior they’re against, not the race. Still, the race is always implicated in these generalities. And many have simply increased the number of “good ones”, to perhaps even a majority. Still, the race as a category is still carrying a negative connotation, despite how many “exceptions” you make.
So (to continue with what I was discussing in this article: https://erictb.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/whos-really-playing-the-race-card), to own this shadow, a mere brushing off of the issue as just an honest mistake, or the way of the times, or no longer relevant, simply won’t do. And it’s not because of people “whining” today. You either recognize that they were wrong back then, or realize you are wrong, and in fact, to be judged as whatever they said regarding those who even compromised their views.
The circa-Nixon era people behind the hiding of race from their agenda were conscious of what they were doing, but others would not be; especially younger people today who share the moral and fiscal concerns, but are not savvy of the code language. So these people would be truly offended that a “card” was wrongly being played on them, and it would make the other side look all the more deceitful and desperate.
Still, race is but one aspect of self-righteousness, and when we have people sneeringly labeling half of their countrymen as “takers” and “maggots”, then does it even matter how they feel about race? If they think they are so superior based on work and other “ethic”, that they can label so many people in one broad brush stroke like that, then they apparently believe everything about themselves is superior, which would include race. Who thinks that any part of their being is not superior to any part of a maggot?