Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

If this Guy is Right . . .

. . . and Ohio really is full of a bunch of redneck, backwoods, racist, rubes it’s rather amusing to note that--at least according to this article and contrary to the received opinion of media elites--so many of them appear to be Democrats rather than Republicans. Walter Shapiro makes the case that, at this moment, Obama is picking up just 82% of Ohio Democrats whereas John McCain and Sarah Palin are commanding 90% of the Ohio Republican vote. He suspects--and not without some (at least superficial) evidence--that it has something to do with race noting Hillary’s trouncing of Obama in the primary with 64% of the white vote as opposed to Obama’s mere 34%. He also notes Governor Ted Strickland’s recent chiding of Democrat supporters about "the elephant in the room" that is not a Republican.

Yet, when he seeks to explain the phenomenon by interviewing real, live, Ohio voters, he doesn’t talk to any of these racist Democrats. Instead, he focuses on the voters who may actually call the election in Ohio: Independents. Among them he finds a former Ron Paul supporter who is now smitten with Sarah Palin, another guy who never pays attention to politics until the last minute but is not impressed with Obama, and a waitress who is not even registered to vote and is not likely to register. The waitress, by the way, was inclined to support Obama--though she also thought Palin hailed from Canada . . . Not a good sample for Mr. Obama.

All of these people and the decided nature of the contest between Republicans and Democrat voters may help to explain the possible increasing importance of undecided and independent voters in Ohio and the way that the election is shaping up between McCain and Obama with them. But these illustrations don’t do much to shed light on the problem first diagnosed by the article: i.e., the problem Democrats seem to be having maintaining solid support from their base in Ohio. It’s not impossible that there is a large chunk of Democrat voters in Ohio who simply will not vote for a black man . . . though, if this really is the case, then some serious self examination is long overdue for that party. Ken Blackwell’s failed bid for the governorship doesn’t help to explain much either: he was a Republican running in an election where Republicans were viewed as stupid sell-outs on the national level and corrupt sell-outs on the state level. That Blackwell did not win was certainly tied to the Ohio GOP’s own need for self-examination--though less for racism than for stupidity and corruption.

Racism in Ohio is becoming a familiar charge, but I begin to wonder if it’s not becoming too familiar, too reflexive, too unthinking. Might it not also be true that Barack Obama’s brand of effete, "Democratic" and "elitist" politics just doesn’t sell with the same intensity on America’s first Western frontier as it seems to do on the two coasts and among those in less independent states who look government first for an answer to their hardships? Al Gore’s sure didn’t and John Kerry’s didn’t either. Organization and lectures from self-righteous and indignant Ohio politicians notwithstanding, perhaps Ohioans just don’t like politicians who are taken with the idea that they are better suited than the people to decide what the people ought to do.

So if this guy is right, then the media is missing a big story about Democrats and their racism. But if he’s wrong, the media is missing a much bigger one: the real reason why Ohio won’t go Democrat this November.

Discussions - 14 Comments

I recall a discussion with an ardent Dem about racism.

Of course he was real cavalier with accusations of ongoing racism in the United States.

So I asked the guy to specify those instituions still in the thrall of racism. And I went through a list, and asked him to tell me where the racism was, I mentioned the officer corps, the service academies, the Navy, the Pentagon, State, CIA or FBI, the courts, law schools, med schools, the Ivy League. I asked him to clarify for me where exactly institutional racism existed in the United States today.

Well of course the guy was dumbfounded, for he was being asked to provide the minor and major premises that warranted his conclusion.

And he thought of nothing, but finally he got an idea, and his statement of where racism existed today was ------------------- in the UNIONS.

Well I just burst out laughing, reminding him that the Unions have been in bed with the Democrats for decades. He didn't look too pleased having his positions so effortlessly exposed.

It is pretty remarkable that the Salon article is about the alleged effects of race on Ohio's voting, but it never once even mentions that the Republican Party nominated an African American as its gubernatorial candidate less than two years ago. This is a parody of journalism.

Two favorite episodes from a bar I worked at in Ashland, Ohio this past summer:

Old, Vietnam veteran, white blue-collar worker: I don't like McCain. That's another 4 years of that Bush-Reagan economic B***s***! But I just can't bring myself to vote for a colored man who doesn't like the flag.

Old, white lady who works for a temp service: I don't care if Obama is a Muslim. I'm voting for him anyway. (This was in August! Who still thought he was a Muslim then??)

I think when people talked politics at that bar (which usually got ugly quick), Obama was typically referred to as "that colored fella'". I mean, this is just one bar . . . but it is in a town many of you are familiar with . . . I think there's more to the racism stuff than you think. Does the media inflate it? Sure. They have to for the ratings. But I can't dismiss this stuff . . .

MATT, what about 9 out of every 10 Black voters going for a guy because he shares their skin colour.

But notice I said "institutional" racism. That there are Caucasians, marginal types, ostracized by every sane soul in America, who harbour racist attitudes, is undeniable. But at the INSTITUTIONAL level, ------------ you simply don't see it.

Of course there are certain black "churches," wholly given over to black "liberation" "theology," and guys like Wright and Pflegger, Cone and Meeks, guys that feed on it, whetting it, exacerbating it, pitting American against American, neighbor against neighbor, and deluding themselves that they are preaching the word of the Almighty.

You don't need to wander into a bar to find racism. Wander into some "churches" in urban America.

Matt, the second story you told is a pretty odd example, isn't it? Doesn't it prove that racism/bigotry is not the issue?

I was at a Republican rally in Georgia (surely less "enlightened" than the Ohio that was once culturally the extension of New England) this weekend. One of the three loudest and longest ovations went to Herman Cain. Those racist Republicans!

