For months, many in the media have been insinuating that if whites do not vote for Barack Obama, or if Obama loses, it must be because white Americans are racist. In 2004, 62 million Americans voted for the Republican candidate for President, George Bush. Presumably, because Bush was not running against an African American but the very white John Kerry, the GOP voters, well over 80% of whom were white, were not automatically dubbed as racist.
But this year is different. If people, and in particular whites, vote for John McCain against an African American candidate, then they are suspected of being closet racists. The fact that over 95% of African Americans are voting for Obama, the highest percentage support by African Americans ever for a Democratic candidate, is of course never considered racist. African Americans support Obama solely because of his position on the issues. Jeffrey Goldberg, the not very thoughtful Atlantic columnist, has now stepped into it, with a particularly stupid and offensive comment, telling Shmuel Rosner of Haaretz, that Jews who do not back Obama are racist. Really?
Polls suggest that the support for McCain among Jews is a bit higher than it was for George Bush when he ran against John Kerry, and drew about 25% of the Jewish vote. McCain may get 30% or more of the Jewish vote. So who are the Jewish racists? The extra 5% who are voting for McCain, or all 30%? Goldberg implies all of them. Might there be legitimate non-racist reasons why Jews might favor McCain in greater numbers than was the case for Bush? Might some Jews think McCain is a safer bet for the security of America and Israel than Obama? Might some Jews be offended or concerned by some of Obama's Chicago connections? Might some Jews be turned off by Obama's far left economic philosophy? Goldberg obviously sees none of this as mattering. Racism trumps all. If you are Jewish, and don't share Goldberg's Jewish consciousness (intellectual unconsciousness, really) you must be racist.
The real question is this: Why does Goldberg, with all his venom, and inability to think beyond the conventional group libel, still have a job with a prestigious publication like the Atlantic?