When one declares oneself to be a conservative, one is not, unfortunately, thereupon visited by tongues of fire that leave one omniscient. The acceptance of a series of premises is just the beginning. After that, we need constantly to inform ourselves, to analyze and to think through our premises and their ramifications. We need to ponder, in the light of the evidence, the strengths and the weaknesses, the consistencies and the inconsistencies, the glory and the frailty of our position, week in and week out. Otherwise, we will not hold our own in a world where informed dedication, not just dedication, is necessary for survival and growth.

William F. Buckley Jr., Feb 8, 1956, NR

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

White Men Can't Jump So Be Nice to The Black Guy

Into the White House strolls the most unprepared President in modern history, but Barack Hussein Obama is also the first person of color. He has no resume to recommend him, save a series of rather remarkable electoral successes. He also comes in with the most radical agenda in the history of this country, except for perhaps Woodrow Wilson and FDR. Nearly 49 million people voted against him, yet, he enjoys stratospheric popularity, even among elected Republicans. Why?

I'm no psychologist but I've seen this before. The phrase that comes to mind used to be the subject of 80s sit coms. "Some of my best friends are_____." I have a theory about Obama's outsized popularity and it has nothing to do with issues. It has to do with fear. As infants, we are born with only one fear, the fear of falling. As we mature, we take on all kinds of phobias and among adults, the fear of public speaking has long held the top slot, followed by the fear of snakes, heights, etc.

If you could do a double secret blind poll of white adults, for many, the fear of being called a racist would rank right up there with the fear of public speaking, which ranks higher than the fear of death. So it stands to reason that so many, who would be naturally critical of Obama, have backed off. Now, it's also current reality that most conservatives (those that would be critical) are also not black.

Now, as one born in an era when the clerk typed "Negro" in the box for "race" on my birth certificate, I hereby give leave to white conservatives to criticize Obama. White liberals, feel free to chime in too! One of the phrases that emerged from the Bush administration that I really liked (although, I didn't like the program it was associated with) was the soft bigotry of low expectations. Now, I know that this will subside somewhat over time as it becomes clear just how radical and wrong Obama is, but by then, much of the opportunity to make a difference may be lost.

To be clear, I'm not advocating the kind of hateful rhetoric that was assigned to Bush by the left because most of that was mean spirited and reflexive. I'm talking about considered expressions of honest philosophical differences. Besides, I'm sick of seeing the guy playing basketball while he's in motion and everyone else is standing still. He must take after his mother's side athletically, because the pictures indicate that you couldn't slide a piece of paper between his shoes and the floor when he "jumps" and everybody knows white men can't jump!

17 comments:

Clay said...

It's sure a stupid reason to approve of someone you don't agree with.

Jennifer said...

I think this was an awesome post Craig! I think you should rant more often!! I think many people are afraid of the r word and go above and beyond to not get labeled. I frankly don't give a crap. Does that make me a bad person? No! Maybe not very politically correct one and I actually take pride in that. I think that is one of the reasons that he got elected too, but nobody is brave enough to put it out there because of what they would be labeled. Don't worry about me Craig.......I'm not afraid to challenge him when he needs it. Besides he is only half white and I think EVERYBODY forgets that fact including him, unless it's convenient!

TRUTH-PAIN said...

CB ~
Funny you should post this...., I have been tip-toeing through the proverbial tulips trying to complete a similar piece...... , and I've been wondering why I can't finish the damned thing. It is not for political correctness (I have none...), but there IS an unknown fear of being interpreted as something i know I am not.
.... In the end, I believe the same body that made him Superman,... will take off his cape..... (the media complex).... tic toc tic toc.....

Gayle said...

