So I get this campaign donation letter from the Republican National Committee, stamped “past due” on the envelope with my member status marked as “LAPSED” on the statement inside and I’m thinking that if someone was mishandling things this bad at the RNC then Democrats may have a better chance at winning in 2012 than some people think. I have never been registered as a Republican and if they think everyone with the surname of “Beck” is predisposed to vote along conservative lines then they are not very creative in finding people they can pander to for political donations. But I forget we live in a wired world these days and the fact that I did subscribe to a conservative website months back (but have since cancelled) in order to better “know thy enemy”, I will forever be on those list everyone passes around looking for potential contributors to their causes.
Attached with this statement is a letter from newly-elected RNC Chair, Reince Priebus that claims he has “tried contacting [me] many times but … has not heard from me”. Sorry Reince, this is the first I have heard from you ever, so strike two for your organization’s lack of a sound data base on potential donors. But I am able to derive some small pleasure from this glitch. Besides engaging in a little bit of devious behavior by making the RNC pay for the postage in their pre-paid postage envelope when I return their statement with“Obama/Biden 2012” written across it, I will also be helping the US Postal Service pay some of their bills to cover their enormous cost overruns.
I was encouraged to write this post however by something that was expressed in the RNC’s letter. In it they targeted all Democrats as“Obama Democrats” . If only that were true we would have had a health reform bill that passed with a government option and real finance reform that would have regulated the use of those financial products whose excessive abuse brought this nation’s economy to it knees – credit default swaps. But it was the association of Obama’s name with all Democrats that struck a nerve with me and had me thinking once again how the political right uses Obama’s name as a derisive means to exploit that voting bloc in society that has a narrow-minded view of what an American should be like.
How many on the far right have tried to connote Barack Obama’s name in a derogatory form that only those on the extreme fringes of the GOP would detest? It’s not hard to imagine how many conservative white people hate the President because his name is so “unAmerican” sounding. Hell, by some accounts there may be white liberals who feel the same. I’m sure there are those that also see his color as objectionable but I’ll avoid that argument for this writing.
We’ve all heard the references of Obamacare, Obamanomics and anything else they can pin his name to in order to agitate the traditionalists who keep crying that they “Want My America Back”, as if the change that people voted for in 2008 was some kind of heresy against what we used to refer to as W.A.S.P’s – White Anglo-Saxon Protestants; that segment of society that until Kennedy was elected in 1960 dominated politics and who did everything they could to make sure only “their kind” was ever elected to office.
Just the mere thought that someone with such a foreign sounding name was sitting in the Oval office who was also black and had remote ties with people of Islamic faith has got to be giving fits to nearly every Judeo-christian conservative with Western European ancestry. My memory is not as sharp as it once but I cannot recall the opposition derisively attaching a candidate’s name to most social and economic policies as the right-wing under the GOP has done with Barack Obama.
It must have been difficult for those who selected Reince Preibus to represent the GOP after ousting Michael Steel but at least he is white, of western European heritage and is a member of the Greek Orthodox church, a splinter group of Christianity in a manner of speaking. But I’m sure if someone on the left spent the time disparaging his name like those on the right have with Obama, he too would be rejected by this neo-WASP mentality that is so prevalent at GOP Town Hall meetings. Using his Greek-Orthodox religion he could be portrayed as a low Western schismatic who threatens to increase the budget with his expense to pay for millions of “smashed plates”.
Along with the alien sound of the Obama name to ultra-conservatives is the association many anti-government extremists are making with the policies passed under his administration as being “socialist”.
Demonizing your enemies has always been part of the political process and the use of such extremes is not uncommon with both Parties. But it usually went hand in hand with sound policies offered to the voting public that propped up their claim as a viable alternative. That part of campaigning is substantially missing from the rhetoric of GOP candidates. Rather than try to defend their failed policies of trickle down economics and promoting “freedom” through military intervention, which is really code for defending big corporate interests around the world, they devise schemes and talking points that diminish the value of the policies that have had significant positive affects on building a strong middle class.
The tactics of the GOP is a campaign of derision. They have laid out nothing constructive to deal with the high jobless rate and they align themselves with corporate interests over the interests of the general public. They have rejected the concept of compromise by opposing every bi-partisan idea extended by Obama to get this country back on course. Not because they were bad ideas (some were even suggestions Republicans have previously made as they did here and here) but because they might actually be effective. That would mean that the black man with a foreign sounding name who some think is a Muslim might get re-elected.
If this is successful then America will have turned a milestone and that is something that Obama’s detractors are tenaciously fighting to prevent. Change is only a good thing to these people if we change back to a time that no longer reflects reality in today’s world.