In every election cycle liberals pull out their ancient political playbook and bag of tricks, running the same old plays against conservatives. And every election cycle many of our citizens fall for it.
In 2008, Obama the candidate ran as a new contender for president, pledging to change the fractured and divided nation and to end the old politics, which was a great part of his appeal to so many voters.
In his inaugural address he pledged a new beginning: “On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.”
He had built his career around that theme. Who can forget his 2004 DNC speech: “I say…tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America – there’s the United States of America.”
And during his Greek column-themed nomination acceptance speech in 2008: “Because if you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.”
Yet Obama the president has not lived up to the hype. He has divided us, chosen fear over hope, and, with no record to run on, tried to paint Mitt Romney as someone to run from. He’s done the exact opposite of everything he ever said prior to the 2012 race.
At a campaign stop in Iowa, fear was on full display when he said Republicans “want to take us back to the policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century.”
At the DNC, it was class warfare’s turn with a litany of jabs: “I don’t believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores, or pay down our deficit.”
“I refuse to ask middle class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut. I refuse to ask students to pay more for college; or kick children out of Head Start programs, or eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor, elderly, or disabled – all so those with the most can pay less.”
He further warned that Republicans would turn over Social Security to Wall Street, roll back regulations on those greedy investors, waste billions on banks and lenders, reward corporations with tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas, and allow the oil companies to write the nation’s energy plan, destroy the coastline, and receive massive amounts of corporate welfare.
Obama has also reached into Bill Clinton’s bag of tricks and pulled out this gem: Republicans “want dirtier air and water,” like we don’t drink water or breathe air, while children with diseases will have to “fend for themselves,” as if we hate kids as well. Biden reached in and took out the “return of slavery and Jim Crow” line with his remark to a largely black audience: “They gonna put yall back in chains!”
Other Democrats have accused Republicans of wanting all Jews to die, of seeking a return to the days before the civil rights movement when blacks were beaten, of desiring to silence women and restrict their rights, and to force the gentler sex to have coat hanger abortions at home in the bathtub so they would die.
What world are they living in? They preach civility and tolerance, and they are very tolerant and extraordinary civil…unless you are not in complete agreement with them, then the long knives come out.
We heard all this garbage during the Bush years, who as governor of Texas, was somehow responsible for the horrible dragging death of James Byrd, whose election to the presidency would mean “black churches will burn,” and Grandma would, most assuredly, go right over the cliff.
But when Bush and the Republicans controlled the entire government for six years, did black churches burn? No. Did slavery return? No. Were blacks sent to the back of the bus? No. In fact, Bush signed an extension of the Voting Rights Act, not something a “racist” hillbilly hick from the sticks would have done.
Were women’s rights restricted? No. Were our elderly citizens suffering? No. Did grandma go over the cliff? No. In another fact, Bush signed a Medicare prescription drug benefit that will cost trillions in the long term. Women and the elderly were never taken care of better.
Yet Obama has said that Republicans “want your vote, but they don’t want you to know their plan. And that’s because all they have to offer is the same prescription they’ve had for the last thirty years.”
But Obama has no plan, has not offered a plan, and will not offer a plan for any of the nation’s problems. Democrats are out of hope, they are out of change, and all they have left is fear. We must hope and pray that our fellow citizens do not fall victim to it once again.
This column was published in the Laure Leader Call (Laurel, MS) on Tuesday, September 18, 2012.