Some on the left, frustrated by the disappointing presidency of Barack Obama, are resorting more than ever to the politics of ethnicity. Those who don’t like Obama’s policies may be racists, the reasoning goes, because Obama is black.
One problem is the matter of conservative voters in Florida giving an enormous straw poll victory last week to Herman Cain, who is among the more conservative Republican candidates. He is black. Unlike Obama, who did not grow up immersed in American black culture, Cain grew up in Georgia. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from the prestigious and historically black Morehouse College before receiving his masters degree from Purdue. He is an enormously successful businessman and former chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Obama never held a real job for long — outside of a short political career — never ran a company and never served as an executive of any sort. If Obama can be the country’s chief executive, then a man as accomplished as Cain must surely be considered presidential material. So, given the dynamics of the last GOP debate, it is easy to understand why Cain has gained such favor among Florida conservatives. It has to do with his message and his qualifications; not his skin tone.
Cain advocates economic growth, not Obama’s message of redistribution. The vision statement for Cain’s 999 Plan includes this: “We must get the government off our backs, out of our pockets and out of our way in order to return to prosperity.” Limiting government has served this country well. It freed black people from segregation, slavery and all assortments of Jim Crow laws. Laws that oppress minorities are government-imposed racism. Most institutionalized atrocities against blacks were resolved by limiting government’s authority to oppress individuals.
Cain’s limited-government tax plan would replace oppressive and discriminatory federal income, FICA and death taxes with a 9 percent tax on sales, personal and corporate incomes. It’s a flat tax that is worth serious consideration. It is a specific plan for real change to our ridiculous tax code, which we haven’t seen from other candidates.
Clearly it’s a problem for the left to see a black conservative threaten to become Obama’s opponent in 2012. It could reduce the value of the race card.
So here’s how giant liberal media icon Keith Olbermann chose to deal with Cain’s victory. Instead of discussing 999 or other Cain policies, he invited actress Janeane Garofalo on his show to belittle Cain on a basis of his color. Garofalo had earlier accused Cain and other black conservatives of taking big payoffs from racists who simply want to deflect attention from their racism. She has routinely labeled tea party activists as racists.
And here’s what she said about Cain on her most recent visit with Olbermann: “Hermann Cain is, is, is — a — is probably well liked by some of the Republicans because it hides the racist elements of the Republican Party, conservative movement and tea party movement — one in the same. Uh, you know, people like Carl Rove like to keep the racism very covert. Uh, and so, Herman Cain provides this great opportunity so that you can say this is not a racist, anti-immigrant, anti-female, anti-gay movement. Look, we have a black man over here.”
Olbermann nodded, giggled and spoke in agreement. Radicals on the left are obsessed with Obama’s and Cain’s ethnicity. One black man, Obama, espouses the values they believe all black people should hold. Another, Cain, doesn’t obey their ideological dictate. Therefore, Cain and his followers have evil intentions.
It is slavery of the mind. It is white liberals telling black people what their positions must be. Colorado Springs Gazette columnist Ed Jones, a black conservative who grew up in the segregated South, takes heat from white liberals every day for advocating limited government and other conservative principles.
“The shackles have been removed,” Jones said. “You know, blacks are free. We left the plantation. Because of the fact we are free, we can be independent of anyone labeling us anything.”
Let’s stop obsessing about the color and gender of candidates and focus on character, intellect and qualifications.
It’s our best shot at electing the right man or woman.