The Deal With a Racist Devil | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

The Deal With a Racist Devil

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JFP Editor Donna Ladd

Many of us have been there. We're having a political debate over rising national debt or the merits of "Obamacare," and suddenly we hurl over a bizarre cliff: We hear that President Obama used ACORN to steal the election, that he's making it easier for freeloaders to get welfare or the zinger: "He is not a Christian. He was born in Kenya."

Before we know it, we are whiplashed into the middle of an alternative birther universe, where easily verifiable facts are ignored. For me, these moments blind me with memories of growing up in Mississippi, listening to racial slurs and innuendo about "them" that made no moral or Christian sense from extended family and their friends (not my immediate family, thank God).

I would always get up and leave. I walked out of my Mississippi State boyfriend's family living room in North Jackson because his uncle greeted the news that I'm from Neshoba County with approval: "Well, y'all know what to do with your n*ggers that act up, don't ya? You just bury them under a dam!" Blinded with shock, I got up and left. His mother never forgave me.

That slur, of course, was arguably more obvious than today's birther myth. Or is it? I mean, who gets to spread rumors that a long-time Christian church-goer (who cares a ton about the needy) isn't actually a Christian--as if they could possibly know?

But now we seem to be going backward, not forward, on race and other bigotry issues. Ten years ago, maybe even four years ago, I thought the nation was farther along than we are on the road to racial understanding and acceptance. I remember going to a so-called Klan rally over in Neshoba County, my home county known for our violent race past, not long after moving back here. It was absurd, with a handful of KKKers in a muscle truck with a woman in a rebel flag tank top as their spokeswoman.

They marched around the court square and about everyone there had shown up to shout them down: "Go home!" "Idiots!" I was really proud of my hometown that day.

Now we have reports--such as a recent one by ABC News--of angry Klansmen growing in popularity in Mississippi and around the nation. I get disgusting emails from the John Birch Society, still yammering about the U.N. And there is so much open racism on conservative blogs right here in Jackson that it makes my toes curl (by, inevitably, men too cowardly to use their real names, but racists often hide under hoods, masks and pseudonyms, after all.) Then last week, the co-chairman of the Mitt Romney presidential campaign, John Sununu, made a horribly bigoted statement about Colin Powell, and he wasn't fired the next day.

It's worse than it was when we started the paper 10 years ago.

The reason is obvious if we pay attention. Many people spreading baseless rumors they see on nasty blogs aren't trying to be mean or hateful; they think they're right because people they agree with on other issues or go to church with believe it, too. There's no need to check it out; besides, any source that says something else is obviously "biased."

People are passing along hateful lies and bigotry because they are very purposely being lied to. I've written often about the Republican "southern strategy" that Richard Nixon and then Ronald Reagan and even the first George Bush adopted to get people they perceived to be white racists to go along with policies that helped the rich, if not most of the presumed racists.

Their strategists--including the late Lee Atwater and his sidekick, our own Haley Barbour--convinced them to court the old Dixiecrat voters who fled the Democratic Party in the 1960s after it supported civil-rights legislation to end legal segregation and Jim Crow policies. In essence, the GOP made a deal with the racist devil to get support for government shrinkage--meaning of the kinds of laws and regulations that could have kept more manufacturing and jobs in the U.S. and Americans working--as well as tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthy.

They also went after these voters with wedge issues like being against abortion and gay rights--at least in public.

To get it done, the new not-Lincoln-esque GOP rejected the more blatant racism of the Dixiecrats in favor of wink-wink racism--such as attacking "welfare queens" (falsely presumed to be overwhelmingly black and single); food stamps (same wrong assumption); "entitlements" (ditto); and crime hysteria (the "super-predator" myth spread by Reagan drug czar Bill Bennett and the first George Bush's "Willie Horton" ad).

(These days, politicos refer to wink-wink racism as "dog whistling.")

The Republican Party, which used to be the preferred party of black Americans before the 1960s, has nearly cracked under the weight of this burden. It has become an exclusive club with a weird mix of corporate barons (and those who'd love to be), abject racists and "values voters." It has seen a sad descent with its potential membership shrinking as younger voters and just about every non-white rejects the party. South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham said it well at this year's Republican National Convention when he warned that there just aren't that many more "angry white guys" to lure into the party, so they'd better change their ways.

Former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman even apologized to the NAACP in 2005 for using the southern race strategy, saying, "it's not healthy for our country."

