Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Line is There

At a certain point, it just becomes overkill.

By "it" I mean everything. there is nothing on this planet that cannot be done to excess. Sex, drugs, violence or love, it doesn't matter. There comes a point when the law of diminishing returns sets in. The problem is getting folks to recognize that point.

It would seem that our Republican primary candidates don't understand that logic.

Well, maybe not all of them. Uncle Mitt has been involved in political campaigns for decades so he understands clearly that he only needs to prime the racism pumpa few times before it will turn into a gusher all on its on. But people like Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and the now departed Rick Perry, seemed to have missed that memo. It's almost like they believe there is some sort of competition to see who can come up with the most outrageously racist comments everyday and they are determined to be that guy.


I don't know if these guys really believe the things they say about poverty or minorities, but I know they aren't backing away from them. They have staked claims on the vast plain of anti-political correctness, and they are desperately trying to erect a homestead. Even before Newt derided food stamps and Santorum said what many white people think about welfare, you had Bachmann, Perry and Cain leading the charge. There is power in appealing to those dirty little stereotypes people hold within their hearts, and it is the incredibly moral presidential candidate who turns down easily accessible power.

But, how many obviously racist comments can someone make before they stop being a viable presidential candidate? That depends largely on where collective opinion stands on what qualifies as racism. Gingrich and Santorum are banking on the fact that racism has been confined to such a small box in recent years that they can pretty much say anything and escape serious consequences. Hell, given the general tone people use to discuss the president and his family, that's a pretty safe bet.

Yet I believe that there is a line and both of them are dangerously close to crossing it completely with the majority of Americans. While Americans allow many forms of discrimination to exist unchallenged, they don't like to think of themselves or the people they like as racist. And while many comments that are racist to me are not considered racist by white people, stuff about food stamps and baby mamas generally gets the racist stamp. That's particularly true when those comments are coming from a party already branded as racist by non-members.

So I'm curious to see how this all works out for Newt and Rick. Will they be rewarded for their race to appeal to the bottom, or will it backfire on them? The outcome could very well decide how campaigns are run in the future.



Carolyn Moon said...

Introduced to your blog by Uppity Negro and it's impressive. Straight no chaser with a clarity that is needed especially in today's climate.

I've featured this article on my blog of the week.

Take care for there is a method to the madness!

Big Man said...

thanks for the compliment.

Raving Black Lunatic