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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Surveying the iceberg

I am interested in the results of the election in this space for reasons that actually concern my usual concerns, not just my political ones.  Reasons like Karl Rove:

Karl Rove told Fox News' Megyn Kelly on Thursday that President Obama won re-election "by suppressing the vote" with negative campaign ads that "turned off" potential voters, citing a victory that carried a smaller percentage of the popular vote compared to that of the 2008 presidential race.
Which is a subtle way of declaring President Obama's victory illegtimate.  At least, subtler than Bill O'Reilly:
“How do you think we got to that point?” host Megyn Kelly wondered.

“Because it’s a changing country,” O’Reilly insisted. “The demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore and there are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff, they want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama.”

O'Reilly can now only be considered as the person holding the Pat Buchanan White Racist Chair for Inexplicably Remaining on Television.

But then O'Reilly is just a rancid product of the cess pool (there's no other word for it now) which is Fox News,  an organization in which every commentator seems to have a touch of O'Reilly in them.

That the demographics of the country have been changing is undeniable.   One might even say our politics finally caught up with reality, and it has shaken our complacency to its roots.  Interestingly, the promise of the 18 year old voter was also finally achieved, 41 years after the 26th Amendment was approved.  That one was supposed to put George McGovern in office and end the Vietnam War.  That it has finally brought changes to our body politic is a good thing; now let's make it last.

But it's the utter and blatant racism that astounds me.  Richard Nixon, as was pointed out the other night, started affirmative action.  Barack Obama's election four years ago was supposed to prove we were now a post-racial nation; but only the credulous ever really believed that.  My daughter sometimes sounds like a racist herself when she wonders why we still need affirmative action, but I have to explain to her that not putting any importance on race (as she doesn't) is not the same as erasing 400 years of American history.  So I know this struggle isn't over.  I'm not even sure it's started yet.

That language from Sununu last summer about President Obama not being a "real American;" not at all accidental.O'Reilly and Rove and Fox News are making a clear statement about Tuesday:  "real" Americans didn't vote, and those that did don't deserve the vote, because they will only vote themselves money from the pockets of "real," i.e., white, Americans.  White Americans will be the new slaves to the government, the turnabout that was feared with emancipation will finally be achieved, and the social order will be topsy-turvy.  Mind you, as a "Christian" nation we should supposedly embrace this upending with open arms.

Then again, the very idea that we were ever a "Christian" nation, if not prove farcical by history, is certainly proven so by now. 
This will be carried out in religious terms, oddly enough.  The "sanctity" of the vote will become paramount.  The "holiness" of the franchise, it will be argued, must be kept from the undeserving, the unclean, the "other" who is not one of us.

The remaining question is:  will they manage to impose this vision on the nation?  Or will the spin off into their own little bubble universe with it, joining up with neo-Nazis and skinheads and other marginalized groups?

My money is on the latter.  The arc of the universe simply doesn't bend that way.


Anonymous Windhorse said...

This will be carried out in religious terms, oddly enough.  The "sanctity" of the vote will become paramount.  The "holiness" of the franchise, it will be argued, must be kept from the undeserving, the unclean, the "other" who is not one of us.

"Wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross" indeed.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Windhorse said...

It is interesting that the mask - or should I say the hood - has really started to slip off. The sudden and mysterious interest in the abstraction that is the deficit as the critical issue of our time has given way to directly racist remarks like those of Sununu (Powell is voting for Obama because they're both black) and Limbaugh ("we're outnumbered") and blatant stuff from Facebook friends and others like in the graphic you posted. It's ugly, but better to have it out in the open where the sunlight can eventually burn it off. 

4:09 PM  
Blogger Grandmère Mimi said...

...will they manage to impose this vision on the nation?

I think the election of 2012 answers the question. There may be fits and starts. The road may not be smooth, but the times they are a-changin', and the Republicans will find a way to accommodate change, or they will die.

The comments are shocking, but I'm not sure why, because I hear racist comments with my own ears.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Rmj said...

Something different about seeing it in print, isn't there?

And yes, it is better that it is in the open. I don't want to return to the world of "prejudice" and "would you let your daughter marry one" and the other silent consents to racism as the ground upon which our society rested.

Let's bring it out so we can get rid of it.

4:47 PM  
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5:49 AM  

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