If anything, now it's worse--and the kinds of false ideas about the "other" are empowering fringe groups like the new Klan in Mississippi to believe they can attract enough membership to raise real hell again against non-whites. (Remember: The Klan always emerged out of more mainstream bigotry; not the other way around.) And dangerous agitators like neo-con Dinesh D'Souza write books like "The End of Racism" (1996) to convince us that talking about racism is actually racist. Then he does a film in 2012 ("2016: Obama's America") to convince the gullible that Barack Obama is actually acting on behalf of the Muslim father he met once.

Then there are men like Mitt Romney and John Sununu. Are they racist? Clearly. Racism is always about what you do and the "system" you support and whether it systemically hurts an ethnic group that already lacks real equality and equal access to opportunity. The legacy of our nation's racism has not yet been reversed--precisely because white men like these do not want to risk losing some of their own power and wealth, regardless of how they got it or who suffered as a result.

This campaign has pulled out the race stops and turned the U.S. backward in a way that even George W. Bush wouldn't do. 
 Both Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan lied repeatedly, for instance, about Obama changing the work rules for welfare (he didn't), and Sununu has gone out repeatedly and made race-charged statements. The latest--that Gen. Powell endorsed Obama because he's black--appeals to the worst instincts of some white Americans, whom these men assume are majority racist. Why else would Powell have endorsed Obama!?! Sigh.

Sununu could not know what is in Powell's mind any more than our own family or friends (or D'Souza) could know if Obama secretly pines to be Muslim. But leaders from a shrinking lily-white party do know that some people want to believe that black people are as race-obsessed as they are.

It is up to white Americans to end this ugly ruse right here. Please stop voting against your best interests because some Republicans assume you're racist. Prove them wrong.

Comments

lenajones61 5 years, 11 months ago

This is one of the most powerful, thought-provoking pieces on the Republican agenda and the 2012 election to date. I, too, thought we'd evolved to a point where we were no longer fooled by the motives of those who was enjoying their priviledged prositions at the expense of everyone else. Racism, sexism, and other "isms" raise their ugly heads most when times are hard and the privledged elite promotes a brand of propoganda that says we should blame the victim rather than the architects of an unjust system.

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margeryfreeman 5 years, 11 months ago

Outstanding analysis, Donna Ladd. Kudos to Jackson Free Press for your honest and forthright contribution to Mississippi's conversation about race & racism. With much appreciation!

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kensteere 5 years, 11 months ago

Donna, I have been reading your commentary for some time but this piece is so good I had to comment. I grew up in a much better environment but during all the desegregation issues in Virginia. My family was concerned when I moved here too. We have taught our children to respect all and treat all as equals. Fortunately even in this environment they have very open and accepting unless they encounter someone like you did where they need to leave. You are so right about all the backhanded comments and innuendo that is so prevalent especially here in MS. Thank you for all you and your team do to keep publishing JFP with the content that is sorely needed.

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lenajones61 5 years, 11 months ago

This was a much needed discourse on the current state of affairs.
Ironically, I was just reading Micheal Parenti's "Inventing Reality: The Politics of the News Media" when today's JFP Daily popped into my email.

Perenti argues rather convincingly that the mainstream media reporting on racial, class and gender issues lacks a lot to be desired. He says among other things: "The news media treat slums as more or less the natural habitat of the people who live in them, rather than the creation of real estate speculators, fast-buck developers, urban "removalists," unenforced housing codes, tax-evading investors and rent-gouging landlords."

I have forwarded this editorial repeatedly today because 1) while the "truth is out there" it takes a dissendent voice like JFP's to move us closer to it; and 2) truer words have never been spoken. Write on, Donna!

LJ

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StevenBrody 5 years, 11 months ago

Born and raised in Meridian during the 50s-60s, I knew racism from the inside out, like a fish knows water. I was about as racist as one can be, in all its' vile and hate filled ways. The Freedom Summer project of 1964 when Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney were murdered, the firebombing of churches, the random assaults against blacks, the vote-registration intimidation -- these were only the external manifestations of an inner consciousness that continues today. Lott openly pined for it while Barber said he didn't even know about it. Contemporary Mississippi knows it well: Deryl Dedmon knows it; the Crystal Springs church knows it; Doug Williams at Meridian Lockheed knows it; Larry Shoemake knows it.