I don't care whether people call me a racist or not, CB, because I know that I'm not. But you read the post under this one, so you know I'm not worried about holding Obama accountable. I do believe you are right though. I think many people are worried they will be called racist. I don't understand it because if they aren't racist then what does it matter to them what other misguided folks think? Many liberals are going to come in and call us racist when we disagree with Obama. It happened to me many times before the election and I imagine it will happen again. It only means I'm getting under their skin and that's a good thing. I'll not convince them I'm not a racist, so I don't even bother to try, but next time they do that I may ask them how they know I'm not black. LOL! I haven't any pictures of myself posted anywhere on the internet! :)

Shaw Kenawe said...

CB,

That is an interesting post. Unfortunately, it is not backed up by any evidence, so it is merely opinion backed up by more opinion. And that's fine, since this blog is about having discussions and sharing opinions.

He has no resume to recommend him, save a series of rather remarkable electoral successes.

Yes, his resume was thin, but he had far more experience than our 16th president had when he was elected during the worst period in our history. And it is no small feat to come from practically nowhere and in 4 years get elected to the most powerful office on the planet. Other men with longer resumes have tried that, and they have failed.

There are things, other than resumes, that appeal to the American people--President Obama was able to go through dozens and dozens of debates in the primaries and in the presidential campaign, and apparently the American people were confident that this young man had the right stuff.

If you could do a double secret blind poll of white adults, for many, the fear of being called a racist would rank right up there with the fear of public speaking, which ranks higher than the fear of death. So it stands to reason that so many, who would be naturally critical of Obama, have backed off.

Again, this is speculation, backed up by no evidence. And I really, really doubt fear of public speaking ranks higher than death. One can survive a bad public speaking experience, but it’s unlikely someone will survive a bad death experience. But that’s just my opinion.


Now, as one born in an era when the clerk typed "Negro" in the box for "race" on my birth certificate, I hereby give leave to white conservatives to criticize Obama.

As he completes one whole week of his presidency, Pres. Obama has most certainly been criticized by black and white commentators in newsprint and electronic media. The right-wing blogsphere is full of it. FOX News, the most watched cable news station in the US has been critical, and the very, very white Rush Limbaugh, who has the largest radio audience in the US, has very, very, ardently wished for Pres. Obama to fail. White and black conservatives have not been the least bit shy about giving their reasons for believing Pres. Obama will be a failure.

To be clear, I'm not advocating the kind of hateful rhetoric that was assigned to Bush by the left because most of that was mean spirited and reflexive.

And to be fair, there are quite a few hateful rightwing blogspots on the internet where this is already happening. Unfortunately, people like the ones here at CC and others, who wish to promote ideas rather than prejudices and invective, are still the exception and not the rule.

I disagree with your premise that Pres. Obama was elected because people were afraid of being called racist. Our ballots are secret. No one knows how we vote. Why would someone fear discovery?

I think the idea that criticizing Pres. Obama = racism is a construct coming out of the right blogsphere. I haven't heard it, and if I did, I'd reject it.

Just like criticizing Israel for its policies is not anti-semetic, neither is criticizing Pres. Obama and his policies racist.

Jennifer said...

"And to be fair, there are quite a few hateful rightwing blogspots on the internet where this is already happening. Unfortunately, people like the ones here at CC and others, who wish to promote ideas rather than prejudices and invective, are still the exception and not the rule."

Yes, there are, and believe it or not, we are being slammed by them for not being as negative as they are. We get it from both sides, not as easy position.......
__________________________________

I'm not so sure Obama won because people were afraid of being racist, but I do believe that race had a lot to do with it. That's been talked about till death so I'm not going to even go any further with that.

People are very quick to throw the term racist around, and I agree with Craig that when people start disagreeing with Obama, that label is going to get thrown around quite a bit.
__________________________________

"Just like criticizing Israel for its policies is not anti-semetic, neither is criticizing Pres. Obama and his policies racist."

You make a point with this quote but I don't think this pertains to the United States as much as racism does.

Just wanted to say Shaw that although we differ on quite a few things, it's nice to be able to discuss and debate it with you....without the attitudes and ignorance that we have come across on here!

CB said...

