Tuesday, September 15, 2009
We all know the fable about the boy who cried wolf: Sounding the alarm worked to alert the townspeople to danger…until they realized that there was no danger and that his cries were empty. Likewise, these days the liberal media are crying wolf, desperately trying to change the political conversation that has gotten out of their control. Whether it’s tea parties, town hall meetings, the recent Tea Party Express rally in Washington, or even Joe Wilson (whom I am not defending), liberal pundits have not known how to respond to those who are pushing back against the president and Congress’ plans, except to tar them with the racist label.
But every time they hit the nuclear button–usually for the banal reason of stifling debate and putting their opponents on the defensive–all legitimate charges of racism lose their force. Eventually, if these faux-racism mongers relentlessly keep crying wolf with no real evidence, our culture will become desensitized to the real currents of authentic racism that still pulse through our society.
So we all need to be vigilant to address racism in its varied forms, but we need to not impugn the motives of others in an attempt to demonize them and score a few political points. Because that ultimately cheapens the race struggles in our nation and undermines the progress we have made toward racial reconciliation in America. (After I started writing this, I watched a commentary by Brit Hume, which only augments my point. David Harsanyi has also written a typically witty and provocative article here.)
For some reason, politically liberal media pundits–who find President Obama to be absolutely without blemish–cannot imagine that anyone would actually disagree with his policies without also being a bigot. Sure, there are probably many racists out there who don’t like the president’s policy positions. But there are also millions–maybe even tens of millions–of others who I’m sure can distinguish between a man’s racial background and his politics.
Here are a few wolf-criers:
Maureen Dowd is apparently hearing voices that aren’t really there. So since we’re interpreting other people’s private motivations, maybe Ms. Dowd should visit a psychiatrist to get her auditory hallucinations checked out.
Joan Walsh accuses millions of white Americans with racism against the president without any evidence except his declining poll numbers (which actually could be due to many things, after all). And then, after casting aspersions broadly, she tries to walk it back a little. Bizarre.
Michelle Goldberg has written a rambling, incoherent rant against conservative Christians, suggesting in kind of a long-shot, coincidental way, that they are all racists and that any suspicion of invasive government is just a mask for racism. I think. Actually I’m not really sure what the point of her essay is. If someone else reads it and can summarize her point, please let me know what it is.
Former president Jimmy Carter, while technically not a member of the liberal media, also piled on, apparently labeling any opposition to the current president’s policies as racist. I wonder if he is able to separate how people feel about President Obama from his job approval; polls even show that many people like the person Barack Obama, but are at the same time dissatisfied with his leadership, handling of various issues, and even his political stances. (See also Janet Daley’s smart commentary on our esteemed 39th president.)