Thursday, October 09, 2008

Why So Much Anti-Obama Anger?

I'm sure some of you have seen the clips of people in the McCain's audience in Waukesha, Wisconsin who are angry that Obama is ahead. They're pleading in great anger for McCain to do something about it. This turn in the McCain campaign is scary because it gets at a fundamental irrationality that I could see leading someone eventually to try to assassinate Obama.

What's up with that? Don't give me irrational ad hominem lines about Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright, or ACORN. I don't believe these are the real reasons anyone doesn't like Obama. They are the age old "attack the person" when you can't win on the issues. McCain's erratic, "throw anything I can think of in hopes that something sticks," is embarrassing and disgraceful--and it's far from just the "liberals" who have noticed (e.g., George Will).

So why the anger? Here are some of my suggestions?

1. Don't want a black in charge.
I've heard the interviews. This is major. There are an aweful lot of white people who will vote against Obama for no other real reason (regardless of whatever blather comes out of their mouths) than the fact that he's black. The Muslim accusation is really a mask for people who don't want to admit they don't like the fact that Obama is black.

This campaign has exposed the deep racism that continues to exist among vast numbers of Americans. This is also one of the reasons why Obama doesn't fair as well among older people as he does among younger people. Older Americans are far more likely to have more racism deep in their skulls than younger ones.

2. Spoiled "divine right" conservatives.
The combination of 9-11 with the prevailing of the Christian right in the Bush administration has allowed a lot of people to have the impression that with Bush, God had finally prevailed in America. After exploiting the power they have had these eight years to advance their agendas, agendas they identify with God's agendas, they are shocked and indignant that Satan, in this case Obama, may very well soon take their righteous power away.

But I doubt very seriously that the Bush administration was a taste of the kingdom of God. A better moral to this story is to be kind to others when you are in power and just maybe they will be kind to you when they're in power.


Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right on both reasons for anger. I think the McCain camp, for a long time, have been trying to wind up supporters with their fear campaign hoping that some lunatic will assassinate Obama to 'defend America'. I've heard the interviews on the McCain trail where redneck white Republicans accuse Obama - still - of being Muslim (as if that should matter anyway), black (when will America grow up?) and dangerous. It's just unbelieveable.

Keith Drury said...

I wonder how much of this conservative anger might be driven by the terrible frustration (to conservatives) of what has actually happened in the last eight years of Bush...

- Bush beat McCain to the nomination because McCain was "too liberal" and now McCain is "their" candidate? No wonder they’re angry.

-Conservatives have always wanted to do away with the Department odf Education at the national level and let it go back to the states... Then their conservative Bush comes alone with No Child Left behind effectively nationalizing education. No wonder they’re angry.

-Conservatives choose freedom even over comfort or security... their President Bush came along after 9/11 ramming through an all-out assault on civil liberties packed with erosion of individual rights. No wonder they’re angry.

-Conservatives (of the economic variety) are generally opposed to war-adventurism believing that if we squander money on the “missionary effort” of spreading democracy we will bankrupt our own country and lose our greatness… then their Bush squanders 900 Billion already on Iraq… and the national bankruptcy is now imminent. No wonder they’re angry.

-Conservatives (of the social variety) elected Bush hoping to see abortion defeated and the number of abortions again actually grew more under Republicans than they had been under the Democrats. There were tiny gains on stem cell research but even on that their present candidate McCain isn’t in their corner. No wonder they’re angry.

-Conservatives like a “natural selection” approach to business letting the weak fail and the strong survive then Bush comes along championing an 800 Billion bailout of Wall Street failures pushing through a bill to saddle the taxpayers with this debt… And along comes their new candidate who adds his own 300 Billion bonus-bailout plan on top of that in last Tuesday’s debate. No wonder they’re angry.

These guys have a reason to be angry. They thought they had a conservative President in Bush for the last eight years but the marriage has been gigantic disappointment. Now, stuck with the half-hearted conservatism of John McCain all that remains for conservatives is a gun-toting-moose-hinting iconic Sarah Palin.

