Playing the race card requires training

For the last three and a half years we have been told by political pundits who lean left that criticizing the President is racist.  Regardless of the merit of the critique, it is dismissed out of hand because ‘some people just can’t get over the fact that a black man sits in the white house’.  Now, to me, it has seemed like a coordinated effort.  I mean, how could so many people see racism in racially-neutral criticism?  Well, now I have my answer:

(Washington Examiner) — House Democrats received training this week on how to address the issue of race to defend government programs, according to training materials obtained by The Washington Examiner.

The prepared content of a Tuesday presentation to the House Democratic Caucus and staff indicates that Democrats will seek to portray apparently neutral free-market rhetoric as being charged with racial bias, conscious or unconscious.

Any time someone manipulates and misuses a charged topic, it undermines and trivializes real examples of the problem.  For example, when the claim is made that not subsidizing abortion and contraception as a war on women, it trivializes the real war on women in countries where they are treated as chattel, and killed and maimed for not wearing the proper clothing.

In this case Democrats trivialize true instances of racism.  People will eventually see through the charade, and when they do, they will become hardened and skeptical of true instances of racism.  The will be hesitant to react properly to people who have been truly harmed by overt or covert acts of racism.

Pretending there is racial bias and racism where there is none is not only dubious, it’s immoral.  In our society, being branded a racist is one of the more detestable labels someone can own.  It can create incredible social stigma and ruin one’s reputation.  To intentionally attempt to foist the label of racist on someone else when deep down, you know it isn’t true is just plain wrong.

It would seem that the politicians who will inevitably employ this scheme are in fear of losing their seat.  If they cannot run on their accomplishments, then that should be a red light to them that they aren’t worthy of the job they are trying to steal.

Comments

  1. If America was truly a racist nation wouldn’t that hurt Obama?

  2. Lots of things politicians have to dance – race is indeed one of them. Politicians have to pretend to be religious too — just as disgusting. But if they don’t, many of your readers wouldn’t even care about their record.

    I know you have used polls in your side bar. Do you use them in your posts? This post would have been perfect material for my Poll Challenge! Or other polls where you want to just see a “Agree vs. Disagree” result.

  3. Let me try that again.

    If America was truly a racist nation it would seem to me that the charge of racism would not necessarily be a bad thing and wouldn’t help Obama at all. The fact that “racist” is such a horrible charge, and effective too I might add, it seems to me that using the charge of racism as a campaign tactic is an admission that there really isn’t a real problem with racism.

  4. This actually isn’t new. I have read many times over the years where Demokrats get training on how to use any issue to their advantage. Propaganda big time.

    And I’m really sick and tired of being told that Obama is black. He is as much white as he is black and yet the real racists are the ones who don’t want the white part of him discussed.

    • Glenn

      I know both sides engage in a degree of “spin” but this kind of outright deceit is troublesome to me. Especially so given the nature of the content. I haven’t heard of any other intentionally deceitful efforts in the past though.

  5. Suggestion 1: on polls, show “total votes” — percentages without denominators are next to meaningless.

    You constructed this poll such that I will be shocked if anyone says that such behavior is ‘ethical’.

    Suggestion 2: construct polls in such that you expect to get a spread in poll answers.

    • Yes I should use total votes. But this issue I think there is a clear ethical line which Democrats have crossed, such that even the most rigid among them will see these tactics as immoral.

  6. John,
    Like I said, though, I have read in the past that the exact same type of training has taken place. Sometime in the past 4 years, since I started my other blog on social issues (since closed down), I had read about – and posted an article – the same type of training for discussing same-sex fake marriage; how to make it an issue of “equality” or “discrimination” and so forth, which is why suddenly those NOT in the activist groups were using their claims.

    No, it’s nothing new with liberals. When you have no argument, all you have left is vilification of your opponents.

  7. @ John B,
    Sorry John, I don’t understand your reply. Listing Total Votes in your poll (an option with polldaddy) has nothing to do with this issue. ALL polls should list “total votes” in order to be meaningful.

    Second, do you really expect anyone to say “Yes, it is ethical to make false accusations.”?

    • Sabio

      I was just agreeing with you that I should have used “total votes” for the poll. I know it has nothing to do with the subject.

      But as to the poll itself. That’s the point, that what the House Dems have done, educated themselves on how to make non-racial issues and spin them to make Republicans look and sound racist is so unethical that even line-towing Democrats recognize that it is wholly unethical. In other words I don’t expect anyone to vote that it is ethical, thus showing how despicable and desperate Democrat politicians have become.

  8. Ah.
    I agree that it is disgusting what Dems do with the race issue — it pisses me off all the time. Likewise I deplore how Dems play up Republicans as “Evil” or “Heartless”.

    But what would be an amazing post for you to do would be where you list all the tactics Republicans use against Dems that are mere demagoguery. That post would say a lot, in many ways. Otherwise, you seem to only be supporting your favorite team and not supporting truth.

    • Sabio

      I’d be glad to do a similar post about conservatives. However I am unaware of a time where Republican Congressmen have been accidentally caught engaging in a conspiracy to knowingly lie about and slander their political opponents. If you are privvy to such a case pass it along and I’ll give my 2 cents.

      But as I said, I know both sides spin, but this is a case of outright coordinated lying to the public.