Of course, all my liberal colleagues are convinced that the color of Barack Obama's skin is going to cost him the election. It has nothing to do with his opinions, the fact that he has never run a competitive campaign against a formidable Republican opponent, or his striking inability to be articulate when not reading a speech from a teleprompter. (Most people I talk to think that his stumbling delivery when speaking off the cuff and responding to questions reveals something about the inauthenticity of the answers he's giving. If he really meant what he said, they think, he'd have an easier time saying it.)

Most all Americans are either ignorant, in denial or just plain naive with respect to the historic issues of race in the USA.

I am not surprised to see the words corruption, stupidity, and racism in the same sentence. As long as a Ohio is known as home of dumb ass rednecks, sorry undereducated, underemployed white people, you will always have the same discussion.

If you want to blame someone for our national birth defect, racism, you have to go to the source Thomas Jefferson. "I advance it therefore as a suspicion only, that the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments of both body and mind." Notes on the State of Virginia, first published in 1787. If you ever wondered where white supremacy came from, now you know.

I voted for Lynn Swann.

And being a Dallas Cowboy fan, and recalling to mind the damage he did to my team in the Super Bowl, along with his pal John Stallworth, ------------------------------------------------- that was very difficult for me. But I did it; I voted for a former Pittsburgh Steeler.

That Governor Rendell was sitting up there on the Eagle bandwagon, and riding it as far as it would take him, --------- that blunted the pain ------------------------------------------------------------ somewhat, but only somewhat. Because I don't much like the Eagles. They haven't done anything, except lose two Super Bowls, yet their fans are insufferable. EVERY other team in the NFC East hasn't just won the Super Bowl, but won it mulitiple times; every other team in that division has had a team for the ages, ----------------- but NOT the Eagles. Yet if you heard their fans, ------------ you'd a thought they prevailed every other year or so. But that's a different subject.............. They may have had their A-game going tonight, but for all that, they still went down.

RETURNING to the issue at bar, had Michael Steele contested for the GOP nomination, and prevailed, I'd a voted for him in a nanosecond. As for Swann, I hoped that Swann would have defeated Rendell and then went on to be tapped for the ticket. I posted as much on this blog.


Nobody is in "denial" about "historic" instances of racism. I'm a Republican; I'm a member of "the Grand Old Party" that was BORN from the abolition movement. WE fought the Civil Rights War. The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments are in the Constitution because the Republican Party took this nation to war AGAINST THE DEMOCRAT controlled Confederacy, and defeated it, on the field.

But we're not talking history here, we're not talking the Confederacy here, nor the Democrat run Jim Crow South. We're not talking here how the Democrats used race to preserve themselves as a national party. Nor are we talking about how to this day they CONTINUE to use race to advance themselves. None of that.

We're talking about today, and we're talking about how if you're looking for evidence of racism, ----------- look to the rank and file of the Democrat party.

The racism we deal with now is the same marginalization of black people that comes from Jefferson's white supremacist mindset. It is a perverted notion that Ken Blackwell, Lynn Swann, Michael Steele and Barak Obama are some how inferior choices in the minds of voters both black and white.

This great nation of ours has come a very long way in regards to race.

Imagine where our nation would be today if The GOP would have maintained Reconstruction, kept the federal agents and troops in the south to suppress the insurgent terror wing of the Democrats aka the Ku Klux Klan. Imagine if the GOP had provided compensation to the millions of economic units who labored and built this great country from sun up to sun down with out monetary compensation. Where would we be today if the abolitionist remained vigilant and did not permit the re-enslavement of millions blacks through peonage and sharecropping. Yes Jim Crow lived and blacks were systemically disenfranchised because of the GOP's battle fatigue.

My only point is, if most Americans were not ignorant in denial or naive about the historic effects of race, and the continued waste of human capital, we would have a more perfect union. Just think I too might be a Republican or a Democrat.

Anon - if Obama was white with a generic, white name, do you believe that my second example would even think that?

And Dan - I thought we were talking about the Ohio electorate. Not on a justification for self-segregating churches. I don't like to talk about the type of institutionalized racism you'd like to discuss, because I'm not black and don't understand it. My grandparents could sit anywhere they damn well wanted to on any bus or in any business or school. I'm not going to pretend to know what it's like growing up hearing those accounts or worshipping in a black church. I suppose that's just my white guilt talking, right?

The subject can be the Ohio electorate, though I didn't see any reason to so narrow it. But the Ohio electorate isn't much different from the Pennsylvania electorate, or the wider electorate.

Race is at issue in this campaign. We have one candidate who told us he was post-racial, and promised a post-racial America, but constantly mentions his race, and then launches accusations of racism where no such racism existed.

That being the case, I took Ohio as merely an example for a larger phenomenon

I didn't mention "white guilt," you did. I never mention that subject. If you desire to immerse yourself in that, check out Shelby Steele, Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell. Or listen to Michael Steele, or Ken Blackwell.

And were the Black "churches" that I mentioned merely "self-segregating" as you described, ------- they never would have been an issue. Americans would have merely deemed them quirky.

But Wright isn't "self-segregating," -------- he's a black supremacist, which is quite different. And he's not the only one. Remember Donna Brazille's comment, when she said as bad as Wright's "church" was, there were far worse out there, and then she said "and I ought to know."

Matt, that is some pretty weak sauce. Your own story proves that she is NOT a racist. If she erroneously thinks that he is a Muslim, and plans to vote for him anyway, that cuts even more in favor of her not being a racist.

Anon - it's the erroneous thinking, brought on by a skin color and a name, that scares me. Great, she's willing to vote for him anyway. That was not my point. I wasn't trying to say that she was a racist. I was just trying to illustrate her misconception of the guy because of his color and the culture he was born into. The "racism" I spoke of was not meant to include her in any kind of direct way. Apologies for the sauce, Mr. Anonymous.

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