So John McCain is accusing Barack Obama of playing the race card. It’s all over the place, in print media, on broadcast media, and on the net, so I won’t bother to reference it. In other words, if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re living under a rock. Obama says that McCain is painting him as the “scary” candidate: “Nobody really thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face, so what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he’s not patriotic enough. He’s got a funny name. You know, he doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He’s risky. That’s essentially the argument they’re making.”
The problem with McCain’s argument, in my view, is that this crap is true. I was home, in Virginia, this week, passing through on my way down to Alabama. A conversation with my step-Mother bore this out. Her neighbors, all conservative as hell and several racist, though they would vehemently deny it, of course, have used the “scary” word to describe Obama. They see Obama as “risky.” They buy into the “roll of the dice” argument. They believe that he has ties to radical Muslim groups and will bring a black power agenda to the White House. It’s hard for McCain to claim that Obama is playing the race card when the argument has so much veracity.
All of this, of course, brings me back to the New Yorker cover and why it made me and so many progressives and Obama supporters so pissed. There is a significant portion of the American public who actually believe this crap: Michelle as radical black power rep, Obama as radical Madrassa adherent, the Obama White House as one where the flag would burn in favor of a Bin Laden agenda. And I’ll speak the truth: the folks who believe this crap aren’t smart enough to recognize that it’s satire. Or if they are smart enough, they’re too racist or buy too much into the smears to do so.
The saying goes that ignorance is bliss. Ignorance, my friends, is not bliss. Ignorance is dangerous. As I’m always begging, educate yourselves and use your vote wisely. And please, for heaven’s sake, educate others.