The Mississippi racism that the world discovered in the 1960s and renewed in the 21st century, like the rhizome Kudzu, has popped up throughout the country. There is more overt racism throughout the US now than even in the bloodiest days of Mississippi; now, as then, racism is denied. A dozen Republican senators have recently said that slavery wasn't all that bad. Not even in the 60s would a public figure say such a thing even though he might have thought it.

Perhaps more than anything else, Obama's 1st term will be noted for the racist backlash that hit the country, pulling the collective consciousness backwards 50+ years. Tuesday will be the reveal -- is the consciousness of racism going to blow back?

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donnaladd 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for sharing and your honesty, Steven. Great post.

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donnaladd 5 years, 11 months ago

More great quotes today from Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham, quoted by Politico:

"If we lose this election there is only one explanation — demographics." ...

“If I hear anybody say it was because Romney wasn’t conservative enough I’m going to go nuts,” said Graham. “We’re not losing 95 percent of African-Americans and two-thirds of Hispanics and voters under 30 because we’re not being hard-ass enough.”

Maybe Graham and Christie can help lead this party back out of the ugly, racist wilderness the southern strategists trapped it in. Let's root for them. We need too non-crazy political parties (at least).

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donnaladd 5 years, 11 months ago

Wow, and this. Gingrich is remarkably honest here about the fear of a (non-white) "permanent majority" they fear:

To some longtime Republicans, the party faces an existential question on immigration. “Once we deal with the issue, we’ll have a permanent majority for a generation,” said Gingrich. “But until we do, we’re permanently in danger of losing.” Gingrich’s solution, regardless of whether Romney wins: “It’s going to require Jeb Bush coming to Washington for about six months and working directly with Marco Rubio and building a bipartisan majority. We really need Jeb to live in Washington for six months to get this done.”

Um, maybe it's time to move beyond race and trying to keep a white majority. THAT will help bridge the racial divide in the country; nothing else will until whites stop trying to protect whiteness and the privilege that has traditionally come with in the U.S. The ball is in our court--and especially white Republicans. Graham knows it; Gingrich might; Barbour not so much, it seems. Sad.

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brjohn9 5 years, 11 months ago

The problem with clinging tighter and tighter to a conservative, white, male electorate is that these folks just don't play well with others. White conservatives scuttled Bush's attempt at immigration reform, and Republican standing with Latino voters has collapsed. Watching the Republican primary candidates try to one-up each other on who was tougher on immigration was like watching folks negotiate a suicide pact. Then there's all the damage done by paleolithic evangelicals like Todd Akin, even apart from policy.

But at least Akin believes the stupid, offensive things he believes. Sununu is purely opportunistic, just as the whole Southern Strategy was from the beginning. The problem is that he's also a tone-deaf bumbler. Romney should have dumped him after his comment about Obama needing to "learn to be an American." Remember when he got the ax from George H.W. Bush? The debacle over Total Information Awareness? Sununu turns everything he touches to junk.

The immediate problem for Republicans isn't really that the country is becoming less white. The problem is that they are losing the non-white, non-male voter by incredible margins. Bush would not have won reelection in 2004 if he had received only 25 percent of the Latino vote. But what are Republicans to do when their candidates have to spend the primaries boasting about how they'll build triple electric fences with moats? Republican voters demand commitments that drive away everyone else.

Republicans really have made a deal with the racist devil. But like most deals with the devil, it's going to cost them in the end.

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donnaladd 5 years, 11 months ago

Agreed, Brian, all around. As for Romney and Sununu, though, Romney has also played the "need an American" card on Obama himself. And listen to Ryan yesterday, claiming that Obama's policies are somehow anti the Judeo-Christian tradition, as if Ayn Rand isn't. I swear, these guys are so textbook Orwellian that they routinely accuse their opponents of their own stuff.

They're the ones wanting to stop forcing insurance companies to cover children with pre-existing conditions on day one.

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tyler 5 years, 11 months ago

Donna, I honestly do appreciate your intentions because I know you passionately believe in your mission, but here is where I take issue with this approach: By warning us on discriminating against a whole group of people based on their skin color, you discriminate against a whole group of people based on their skin color by tagging them a 'racist' if they don't support this policy or that policy. As a white male conservative in Jackson, MS, I fall into your broad brush description of a racist. But I'm not a racist. Therein lies the problem. What about me and people like me?