Along comes some young kid (a Black kid—“this one”) with the story of helping local folk organize their neighborhood (instead of experience in war) and (like he did with Hillary) he is whipping the veteran politician McCain in the conservative’s own back yard—for goodness sake Indiana is even up for grabs!

If conservatives lose they lose and even when they win they lose. No wonder they are angry!

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Keith, I agree with everything you said and you did it well!
But, is there anything really about Obama that angers conservatives? I think so...

He is a liberal, after all. He is for traditional liberal agenda..but with a further twist of globalizing America, more than it already is...the military may be useful for peace-keeping, that is, if there is anywhere peace is to be kept.

I am not so sure what he will do if Russia, Iran, China "get ahead" in nuclear arms...

An artile in the Washington Times quoting an inside report from the State Department that there is a need for a build up of weapons and defense against China's build-up of nuclear and conventional weapons. This has already been the stance toward N.Korea and Iran.

How will Obama view these "challenges"? Will he thing the "world stage" is a place for community building? I hope not.

How does he see an interantional role for the U.S.? Does he see us as a separate nation-state that has something to say in the world setting of the U.N. or a handmaiden of the U.N.? America has already been marginalized in security issues...What will Obama do and how does he think about this...will he be open to change, as he is in office, or will he be adamant about forcing a liberal view of America on America?

As far as his radical friends and strong connection to A.C.O.R.N., one must believe in a literal Kingdom of God and how it is to come about (postmillinialism) to think that we can "turn the other cheek" in international affairs...

Anonymous said...

This is, what, like the third presidential election in a row where the GOP theme is "Don't vote for the other guy!" The Dems are urging Americans to vote for Obama, but I rarely hear anyone saying why they should vote FOR McCain, except as a vote AGAINST Obama. That's sad. How can that kind of a campaign be anything but negative when you can't support your candidate on his/her merits alone?

Take a look at l'affaire Ayers. I have not heard one single thing to indicate that any of Obama's policies or positions are in any way affected by the fact of Ayers' past activities in the Weather Underground. Nor is there any evidence that reasonable people find it inappropriate to accept Ayers' service to the community; in fact he has received support even from the establishment. All we really need to know is whether the fact that Obama knew Ayers and served with him on a board will affect the way that Obama will serve as President. It won't. This phony issue of guilt by association is all image, no substance.

The nation is in a bad situation now and things don't look to get much better anytime soon. Come January we all need to rally behind the President and Congress, like we did seven years ago. This ugly McCain campaign is going to make that a lot harder.

John Mark said...

I’m having trouble identifying with Keith, even though he is right. Conservatives I know don’t seem frustrated with Bush at all; it may be they are just ignoring the issues Drury cites, believing it is time to Move On . For many social conservatives, fear is, indeed, a better word than anger to describe how they feel about Obama. In fact, World Magazine (world on the web) has an article up right now connecting the dots between Obama and Alinsky. I am a subscriber to World, and though they obviously lean to the right politically (I’m sure you know that Dr. Marvin Olasky, a Jewish-former-communist- turned-believer, was a key person in formulating Compassionate Conservatism), they are not hysterical or unbalanced. I think they understand ad hominem well enough to avoid those kinds of things, and I don’t see how you can ignore Obama’s past in a national election. For social conservatives, I think they are voting against liberal policies as much as for John McCain. And some people will never break party ranks. On either side. That’s my take anyway. So, some of us are not thrilled about McCain. You can’t change that, but that does not make me any more inclined to vote Obama.
As for the average Joe six pack conservative/Republican, racism is going to be a factor. That’s a no brainer.
As to the divine right issue, I suspect that at least some social conservatives believed this, and still do, but the poll numbers for Bush suggest that he has lost popularity all across the board during his second term.

Ken Schenck said...

What do you think of this piece??

Brandon said...