  9. Marshall Art says:

    There is demagoguery and there is demagoguery. To rail on about an issue or a characteristic of one’s opponent may lead to harsh rhetoric and perhaps even the use of images that overstate the issue. But, as long as it aligns with the underlying point, I see less problem with it. As Dems know so well, appealing on an emotional level wins major points with the voters.

    The problem is when the appeal is based on an outright falsehood. “War on Women” is a recent example. There is nothing in anything that the right-wing supports that can, in any way, be said to be akin to a war on women, unless we’re allowing that WHATEVER a woman wants, even to kill her own unborn child, and then to deny it is an attack on her. Honest people understand that the opposition to abortion is based on compassion for the unborn, not a means by which anyone hopes to control women.

    On the other hand, when a right-winger says that Obama wants to destroy this country, it is based on the consequences of his proposals foreseen, and usually when compared to other examples of those or similar proposals already having exacted negative consequences elsewhere or in the past.

    So the issue is not so much the rhetoric used, but will the voting population demand the speaker explain his position, why he is saying whatever hyperbolic thing he is saying, and how the opposition responds to it. I’m satisfied that recent history has shown that those on the left are less likely to choose their rhetoric for reasons other than to demonize their opponents more so than because they can find actual fault with what is proposed by them. I’m equally satisfied that recent history has also shown a greater willingness on the part of the right to defend their proposals AND their opposition to proposals of the left.

  10. So, Marshall, you think a post pointing out Republican manipulation would not be next to meaningless since Democrats are degrees of freedom worse. Right?

    PS: JB: you can go back to your poll and update it to add total number of votes. Otherwise, you might as well put up a fake poll — which would be ironically against what this post is railing against.

  11. I notice those things on both sides all the time. But, unfortunately, don’t keep track. But since you are the political junkie, I thought you could keep an ear for the Republican sins and post on them. It would give you more credibility.

    I would be shocked if both did not do the same thing — shocked. But then maybe you are more optimistic about human nature and politics ! :-)

    • Sabio, I don’t disagree that both sides spin things to make their opponents look bad. However, this is the first time in all the time I have been following politics where one side was caught literally conspiring to flat out lie about their opposition. Much to your surprise, and that of the general populace, both sides do not act the same.

    • let me elaborate a bit more. When the left says about the right that “they want to control women” because they appose abortion, I get how they spin to that. They see abortion as a right, conservatives want to eliminate that “right” which women should be able to enjoy, therefore they want to control women. I disagree with the conclusion, but at least there is a structure to the spin. The right has their spin too. I’m not disputing that.

      In this case it is different. They are saying, ‘we will take statements which we know are not racist, and have no racial content, and make them sound racist” That is explicit intentional conspiratorial lying with an attempt to deceive. That is the difference.

  12. Yeah, yours is an empirical claim which I would need much more evidence than your word to believe. Have you been keeping careful tabs these last 20 years? Or even for the last 10 years? I doubt it. I especially doubt it because of the gross generalization which you use against Democrats — your credibility in my book is rather weak. I do believe in your vehemence, however. If this post were about you exposing something you feel disgusting that Republicans had done but Democrats have yet to stoop so low to do, your credibility would be much higher. But I can’t imagine that happening. It does not seem to be your style.

    • I have been following politics very closely for about 11 years, and I can say I have never seen anything like this from either side in that time.

      I can say that I don’t like Sean Hannity because he is very hyperbolic and exaggerates profusely. But then again, he isnt a politician.

  13. Marshall Art says:

    “So, Marshall, you think a post pointing out Republican manipulation would not be next to meaningless since Democrats are degrees of freedom worse. Right?”

    Not sure I get your meaning. Let me clarify my point this way:

    One has to define “spin” in a manner that both sides understand. I see “spin” as trying to make a position sound like something it is not. Bill O’Reiley’s(sp) “No Spin Zone” is another way of saying “No Bullshit Zone”. I don’t know that you could find many (if any) examples of Republicans spinning/manipulating/bullshitting a position in a way that is mere overstatement, rather than outright crap. I’ll use a different topic: taxes.

    The left speaks of the right as wanting to cut taxes to appease the rich. It frames the discussion as the rightwing supporting the rich at the expense of the poor and downtrodden. This is a class warfare tactic, but it is not the least bit accurate a description of why the right views taxation in the way it does. It’s an easy game for the left to play since it is the rich that they claim to want to tax. And it’s far easier than to deal with the reality, which is that the right sees taxing the rich to be detrimental and is willing and able to explain why they think so. The left loses this debate when complete honesty is the rule and so they spin the issue to demonize the right.

    The right, on the other hand, says that the left wants to steal from the producers to give to the non-producers. This is an overstatement, but is based on the reality and not a mere attempt to demonize the left to avoid the debate.

    As to the specific point of this post, I would suggest that if you believe there has been any case of the Republicans engaging in the sort of behavior John’s post highlights, it is you who needs to bring them to light. You say you “notice” it all the time from both sides. I take that as spin as well, as it is easy to say. So many want to assume it is true. I find it to be assuming guilt until innocence is proved. I have my suspicions about the left, but they seem to confirm it so often by their manner of manipulation and spin. I would also suggest that you don’t so much “notice” it but assume what you are seeing or hearing is an example of it because of YOUR assumptions about the GOP. I would also suggest that you may simply acknowledge that it happens on the left so that you want to believe the right must also be guilty.

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