Sunday, August 24, 2008

Waving the Eye-Holed Bedsheet

Oh, for crying out loud... A Tip of the Toque to Ken at It Comes in Pints.

So apparently, if you notice that Barack Obama is skinny, you're actually making veiled references to his ethnicity.

I don't recall if I actually stated this or not at any point in this blog's past, but one of the things about watching the Democratic primaries that filled me with a sense of dread was the knowledge that regardless of whether Obama or Clinton won, we were in for a general election campaign season in which the left's response to any criticism of their candidate would be to call the critic(s) prejudiced. If Hillary had won, it would have been "SEXISM!", but since Obama won, the cry we hear whenever anyone questions his fitness for command is "RACISM!"

I started writing this post back on August 7, but set it aside to deal with regular life stuff. Since then, a lot more has been said regarding this. But the penultimate example of that of which I speak was pointed out to me by Ace of Spades HQ earlier today (Yesterday by the clock): a writer at Slate has actually stated that "If Obama Loses Racism is the only reason McCain might beat him."

Has it really come to this? Yes, yes it has. I foresaw it coming some time ago. And here's why I believe it has happened:

Set aside the cynical machinations of the political operatives, both sides employ those, and each side's operatives use slightly different tactics to acheive similar strategic goals. So why has the Obama camp been so successful in spreading this particular theme? In part because they're simply perpetuating what a lot of the people on the left actually believe. Not all, but the most adamant and died-in-the-wool leftists and liberals do. They really honestly believe that if you vote against Barack Obama, you must be a racist.

Logically speaking, their reasoning is valid, but not sound, because their premises are not true. Their argument, which I believe for most is almost subconscious, goes something like this: Barack Obama's idealogy is, almost to a T, their own idealogy. Politically AND philosophically, regarding matters of foreign and domestic policy, economics, Obama really does reflect and represent the beliefs and aspirations of the American Left. And these beliefs, this idealogy, is so dearly held, so firmly and completely believed, that they cannot fathom anyone in their right mind believing otherwise. Therefore, if someone is opposed to Obama, why, it CAN'T be because he simply disagrees with the man's politics, because those are impeccable! There must be some more nefarious reason, some personal vendetta! And once that conclusion is reached, it's a fairly short hop to note Obama's pigmentation and decide that the ulterior motive is racism. The person's real fault isn't that they're bigots, it's that they're not doctrinally sound. But since that doesn't compute, the Left falls back on the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Which explains why everything John McCain says critical of Obama must be racism, whereas actual racist comments by Obama's running mate are excusable, even "Strengths".

To be fair, the same could be said of many of the beliefs held by those of us on the right -- some of those beliefs more commonly held by the right than others, but still, without much effort I'm sure I or my readers could come up with a quick list of things that most conservatives, both religious and non-religious, as well as quite a few libertarians, would argue are so blazingly apparent that they surely CAN'T be disputed with intelligence (The phrase "We hold these turths to be self-evident" comes to mind).

So why don't we all start claiming that everyone who supports Obama or opposes our candidates or positions is evil (or racist or whatever other variation of evil you want to pick)? Well, some of us do, and they embarrass most of the rest of us. And almost all of us are sure that SOME of our oponents ARE evil, or at the very least, self-interested and not concerned with upholding those truths we support. But we also acknowledge that not everyone who is on the left, particularly those who fall in the category of "Liberal" (in the modern, not classical sense) as opposed to outright socialist, has evil in their hearts or minds when they vote as they do. That's because we tend to filter our views of such people, to varying degrees, through Hanlon's Razor. It's possible that some of those on the left really do hate our system of government and/or way of life and want to replace it with somehting else, but except for the hard-core Marxists out there, it's more likely that people who vote opposite of the way I would truly mean well, they just haven't really thought through the logic of what they conclude they believe and support. It's like one of those cults where the congregations are true believers, and the "clergy" are the ones who know it's really a con game, and the deeper you get the less an innocent victim you become, and the more you join the ranks of the deceivers.

So let me spell it out for everyone out there who really believes that conservatives oppose Barack Obama because we're racist and he's black. No. We oppose him because we oppose his political views, just as we opposed Kerry and before him Gore and Clinton etcetera etcetera.... We don't like his ideas, we don't like the politics he and his party espouse, and we would rather not have someone who THINKS like him in the White House.

That's not to say there aren't racists who will oppose him, simply because of his color. Hell, he lost votes in the DEMOCRATIC primaries because of that, just as his opponents probably lost the votes of people who SUPPORTED him simply because they wanted a black president.

But really, for most of us, it truly is more about creed than color, more about policy than pigment. So when Obama says that we oppose him because he doesn't look like other presidents, my reply is that most of us oppose him because he reminds us TOO much of certain presidents.