Things are not going well for President Barack Obama, so apparently it is time to play the race card. The president himself, after two tremendous victories at the polls in still predominantly white America, cannot restrain himself from playing the victim.
According to Obama, he is being discriminated against and his policies are being assailed by all of us bigots, because he is African-American. Now in the sixth year of his presidency, Obama says discrimination against him is the basis for the health care reform debacle, continuing political problems surrounding the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, claims that his foreign policy is embarrassing and charges that his mismanagement of the economy has caused the lack of jobs.
How pathetic is that ?
Meanwhile, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, heading up the Democrats Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2014 mid-year elections, cites racism as the reason for some Republicans’ resistance to immigration legislation. After all, it is important to get as many immigrants registered as possible, since most of them vote Democrat.
Pelosi, the president and even Attorney General Eric Holder (who appeared at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network convention), all are playing the race card to activate minority voters during a midterm election year. They are worried about losing the Senate to Republicans.
Much of Obama’s support in his two bids for the presidency came from minority voters and young voters. Without Obama on the ballot this time, minority voters, especially African-Americans, may lack the motivation to vote at all, the campaign consultants fear.
The race card was used blatantly when Steve Israel, a top congressional Democrat said on CNN, “the Republican base, to a significant extent, is animated by racism.”
When Holder, who has plenty of his own political baggage, asks, “What other attorney general has ever had to deal with this kind of treatment?” he implies that the administration’s problems are all about his and the president’s color.
Baloney. Obama and his administration’s problems are about their performance on behalf of the American people, whom they serve, both black and white.
Racism is an ugly part of American history, and is rejected by all reasonable-thinking Americans. It must not be allowed any longer to be part of any political contest. Those who now attempt to prey on ignorance for political gain must be expelled from the political arena.
I don’t believe that Americans care if President Obama or Attorney General Holder are black, white or purple. The color of their skin has absolutely nothing to do with their actions or policies.
The real political issues are the state of our economy and the burgeoning cost of health care for all of us. The real dangers are a weak foreign policy and the ongoing threat of terrorism.
We cannot be blinded by any hint of racial divide at such a critical time in human history, not when our very survival is at stake.
Let’s keep the political debate to how we resolve the divide between two strong competing political philosophies: progressive, in which government is seen as the answer to many of our problems, and conservative, in which individualism and personal responsibility are seen as the answer.
Somewhere in the middle, with people of diverse opinions and backgrounds, working together, lies the solution.
Right now we are a wounded nation seeking new leadership and hope. So, don’t try to play the race card with me. I believe that one of the reasons Obama was elected president is because he is African-American, and we are a tolerant, good and still-free country.
Don Roberts is a former city councilor and vice chairman of the Charter Commission in Augusta. He is a trustee of the Greater Augusta Utility District, and a representative to the Legislative Policy Committee of Maine Municipal Association.