By bringing up a pitiful circus of a demonstration by the KKK in your article, it strengthens and validates those fringe backwoods racists as legitimate political voices by grouping them with the majority of perfectly nice conservatives who hold their opinions by every other reason in the world besides race. The danger then becomes you have drawn the line in the sand and have your followers believing the 'other side' are vicious hateful enemies when they are not (equal to the KKK no less!).

If violence ensues in a heated political environment like this, it's because of villainizing the other side based on emotional claims and rhetoric much like the discrimination of the Jewish people throughout history. I just wish we could actually talk about policies and not race. Do you wonder what drives an individual like me to vote for single issues or do you honestly believe I'm secretly a racist? I just think it's counterproductive to your war on discrimination to discriminate. Fighting fire with fire. A swinging pendulum. I believe we have the same end-goal of peace in mind, but we can't get there if we don't remove the emotional rhetoric. It's dangerous and history has proven it again and again.

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donnaladd 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for posting. Here's the problem, Tyler: You didn't read what I wrote. I never once said that every Republican is a racist. Hearing that means you entirely missed the point -- I'm guessing because you saw "GOP" and "racist" and jumped to wild conclusions.

What I did say is fact (see Sen. Lindsay Graham's remarks as well; he agrees.) The party has sold out to a racist devil -- as a strategy. This is just true. Atwater admitted it. Graham admits it. Mehlman apologized to the NAACP for it.

What that means to good non-racist Republicans like yourself is that you and others must take responsibility for taking your party back from crazy people. I'm on y our side on this -- but I can tell you that it won't happen if y'all get defensive (and misread) anything that is written about the GOP's nasty little pandering-to-racists habit. It is time to speak out and tell your party to STOP IT. A good place to start is right here in Mississippi, where some of the folks on the state level are really trying to take us back to the 1960s, both on race and on gender issues. Do something about it.

There is precedent here. In the 1960s, back before the Republicans invited the Dixiecrats in, the Democratic Party had to make a hard choice that meant losing a lot of voters: They had to expel the racists, the segregationists, the Dixiecrats. They chose to let them go and pay the political consequences (which they're still paying in the South) because it was the right thing to do.

One of the saddest things that's happened in 50 years is that the Republican Party invited them in. And it has devastated your party, turning it into a lily-white fraternity where most of y'all seem too afraid to speak up to your leadership and strategists. I swear, Republicans spend more time complaining about people who dare notice and speak up about the racism than doing something about the racism.

This is y'all's burden to bear. It's your moment in history. I'm really not your problem here. Find the courage to speak up and out as the Dems did in the 1960s. Make your party into something the nation can be proud of again. If you don't, it is going to continue to shrink demographically and get meaner and less relevant. I'm rooting for you.

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tyler 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for responding. I'm referring to the times when a Republican leader, regardless of who it is (that's the key, blanket assumption) says anything and it's dissected to find the hidden racism or if a regular citizen says something, they are accused of drinking the Kool-Aid, but they are nonetheless of the same mind (racist), if not simply ignorant of being brain-washed. It comes across as assuming I'm unable to think for myself.

To me, assuming every policy has a hidden agenda (Voter ID = Voter suppression to name a current topic on the site - I don't want to suppress anyone so let's find a solution) is like a conspiracy theorist assuming every catastrophe has a hidden hand behind it.

Ultimately, I feel that both conservatives and liberals would be better off promoting unity as Americans and not highlighting fringe elements as legitimate representatives of whole groups of people, the definition of discrimination. I do not doubt whatsoever that you have dealt with real racism and I do not seek to belittle that. I really do believe we have the same goal in mind. Let's just talk to each other and not through middle men. It's wrecking our wonderful country.

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tyler 5 years, 11 months ago

And the point I meant to make that I forgot was that I actually don't like Republicans. I call myself a conservative but the two-party system makes me generalize. I posted too soon and did not address GOP.

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StevenBrody 5 years, 11 months ago

One of the biggest challenges to understanding and overcoming racism is a matter of defining your terms. Alabama gov George Wallace said he wasn't racist; so did Ms govs Barnett and Johnson. So does Trent Lott and David Duke; few have the courage to admit it. So the charge is made against minorities -- not unlike Nazi's accusing Jews of racism because of saying they hated the Nazis.

This is the best definition of racism that I've come across. It's from the National Association of Social Workers.

