July 26, 2008
The Racism Cry ReturnsBy Matthew May
Having begun softly during the primary season, an incessant drumbeat has steadily gained strength and will soon reach its deafening crescendo as we march toward November: If you are white and vote for anyone other than Sen. Barack Obama (Savior-IL) for president you are a racist.
Joe Klein says that anyone horrible enough to suggest that Obama -- who isn't even the official nominee of his party -- is being a bit presumptuous in touring Europe and the Middle East automatically couples that criticism with "the subterranean tinge of racism."
Andrew Greeley says that black Americans (all, apparently) and the rest of the world will "scream racism" if Obama is defeated by John McCain. Greeley says that "Only the innocent and the naive think that the November election will not be about race."
New York governor David Paterson recently suggested at the national meeting of the NAACP that an Obama loss is a racist victory.
I will not insult your intelligence and vainly attempt to assuage my supposed white guilt by claiming "some of my best friends are black," or revealing the racial background of my college roommate, and the artist who dominates my music collection. I refuse to do so not because it is a cliché, but because it is unnecessary for the non-racist to do so.
I do not compartmentalize my friends into categories other than that labeled "Friends." My friends and associates are nobody else's business or concern. I have sought and will continue to seek them according to their worth to me as individuals -- the values we share, the equality of life to which we aspire, and our mutual respect and admiration for one another as individuals.
Calling someone a racist is one of the most serious charges than be leveled against an individual. It is outrageous enough that such a charge is being and will be thrown at tens of millions of people. It demonstrates the naked contempt the left have for the individual mind and the individual voter who approaches an election with certain fundamental benchmarks that a candidate must meet to earn his vote.
As a conservative, I will not be overly enthusiastic about voting for John McCain on November 4 -- but I will be sprinting to the polling place to do so. And, surprisingly enough to those of you who cannot fathom it, this white American will be voting against Barack Obama not because he is black, but because he has repeatedly shown himself to be nothing more than a politician from the Daley cesspool. I have plenty of reasons*
To those whose every move in life is political and wrapped up in busily placing people in one identity group or another rather than as individuals, it is impossible to comprehend that perhaps part of the problem with Obama is not the color of his skin but its thinness. Across the spectrum of presidential leadership throughout our nation's history, Americans have desired -- and fairly demanded -- that their political leaders endure the slings and arrows of satire with good humor. Such a mindset harkens back to the classical American disgust with and fear of the individual with too much power, accompanied by a royal bearing.
Obama and his associates act as if the candidate is beyond reproach. George W. Bush has endured much worse without protest. Abraham Lincoln too, if Bush is not to your liking. Everyone is free to consider what this sensitivity to criticism tells us about the candidate's character.
I will not be voting for Obama in November and will be proud to deny him my vote. To the forthcoming outrageous, serious charge that I am a racist for doing thusly I do not wish to plead "not guilty" because I am, simply, not guilty.
*A few reasons:
He has been wrong about the battle in Iraq and the war against jihad. Obama is devoid of knowledge of the duties of Commander-in-Chief. He offers tired, discredited pabulum in the way of economic policy and utopian nonsense. His gaffes, mistakes, misstatements, and backtracking have continued and Obama does not have any sense of humor about them or anything else for that matter. Despite his privileged education, Obama is not smart enough to be president. We've already seen this movie and the leading man was Jimmy Carter.
This is to say nothing of the seemingly endless sordid details of Obama's career and rhetoric; his association with unrepentant terrorists and slumlords; his stupendous arrogance (Obama said in Berlin that "Now the world will watch and remember what we do here" -- what was it Lincoln said about how the world would notice the dedication of Gettysburg?); the socialist realism posters; his wife telling us what "Barack will demand" of us; voting "Present" time after time.
In short, this guy is not remotely qualified for the presidency and it has absolutely nothing to do with his ethnicity.
Matthew May welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org