Throughout the first term of Barack Obama’s presidency, the Far Right has waged an all-out war against him, fueled by much racial animus. There can be no debate that the darkest, most barbaric side of conservatism has controlled the way Republicans have framed their debate and challenged the President of this nation.
This must be repeated: To most conservatives, Barack Obama is an aberration of history; a misstep that should have never been allowed to happen in a civilized society such as the United States of America, a nation that has built entire cities, towns and states on bigotry, racism and slavery. Much of the dialog amongst those of GOP persuasion has been that of how Barack Obama has to be something, anything else other than an American citizen, legally and fairly elected to the highest office of the land by a majority of the American people. There are still an alarming number, like Sheriff Joe Arpaio, devoting their entire lives to the “otherness” of Barack Obama, fully convinced in their heart of hearts that the increased melanin in his skin is the mark of a sinister, foreboding intent.
And to an electorate filled with fear, embittered at the loss of their power, and driven mad by their obsession to reclaim their power, yea, their very societal and racial dominance, Barack Obama’s election is sacrilege; an intrusion into the sacred order that demands his complete and total political obliteration. And the very thought of his being reelected is one that fills them all with fearful, psychotic rage.
The New York Times’ visual op-ed writer Charles M. Blow said this:
Every time they see this guy step up to a podium behind that presidential seal, a little bomb goes off in their mind and [say], 'This cannot be true. This can't be happening.' They're living some sort of nightmare in which this person, Barack Obama, has somehow tricked us, he has done something to America. This is not how it was supposed to happen. The ruling classes in America were supposed to continue to rule infinitum. This was not how it was supposed to go down. He's not part of one of the American political dynasties. He's not part of a rich American family. He is not even part of the slave legacy of America. Who is this guy in our White House?'And that is what makes these little bombs go off in their heads every time they see him.
A second Obama term would be the penultimate confirmation of the fear that every white Far Right-winger has: that this country is no longer the bastion of dominance over every other minority. The United States of America, having asked long ago for the “tired”, the “poor”, and the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free”, is becoming a nation where those “huddled masses” are becoming increasingly successful, despite attempts to undermine this reality. As Fareed Zakaria put it so beautifully in his book The Rise of the Rest, the “rise of everyone else” is in full effect, and as long as Obama remains President, he remains the most undeniable evidence of its truth.
So when one of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s surrogates, sent over to Europe to pave the way for his arrival, begins his mission by decrying the Obama Administration’s apparent lack of “Anglo-Saxon heritage” according to the Daily Telegraph, this should come as absolutely no surprise. That a campaign adviser would actually let something like this leave his lips without being immediately dismissed, and that a very weak denial of the adviser saying such things was given should be the most undeniable indicators of who this political party truly wants to represent, not to mention the insult to intelligence in that there was no request made by the Romney campaign to the Daily Telegraph to issue a retraction.
Charles Blow wrote in his “Campaign Stops” blog yesterday the following as to why all this is taking place:
No amount of corporate money and voter suppression can hold back the demographic tide washing over this country. As each of these gaffes further reaffirms the Republican Party’s hostility to minorities, the shorter the party’s lifespan becomes.
While the use of the term “gaffe” is debatable, the fact remains that this country is changing, and the change is not in favor of the angry white Christian male voting bloc that has grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle over the last thirty years. The Anglo-Saxon comment will forever haunt this campaign as the day the Republican Party’s race to the bottom began in earnest, and the world bears witness.