"Racism is the ideology or practice through demonstrated power of perceiving the superiority of one group over others by reason of race, color, ethnicity, or cultural heritage. In the United States and elsewhere, racism is manifested at the individual, group, and institutional levels. It has been institutionalized and maintained through educational, economic, political, religious, social, and cultural policies and activities. It is observable in the prejudiced attitudes, values, myths, beliefs, and practices expressed by many people, including those in positions of power. Racism is functional—that is, it serves a purpose. In U.S. society, racism functions to maintain structural inequities that are to the disadvantage of people of color. ……

"Racism negatively impacts both the oppressed and the oppressor. Institutional racism has historical roots in injustices perpetrated by our ancestors on indigenous and other populations in conquering and populating this country. Recognition of historical injustices is the beginning step in combating racism. One has to acknowledge the fact that the sons and daughters are not responsible for the sins of their parents, but the sons and daughters must analyze the present reality to ascertain if as a result of the historical injustices perpetrated by our parents results in one group in society being in a more advantageous and favorable position over and at the expense of others." http://www.naswdc.org/pressroom/events/911/racism.asp

Unless the issue of 'power' is factored in, it's not racism, it's something else. .

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donnaladd 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for your response, Tyler. Let's start with this:

Thanks for responding. I'm referring to the times when a Republican leader, regardless of who it is (that's the key, blanket assumption) says anything and it's dissected to find the hidden racism or if a regular citizen says something, they are accused of drinking the Kool-Aid, but they are nonetheless of the same mind (racist), if not simply ignorant of being brain-washed. It comes across as assuming I'm unable to think for myself.

The problem with this is that very few people actually do this; I don't look for the awful in every Republican statement. In fact, there are ideas and policies that I like -- but they get so buried in crap and, yes, racism. Take voter ID: The problem y'all have on this is that (a) there is no evidence whatsoever that it is needed; (b) it is excessive and expensive (and thus not conservative) regulation that is (c) designed by the strategists to try to limit non-white turnout. They've convinced enough of y'all well-meaning conservatives that it is needed and that it is obvious (and even convince many that it is the same thing thing as showing an ID to get in a bar or whatever -- which is as ignorant and illogical and unpatriotic of an argument as anyone could come up with).

Y'all accept it on its face: yes, of course, voter ID is needed. You refuse to believe that a good number of elderly and poor just don't have the ID that your privileged self thinks everyone must have or they're a loser. Even though the evidence is irrefutable. You don't care that paying for the ID is a poll tax. And you end up sounding like the Citizens Council of the 1960s in arguing that, of course, it makes sense to charge a poll tax or quiz people -- you should be smart enough to vote or get an ID anyway.

It comes across as if y'all weren't taught to think critically in school (I know some people weren't especially at conservative academies that spoonfeed dogma over critical thinking). Or that you weren't taught any history whatsoever about what voter suppression is or basic civics over the difference between showing an ID to vote and other non-basic American rights.

Look, I don't blame you for this. I didn't get a stellar critical-thinking education at my high-school either -- except for a couple amazing teachers/mentors, and from books and my curiosity to know the rest of the story. But I do blame you if you don't redirect what sounds like intelligent discomfort with the current Republican Party into serious questioning about the deal it's made with the devil. You're prime to do it; do it.

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donnaladd 5 years, 11 months ago

Also, I forgot to ask you one question: If you're supporting Romney, can you give me one specific policy of his that you support. Something specific, other than "because he's a good businessman." I have asked this of Romney supporters for weeks in public and private, and no one could answer yet -- at least no one who doesn't bring home more than $200,000 and wants more tax breaks, and most of them won't admit it.

Gotta fly: press/election day. Let's talk more soon.

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tyler 5 years, 11 months ago

I know you'll be busy with the election today but I appreciate the responses. On Voter ID, let's assume we can find a way to make sure everyone has an ID by the next election - trying to push it through before this one would seem suspect - but if there was a way for 100% of the people to have just some form of identification that verifies "Yep, I'm a citizen. Plain as day." it would just alleviate any fears people would have of voter fraud. People on both sides fear voter fraud one way or another, so it is legitimate and needs addressing.

