Romney Is Wrong on Wright
Yesterday Romney was asked by Townhall's Guy Bensen if the Reverend Jeremiah Wright is "fair game" in the 2012 election. Romney gave the wrong answer. He quickly rebuked a conservative PAC for considering an ad about Obama and Wright. The TV ad campaign proposal had been leaked to the New York Times, and was already being labeled racially charged. According to the Times, the Romney team has decided not to assail Obama's "likability," for fear personal attacks will backfire with independents.
Message to the Republican establishment: do not muzzle those of us who want to focus on Obama's troubling history with angry Marxists, black and white, including Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers. This is not about race. It is about knowing who Obama is, understanding what he has already done to our country, and what he is capable of doing.
The issue of Reverend Wright is not peripheral, it is central. It gets to the heart of the differences between conservative and progressive views. Democrats have won on the field of character assassination -- they have defamed and destroyed respect not simply for Republican candidates, but for all Republican voters. When Republican party leaders refuse to inform the public about the hateful, radical character of the liberal/progressive agenda for America -- so visible in Wright and Obama -- we are hobbling ourselves, and we will lose the bigger fight, which is about identity, core beliefs and values. To examine Obama and Wright is to ask who we are as Americans, what we want for our future, and to face the dangers the Obama presidency poses for our country.
President Obama chose as his personal advisor, spiritual mentor (Obama's words) and pastor a thoroughly despicable man who hates America, whites and Jews. Reverend Wright required church members to sign a pledge to disavow 'middleclassness.' And we're not supposed to talk about it, because that man happens to be black. Why is skin color even an issue here?
Do you remember how you felt the week following 9/11? How sad, how patriotic, how determined to protect America? Can you imagine going to church that Sunday and hearing a sermon that America deserved to be attacked, and all the congregants cheering? That was Obama's church. Would you stay in a church that preaches God is white? Obama went to a church that preaches God is black. Would you stay in a church that equated being middle class with genocide for blacks? That preached Marxist income re-distribution? Whose pastor attacked Israel and Jews from the pulpit? Whose pastor said whites invented AIDs as a tool to commit genocide against blacks? Obama did. Why does it matter what race this preacher belonged to? It is his teachings that are despicable, not his color.
Thought experiment: Imagine Obama chose as pastor a white radical. Are we then allowed to comment that President Obama chose to learn from a thoroughly despicable white man who hates America, the middle class and Jews? We know the answer: we're again told to remain silent by establishment Republicans who tell us we mustn't tar Obama by his association with white radicals either, although their numbers could fill a book -- in fact there is a book, the must-read Radical-in-Chief by Stanley Kurtz.
We're not supposed to investigate who President Obama is by looking at the people whose advice he sought and beliefs he respected, the people he hired and the people who hired him. Instead, we're supposed to kowtow to false and despicable accusations of racism against Republicans.
We're not allowed to comment on the behavior of someone if his skin color is black? I find that racist. I prefer to see all men as equal. How can you have a fair election contest with a black candidate under those conditions, where only the white candidate can be vetted? I want a media that vets Obama as thoroughly as they vet Romney.
It's time to stop accusing Republicans of racism as a way to silence them. We are the party that has stayed loyal to Martin Luther King's vision of a color-blind society.
I served in the Peace Corps in Senegal, and had the experience of living in a country where race wasn't an issue because everyone was black. I don't judge blacks, including black politicians, by different standards than I judge whites. Nor can I be easily cowed by the fear people will say I'm a racist. I risked my life to help black people in one of the poorest countries in Africa. I'm not going to come home and tolerate my freedom of speech and thought restricted because Democrat politicians like to call political opposition racism and Republicans are afraid to stand up to them.
It doesn't matter to me if Reverend Wright is black, white or purple. The salient fact to me is that he is a hater. I refuse to be cowed by slurs of racism that are meant to protect the actual racist: Reverend Wright.
Democrats say that Obama's church is old news or that it isn't important to know about anymore. They say this because they can't say the ugly information about Obama's chosen church is untrue. It is entirely documented by the church's own website, church newsletters and pastor's pages, statements of belief, recordings and videos. There is actually no way to deny that Wright preached hate. Hundreds of thousands of people have viewed the video of Wright preaching, "God d- America!" Dems are afraid that Obama's heartfelt closeness to such a hater will make Obama not such a likable guy. They are right. Democrats are in a panic that Wright will be talked about often and thoroughly this time around.
Democrats truly don't care that Obama chose a church that tries to build up black self-esteem by disparaging whites, America and Israel. I care. I don't think you can increase someone's self-respect by denigrating others. I think it is just as evil to teach blacks to hate and fear whites, as Obama's church did, as the reverse. It matters to me that Obama chose a church that denies Jesus was a Jew and claims he is black instead.
It may be that the particular advertising pitch about Wright that Romney condemned was stupid. Nonetheless, Romney made a serious mistake by making a general statement repudiating discussion of the Obama-Wright relationship. There are several important principles at stake here. There have been no racist Republican attacks on Obama. None. We are better than that. We aren't even tempted to because we can win on the merits. Romney should be attacking the Democrat use of the racism accusation against Republicans as despicable, divisive, and bad for our democracy, not giving it validity. Political opposition is not racism. We need to hear Republican leaders saying that loudly and often.
Second, Romney should insist that Obama's past should be vetted thoroughly, no double standards. His relationship with Wright is not trivial and not tangential. It provides important and illuminating insights into how Obama has governed and what we can expect in a second term.
Third, the theology of your church may not be relevant to a political campaign, but what you take from church to apply to politics is entirely relevant.
Obama pickled himself for decades in a church that taught black grievance and white guilt. His chosen guide and mentor preached envy, income redistribution, and hatred of rich whites, which included the entire middle class. We have seen in our President a politics Wright would be proud of -- that is why is it both right and important to focus on Wright.