Cross-post from Outlier Magazine Blog:
It was less than a generation ago when politicians rode the wave of overt racism into office and based their political staying power on their perceived harsh stance against the civil rights of "colored" people.
Our state's own Jesse Helms was really good at it. We'd like to think we've moved away from that sort of thing, but if Helms were still here, it seems clear that he'd probably still be representing North Carolina.
However racially enlightened we proclaim America to be, it is also clear that the GOP has been hijacked by the worst among us. The amazing thing, in a country that has elected it's first African American president, is the collective refusal to admit the raw covert racism that dominates our political discourse.
When Jimmy Carter correctly called it racism; the press and the GOP went nuts. "What do you mean? We can't criticize Obama or we are called racist?"
President Obama came out and downplayed the notion, less he give his racist critics like Rush Limbaugh and FOX News an additional avenue of attack against him. So we all have to pretend that racism hasn't simply taken over the political landscape.
Consider Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks. She made a simple comment that she "was ashamed that President Bush was from Texas." The right wing nuts went crazy. She received death threats, people boycotted radio stations that played their music, people took their small children down to the town square to burn Dixie Chick records, etc.
It was crazy; and when you asked them why, they all said the same thing; "She criticized the president at a time of war, on foreign soil." Yada, yada yada.
Flash forward to today and enter President Obama... Imagine if a black member of Congress had yelled out "You Lie!" during a Bush State of the Union Address. He'd never have been allowed back in the place.
Imagine if a "Trump styled" idiot was demanding Bush's birth certificate. How many NASCAR drivers would turn down an invitation to the Bush White House because of a "scheduling conflict" or how many of their peeps would boo Laura Bush?
Newt Gingrich (his sister says it's pronounced "Gingrick") suggests that "really, really poor children" (dog whistle for "black") should replace unionized school janitors and get paid to clean the toilets.
He goes on to say that they have no role models that know how to do the 9 to 5 thing and work for a living unless it "illegal" drug dealing, prostitution, etc. The racist GOP base are eating that crap up with a spoon.
They live in a world that they see as "SEINFELD" and "FRIENDS" and but for those lazy, violent, do-nothing black people, life would be grand.
Why doesn't Newt suggest that white middle class or rich children get a job helping to renovate foreclosed homes in their neighborhood; or that poor children be given a job on Wall Street to see how "real" money is made?
This next election will be about contrasts. To some, it will be a battle of black against white, rich against poor, 1% against 99%, and good against evil.
In an era when we are all pretending that this assault on voter access to the polls, attacks on organized labor, and record filibusters are not based on racist angst and dreams of putting that Presidential "boy" back in his place; let's call it what it clearly is...racism!
Elections have consequences, but if President Obama loses next year, it will affirm to many that if you don't like the result, you can simply stop everything in Congress, call the President illegitimate, destroy the economy and lie about the president for 4 years; and then try to fix what you've broken "after" you get your guy in there. We can only pray it doesn't work.
Well, pray and fight the bastards!
The funny thing about racism is it blinds you. Many racists would rather their daughter marry the white ex-con that beats her than the good upstanding black guy that loves and cherishes her.
Unfortunately for the GOP, they aren't going to find a live boy or a dead hooker in President Obama's bed. It is a testament to how different both sides see the country, that both see Newt as an early present from Santa!
In President Obama, you're running against the most articulate, intelligent, and savvy politician in the country. Take a look at the GOP field. That all ya got?