I can see straight through a Poll Tax or quiz as clearly having an agenda, but just merely identifying yourself seems so basic. Yes, I am who I say I am. The end. No more fears of fraud. Or at least reduced. I've heard of stories already today of someone in line being quoted as saying "I've got to do this 3 more times..." That stuff scares the socks off of people. Are we being duped? How easy is it to vote 3 more times? Those are the things driving people wanting Voter ID, not just what a goofy politician says. That was a quote from a person I know personally. I and many others just want airtight confidence that our system remains true and legitimate. If these fears grow more widespread, people will lose hope in voting altogether because they think it's flawed. And voting is democracy. Period. If we lose that then what do we have?

Could we do something similar to countries in the Middle East that stamp your thumb purple if IDs are just too expensive? Another idea? I'm not stuck on one solution. Just SOMETHING that closes out the possibilities. And I'm interested to hear your perspective on what would make it so expensive? There are articles here that support several government programs that would dwarf the cost of a small plastic ID card. Credit card companies send those in the mail like it's going out of style regardless of how many people throw them in the trash. I just don't buy that 100% to be honest. I'm not well off either. I grew up in South Jackson in a one parent household.

Which leads to your other question, no I don't make $200,000. But I would like to eventually, and that's why I'm not voting for Obama and why I am voting for Romney. Wealth shouldn't be villainized even though I'm not wealthy yet. YES regulate where it's needed. YES throw the cheaters in jail. But wealth itself doesn't mean you cheated to get there. Nothing will be 100% fair no matter how hard we try. I sit up at night thinking about ways to fix the flaws in our system (the Political Science major in me). But there are fewer flaws in free market capitalism than one with heavy governmental input (Note: I'm avoiding the word socialism to play nicely.) And I know that just by looking at history. I study history as much as I can. The world has never seen anything like America, warts and all. I'm talking thousands of years of kings, monarchs, and despots to eventually get to "of, by, and for the people." (Continued next post)

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tyler 5 years, 11 months ago

(Continued, 2) But the mere idea of "spreading the wealth around" sounds nice in the short term (because I do support Welfare if it is run correctly), but that fundamentally changes the system that has created what we have today. Sure we've had bumps in the road, much like every nation has. But where America is different from those other countries is that America worked to OVERCOME them even though we were guilty of them. Slavery, we fought and killed each other to right that wrong; Women's suffrage, Civil Rights, etc. That's why I cringe at American apologists and naysayers. So for me, what it boils down to is recognizing the Constitution for the miracle of a document that it is and not seeing it as a "living document" to change. And from there, supporting the country that brought it into existence through our forefathers fighting oppression, America. And from there, supporting the systems that have made America great up until now, democracy + free market capitalism (with restraints where needed!).

But what we have staring us in the face is a divergence from those very systems that made us the #1 economy in the world where we have the ability to address socio-economic problems. If we don't have that money then we don't have the flexibility to take care of the poor, sick and needy. I don't think we're doing it adequately now, but changing to a form of economy that has never, ever, ever, ever, ever worked in the history of man (or at least post-French revolution) is a death sentence. Our poor will be poorer. Our sick will have fewer options. Costs rise, incomes fall (They're doing that right now, another reason for Romney.) After that, who even cares about dealing with social policies right now. We won't even get the chance to if we begin to resemble Spain, Greece, France and other countries literally going bankrupt (They're rioting there as we speak.) Why would they be someone to copy? WE are exceptional. WE are different. WE are the standard that THEY should copy. That's American exceptionalism. Something President Obama would not clearly state when asked, which is very important for my President. His quote was that we think we are exceptional just like "Greece believes in Greece exceptionalism." That doesn't cut it. We aren't just another nation. We have to believe in the idea of America and the American dream. Fix it where it's broken, but don't change it to resemble European utopian experiments that lead to drastically lower living standards. I don't want that for us! I don't want that for you! That's why I cannot vote for Mr. Obama. Everyone wants to say it doesn't resemble socialism (there it is, sorry) but no matter where you look you see it creeping in. I see that with my own eyes and not a politicians tweet. (Continued next post)

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tyler 5 years, 11 months ago

(Continued, 3) My family owns a small local business. When taxes go up, we suffer. They are set to get up dramatically in 2013. When they've gone up in the past, we had to cut hours and let people go just to keep the doors open. Not to be greedy. If we didn't, the store would have closed and the rest of the staff would have lost their jobs too. That's what more taxes do to small businesses and small businesses are the backbone of the economy, generating the majority of jobs. So if you snap the backbone, what then?

