Former President Jimmy Carter has brought his peanut-farming/house-building two cents into the Obama opposition fracas by saying that racism is behind a lot of the more fevered criticism. Carter said some white people are “afraid” of a black president and believe that African Americans are less qualified.
“I think it’s based on racism,” Carter said at a town hall held at his presidential center in Atlanta. “There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president.”
The Georgia Democrat said the outburst was a part of a disturbing trend directed at the president that has included demonstrators equating Obama to Nazi leaders.
“Those kind of things are not just casual outcomes of a sincere debate on whether we should have a national program on health care,” he said. “It’s deeper than that.”
And then there’s this “American’s being attacked by their own government” tirade from a Tea Party leader who calls the president the “Racist-In-Chief” and an Indonesian Muslim.
One) Where do they find these people?
Two) Why do they claim to want a “civil” debate then engage in ad hominen attacks on the president?
Three) Why won’t they get off my TeeVee?
There will be some who will argue that Carter was out-of-line for arguing that this healthcare debate that’s not about healthcare is really about racism. But what else is it? I’ve studied socialism. I know what socialism is and this, my friend, ain’t socialism. Fidel Castro is laughing at you. So is Hugo Chavez if you think healthcare reform and the bailouts are indicative of a socialist wave coming through the country. Especially when the bailouts started under the previous administration. The government also grew tremendously under the previous administration and there was barely a peep from these Tea Party people so they can’t be suddenly AFRAID of their government now if the Patriot Act didn’t even worry their little heads at night — along with unwarranted wire taps and internet surveillance.
And Mr. Tea Party in this clip ADMITS that the screaming isn’t about healthcare but about the president himself and what they perceive him as doing. If it’s not about healthcare and if the socialism banter is a red herring, then what else could it be? Are people really that worked up and crying because of Cap and Trade? Are allusions to Nazi Germany common sense when the Nazis were in the war-making, people exterminating business? Last time I checked, the Obama Administration had not floated a “let’s cart all the white folk off to Guantanamo, but leave the Italians because they’re close enough” ethnic cleansing program. Stop insulting the evil that was Nazi Germany by comparing a president who reminds me more of Mr. Rogers than Hilter.
Of course, I would like to ban people from calling people Nazis altogether, from both sides of the aisle, as it’s insulting because no one has remotely come close in American political life to actually being a Nazi. I mean, if wanting everyone to have health care makes you a Nazi, then I’m a Nazi for holding doors open for little old ladies. It makes no sense. If it doesn’t have a totalitarian sheen to it and some warmongering meets let’s kill off an entire group of people, it ain’t a Nazi.
Which leaves us with Jimmy Carter’s argument, that this is really about Obama being a black man and all this socialist, secret Muslim talk is merely code for “black guy scary.” It doesn’t matter that it’s Will Smith and not Wesley Snipes, “black guy all da same and all black guy scary.” No one thought the world was ending when Bill Clinton tried to kick start Universal Healthcare. There were complaints from the Republicans and the industry and Harry and Louise ads and mocking tones about “Hillarycare.” But there wasn’t crying and screaming in the streets mixed with gun toting and swastikas by a recalcitrant minority of people who seem unable to grasp that election ’08 is over and Sarah Palin lost.
(I’m going with a hunch that McCain is probably too mainstream for these folks. The whole tacky affair does have a Palin-esque quality to it though.)
I’m all for free speech, so part of me wants to leave the whackadoos to themselves to whackadoodle their little hearts out. What concerns me is all the fomenting of irrational hatred for the president that goes beyond his policies and to actual attacks on the man’s character and being. That all the provokers like Mr. Tea Party and Glenn Beck and others who poke the bear, stoke the fire and agitate, agitate, agitate for ratings don’t care that it only takes one person to soak up all this insanity as the literal truth and translate it into violence. The fringe is fired up all right, but fired up into what?