Shaw,

Interesting, passive aggressive, but interesting. Since my commentary was directed toward white conservatives, which you are clearly not, I might be more inclined to take you seriously if you were trying to free them up as I have. I did not suggest that Obama was elected because of white fear of being called racist. I observed that half of America voted against him, yet he enjoys polling popularity well beyond 50%, having done nothing to merit it, nothing certainly that would appeal to conservative sensibilities.

How many conservatives applaud the closing of Gitmo, the funding of infanticide worldwide, the turning over of Federal EPA compliance to the most ridiculous state standards, the hiring of a tax cheat and the man who engineered the first bailout to run the IRS, a pork laden bill that the CBO says won't produce a single job now or in the future, the expansion of redistributive welfare payments, direct talks with an enemy determined to kill us, the hiring of a woman who will push forward legislation to allow unions to conduct open (not secret) ballots.... and he's just getting started. I'm not interested in arguments supporting the merits of the nonsense I've cited because it's irrelevant! The point is that these are decidedly not conservative positions and the self-imposed muting is what I'm addressing.

I'm also taken by your caricatures of Fox News and especially Rush Limbaugh. I listened to Rush Limbaugh's statements about Obama and I don't know how any serious person can argue that what he said is anything other than principled conservatism. Obama is a left of left socialist. I paid close attention to his statements, his associations and stated intentions (beyond hope and change). If you are a conservative, as Rush Limbaugh is, you do not want a socialist to succeed. I join Limbaugh in that sentiment, I want Obama to fail! Why would I support the ruination of America? Capitalism and freedom created the greatest country on the face of the earth, Novus Ordo Seclorum.

We are unique in our origin and the best country in the world for a reason, Obama wants to dismantle our greatness by addressing what he called America's fundamental flaw. As one who sees government as a necessary evil, a leviathan, I have no interest in growing its size or influence.

TAO said...

The founding of this country was a great act, a revolutionary act. It was an act of great strength against existing ideas and ideals.

I do not yet see Obama one who 'wants to dismantle our greatness...' I believe that the 'dismantling' has occurred more slowly over the last generation with the final last grasp of the dismantling being the Wall Street Bailout.

As far as experience goes, if America picked Presidents by resume then obviously Jimmy Carter would have beaten Ronald Reagan and Al Gore would have easily defeated George Bush. Is leadership a quality derived from beliefs or from experience?

I am against the stimulus but not because I am against government but rather that I believe that government needs to change its ways of thinking.

For some reason government continues to grow regardless of party and in fact it has grown less under Carter and Clinton than it did under Reagan and Bush.

I am sure that Obama represents everything that you are against CB...but you also have to sit back and wonder, especially after the last 8 years, if maybe there isn't a better way to defend this nation other than using troops, if possibily by reaching out to those who may share a religion with the terrorists but not their extremism we might be able to end terrorism faster. We need to understand that workers are consumers and consumers account for two thirds of all economic activity. With the fact that household incomes have steadily dropped since 1999 someone has not benefitted from the economic growth that is promised by supply side economics and that maybe a concentration of wealth in the hands of the few can cause more economic calamities...maybe it is in the self interests of everyone to limit the effect of greed on an economic system...and the effect of wealth on political decisions.

Government did not grow over the last eight years due to the demands of the poor or the working class but rather due to the desire of businesses and the wealthy.

An unfair playing field will destroy capitalism much faster than the poor and the working class marching in the streets....

Arthurstone said...

CB typed (regarding President Obama):

"He also comes in with the most radical agenda in the history of this country, except for perhaps Woodrow Wilson and FDR."

Wait a minute. Yesterday you wrote Obama was a Maoist.

CB said...

Arthur,

Wilson and FDR acted, Obama is just starting.

TAO,

I offer no defense of Bush's spending. Bush was not a conservative. He is more spiritually akin to Truman. FDR is responsible for the steady growth of government because he created special interest politics (political economy) in America. I want to reverse all of that mess, including social security and medicare. Wilson created the federal reserve, the single most hostile act perpetrated against Americans since its advent.