And these ideas aren't new. When taxes are cut, people have more income. They spend more. The economy strengthens. Standard of living goes up. Health goes up. Happiness goes up. Higher taxes do the opposite. I like being happy. I want others to be happy. I want others to have a chance to be rich even! Wealth is good! It's good for everyone! Kick out the shysters, but leave the baby in the bath water for goodness sakes! If you ONLY tax the rich, (I'm talking France's 75% tax they just passed) the rich just leave. Call them greedy, but they still leave. What then? Do you pass the huge tax on them anyway and make them leave? Not to MENTION that even if you taxed every rich person 100% of their income it wouldn't even make a dent in the deficit. So on its face that's not even the solution.

So as far as Obama goes, I have seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears a steady and constant tone of class warfare (millionaires and billionaires), gender warfare (war on women), large government tendencies (spread the wealth around, you didn't build that, universal-ish healthcare), a shaming of America (or at the very least a refusal to even acknowledge what makes us special), suspicious corroboration with Russia (Putin is not good for human rights! Look into it! Neither is China for that matter), saying he will have more "flexibility after the election." Any one of those things would be HIGHLY suspect in my view, much less ALL of them!

Then you have Romney. Watch both of their closing arguments in the debates to understand my view of the difference between the two men. Note the focus on the Constitution and the very idea of America. Obama makes me feel bad about being American and Romney makes me feel good about being American, as a President should. And I don't think that's a coincidence. There is a very real and very stark difference in their vision of who we are and who we should be. Sorry for the long post, but these things cannot be explained any other way.

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tamikacurley 5 years, 11 months ago

Ms. Donna, you never cease to amaze me with your keeping it real editorials! I do believe, now, more than ever, that racism is worse because it's written into policies. Keep up the good work! We have to be the voice of hidden agendas and let everyone know.

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donnaladd 5 years, 11 months ago

The hand-wringing over the GOP's race/extremism problem is really heating up after last night. Politico reported these statements by Republicans today:

“Our party needs to realize that it’s too old and too white and too male and it needs to figure out how to catch up with the demographics of the country before it’s too late,” said Al Cardenas, the head of the American Conservative Union and a longtime GOP leader. “Our party needs a lot of work to do if we expect to be competitive in the near future.”

Rep. Cory Gardner

(R-Colo.), a prospective 2014 statewide candidate in a state moving sharply to the middle, was just as blunt: “After tonight, the GOP had better figure out that a big tent sounds good, but if there aren’t any seats in it, what good is it.” The desperate straits Republicans find themselves in are structural. But Romney should not be completely absolved of responsibility for his party’s ebb. He galloped to the right on immigration and reproductive issues in the GOP primary and only awkwardly attempted to move to the middle on those issues in the fall. His 50s-era persona was almost comically far removed from Americans who are in their 20s and 30s. And he never attempted to distance himself from or truly challenge a Republican Party that still bears bruises left from the Bush years.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83472.html#ixzz2BZ8UiDYc

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donnaladd 5 years, 11 months ago

BTW, that story points out that Romney ran a classist and racist campaign -- both huge problems (that often overlap) for the GOP.

Now, we need to also ask when the political media are going to start calling this stuff out for what it is and ensure that they are diverse enough to know what they're seeing. How's your diversity looking, Politico?

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tstauffer 5 years, 11 months ago

Just the headline on this Slate story put the argument in stark relief, and shows the demographic problem the GOP has on the national level.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/scocca/2012/11/mitt_romney_white_voters_the_gop_candidate_s_race_based_monochromatic_campaign.html

Spoiler: The headline is "Eighty-Eight Percent of Romney Voters Were White"

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donnaladd 5 years, 11 months ago

The Slate story nails it on the problem with institutional racism in media:

The white-run political press remained in denial about Romney's narrowly race-based candidacy right up to the end, mistaking the anomalies inside the white bubble for the general political climate. Thus in the final week before the election, the New York Times reported from Pennsylvania:

"[T]here is a tangible sense—seen in Romney yard signs on the expansive lawns of homes in the well-heeled suburbs, and heard in the excited voices of Republican mothers who make phone calls to voters in their spare time—that the race is tilting toward Mr. Romney."

Obama won Pennsylvania by five points.

Not only have so much media missed the realities of our new demographics, but they have not called out blatant racism in the vast majority of cases. They need to grow up and be responsible.

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