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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Neither a Racist nor Traitor be....

Don't you just love hypocrisy? In a recent Salon article Jake Knotts trots out the intellectually lazy argument that conservatism, and therefore criticisms of President Obama, are all rooted in a deep racism that rests at the core of conservative belief. This is ridiculous and is used merely as a ploy to intimidate critics. “Criticize my guy? I’ll call you a racist.” It’s a pathetic accusation meant to devalue the very valid arguments put forward by conservatives concerning debt, deficits, and the questionable tactics employed to enact a health reform law that everyday seems evermore less than what was promised. It was but a few years ago when the Left was cricising rising debt and procedural abuses in Congress.  So along comes Herman Cain to challenge the racist claim – from his unique vantage point as a black conservative. Cain rightly refutes the charge, but then commits the same offense by accusing those who use the racist label as the true racists…


During the Bush administration, critics of the Bush War on Terror were frequently accused of undermining the war effort and of aiding the terrorists. "If you're not with us, you're with the terrorists." The clear implication being that those who questioned the President’s tactics were unpatriotic. The intent was the same – intimidate critics. “Criticize my guy? I’ll call you a traitor.” It was a pathetic accusation meant to devalue valid concerns about the use of executive power and the possible violation of basic constitutional rights – rights that neo-cons once considered to be universal, but during the War on Terror decided applied only to citizens, and then only to citizens not linked via six degrees of Kevin Bacon to a terrorist organization.

All of these baseless accusations undermine and cheapen our political discourse. We should hold no greater liberty than the right to openly and forcefully criticize our government – even our President – without being intimidated by those who would smear us as racists or traitors.

Make no mistake; those who accuse President Obama’s critics of being closet racists are no different from those who questioned the patriotism of President Bush’s critics. And they all can look to The House UnAmerican Activities Committee and Sen. Joseph McCarthy for a clear reflection of themselves…