Paul R. Lehman, Republicans and the Politics of Bigotry

July 31, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Posted in American Bigotry, Bigotry in America, Ethnicity in America, Race in America | 3 Comments
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When most people hear the word bigot, the first association
they make with it is one of ethnic prejudice. And, in many cases they would be
correct. The word bigot, however, has a broader context as we see in the
reference from The American Heritage
, “bigot…A person who
is rigidly devoted to his own group, religion, race, or politics and is
intolerant of those who differ.” The key word in this reference is politics because it describes and
explains the efforts of the Republican Party in regards to their actions
towards President Obama. The focus of their action against the President since
his election has come in the form of an Ad hominem (Latin for “to the man”)
argument. In essence, they focus their actions on trying to discredit the
character of Obama in an effort to arouse the emotions or prejudice of the
people. That particular argument is usually seen as a fallacy because it lacks
creditable evidence or facts. None-the-less, the Republicans have tried to
discredit President Obama from the areas of politics, policy, and position.

Bigots are not stupid people, so they would never state
clearly their intentions with regards to an individual unless they felt safe in
doing so. Evidently, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and republican
titular leader Rush Limbaugh felt safe in their public statements about
President Obama. Sen. McConnell stated that he wanted to make “Obama a one term
president.” Limbaugh said that he “wanted Obama to fail.” In any event, these
leaders in the Republican Party did not hide their feelings regarding President
Obama. Although their focus was on Obama, the President, many of their comments
were wrapped in a political cloth masking their intentions. All the negative
actions and conditions of America were placed on the back of the democrats, and
Obama would make matters worse. As a matter of fact a campaign of fear and
uncertainty was created by the republicans because Obama and the democrats were
leading the country. America was told on a regular basis that society was
“going to hell in a hand basket” because the democrats and especially Obama
were in control. The sole objective of the republican effort was to discredit
President Obama, the man. The fact that he was a democrat helped to hide the
republicans’ strong feeling against him.

When someone has strong negative feelings against someone
else, there has to be a reason or reasons which can be verified. For the
republicans, all the policies made, changed or simply addressed by Obama were
viewed as wrong, ineffective, or dangerous. Again, although criticism was
focused on an Obama policy or statement relative to a policy, the primary
objective was always to discredit Obama. We can tell the objective of the
republicans to discredit Obama when they offer a policy for consideration and
he accepts it where upon they then reject it. Evidently nothing was wrong with
the policy until Obama accepted it. This situation of using policy as a cover
can be seen in the actions of the Republican Party regarding the issue of the
nation’s “debt ceiling.” When the republicans complained that they did not want
to include any actions that would raise taxes, the President made the agonizing
choice to go along with their wishes in an effort to keep the country from
going into default. Again, once the decision had been made to accept a bill
that included no tax increase, the republicans rejected it. This type of action
occurred time and time again. In each and every case, the republicans did not
place the blame for lack of action on the democrats, but on President Obama.
Why? Because they want to discredit him.

From the first day of his presidency, Obama has been the
subject of ridicule, protest, and rejection by many in the Republican Party.
His nationality was challenged; people called the “birthers” led a strong
effort to convince America that Obama was not a citizen of the United State. In
addition, some people were led to question his patriotism and love of
democracy. He was called a communist, fascist, socialist, Muslim, Hitler, and a
host of other uncomplimentary names. All with the intent of discrediting the
character of the man, Obama. Because Obama is both a democrat and an African
American the republicans can safely practice political bigotry without being
singled out for ethnic bigotry. However, one can dismiss the political part of
the prejudice when the republicans are willing to plunge the country into financial
disaster for no apparent reason than to discredit Obama as a leader. For the
republicans, all problems lead to Obama.

Finally, one must ask the question, why do the republicans
want to discredit President Obama? The answer is fear—fear that Obama will
succeed at being the Leader of the Free World, the Leader of the greatest
nation in the world,  and the President
of the United States of America. They fervently believe that if Obama wins,
they lose. They lose their sense of privilege, superiority, and power because
they would have to admit and recognize Obama as their leader. McConnell,
Limbaugh and other Obama critics, grew up in a society that viewed African
Americans stereotypically as less than or not equal to European Americans. That
belief was not simply a passing fancy; it was a deep-seated belief that forms
the bases of their identity. Their identity would be destroyed if they were
ever forced to see and accept  Obama as
an equal or worse, their leader.

Americans must become concerned when their elected officials
abandon their political responsibilities to their constituents in favor of
trying to discredit or destroy one man. Why would they put the entire nation at
risk simply to try and make Obama look like an inept, unintelligent,
irrational, and uninformed person who lacks the credentials to be a leader,
much less the President? They must save themselves at all cost. Once they lose
the ability to see themselves as above or better than someone like Obama, they
have nothing of value left with which to distinguish themselves. Bigotry,
ethnic or political can drive some people to do things that question and
challenge their sanity. But, after all, is that not the nature of bigotry?



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  1. Excellent, well put. This will not change until enough people challenge these tactics and understand that undermining the President at all costs cost everybody.

  2. Excellent, well said. This will not change until the people challenge these tactics and understand that undermining the President at all costs, cost everyone. Regular people of every ethnicity will suffer until the reality of what is happening sinks in. Let’s all pray the people wake up.

  3. whats up, love your blog about when did the republicans not raise the debt ceiling

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