The flaw in America's founding that Obama wants to address is what he described as the Constitution and Bill of Rights focus on "negative rights" (what government can't do to you). He thinks the Constitution should have enumerated what government must do for you.

That thought implemented will destroy this country. We have surpassed the world not because we are better people but because we have a superior system constantly under assault by those who think they have a better design, that government can direct economic activity better than private actors. Wrong!!!

That thinking extended the Great Depression by 7 years, it created the stagflation of the late 70s and early 80s, the housing bubble and financial crisis we're currently enduring. It's not just taxes or spending either, it's the relentless attempt to legislate every aspect of our private lives of the private economy, that is crushing us.

Obama knows all of this. He knows that what he's proposing will not work to create jobs or stimulate the economy. That's why he wants Republicans to sign on with him. So, why is he proposing $335 million for sexual transmitted disease prevention, to stimulate the economy? Of course not, he is trying to create a permanent Democrat majority by making as many people dependent upon government as possible.

Arthurstone said...

CB typed:

"FDR is responsible for the steady growth of government because he created special interest politics (political economy) in America."


Except he didn't.

Pork barrel, a term with which I'm sure you're familiar, was used as far back as 1817 to describe John Calhoun's 'Bonus Bill' to provide highways from the east to the western territories.

Ted said...

Obama says his "recovery plan will include UNPRECEDENTED measures that will allow the American people to hold [his] administration ACCOUNTABLE" yet Obama refuses to be held ACCOUNTABLE to the same American people for his UNPRECEDENTED refusal to show his actual birth certificate.

TAO said...

CD,

First off, Obama did not ask for STD education that was a Pelosi add on...lets give credit where credit is due! :)

I do not believe that it is our system of government that makes us superior but rather that as people, with our geography and our history, we are different. If you believe it is our system rather than our people then obviously you could implement our system of government anywhere in the world and you would create a superior nation and that has not been the case. A system of government is controlled by and defined by people thus I believe it is the people that make the difference.

Lets not forget the gold standard, which was a Republican, or the concept that supply trumps demand in dictating economic activity which again was a Republican.

Whether you use government spending to manipulate economic activity or taxes to manipulate economic activity you still are having government dictate economic decisions and under the democrats you have one group of dependants and other the Repbublicans you have another group of dependants.

That was why the Wall Street bail out started off as only a three page document when Hank Paulsen announced it and why it sailed through the house and senate.

As soon as everyone realizes that no political party is without its supporters who benefit from their gaining office and that both parties want to prime the pumps for the benefit of their special interests groups at the expense of the country as a whole then we might get somewhere....until then Democrats and Republicans are pretty much Vanilla and French Vanilla in my mind.

Chuck said...

Criticism of Obama may bring about the "post-racial" world he said he strived for. Few things are more equalizing than being mercilessly attacked same as every president before him.

Personally, while I do recognize the historical significance of a black man becoming president, I am completely comfortable criticizing Obama. In fact I will do it often. :)

Ted said...

OK, OK, OK, enough already, I can’t take any more hoaxes: First we have Al Gore’s global warming, next comes Obama being a constitutionally qualified President, followed by Obama’s stimulus plan, but now we have Robert Reich telling us why we need stronger unions. Are we heading for Saturday Night Live 24/7?

Gayle said...

Oh, if only it were just a fictional television program! Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Always On Watch said...

To be clear, I'm not advocating the kind of hateful rhetoric that was assigned to Bush by the left because most of that was mean spirited and reflexive. I'm talking about considered expressions of honest philosophical differences.

I agree.

I just hope that the majority of American voters have something to think with. They are so drawn in and deceived by sound bites and slogans. Getting to this sorry state is the result of decades of conditioning by the media and our school systems.

In time, as the Dems' policies directly affect the people, the people make wake up. By then, a lot of damage will have been done, however.