Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Is Racism Driving Opposition to Obama?
As President Obama’s popularity has suffered some Democrats have said that race is what motivates the mounting opposition to Obama.
Charlie Rangel and Jimmy Carter are probably the most senior Democrats to make such an accusation. Is it true that race is what’s behind the tea parties and town hall protests?
I don’t think so. Before going on though, let’s be clear: there’s still racism in America and some whites who can’t deal with the idea of a black President. But I think it’s a small minority.
Let’s consider the healthcare protests. It’s true that Obama is struggling mightily to achieve universal healthcare. He has been tarred as a socialist and a liar. But remember that white Presidents have struggled when taking on healthcare. Bill Clinton saw his efforts to reform healthcare blow up in his face in the 1990s. The same is true for every Democrat since Truman. Were opponents all racist then?
Some were. But most opposed universal healthcare because they thought government would run healthcare poorly, because it would cost too much, or because they just disagreed with the idea that it’s government’s responsibility to help people with healthcare.
Now healthcare protesters might be wrong. But that doesn’t make them racist.
To read some excellent coverage of this issue, go here.