By Norman Berdichevsky
As the election nears, it has become more and more obvious that the Democrats’ campaign mistakenly portrayed Romney as a cartoon figure – the heartless, plutocrat-capitalist-aloof-super-wealthy, bigoted, ultra-conservative ignoring all the evidence that;
1. He was the most moderate of all the Republican candidates who remained in the race (following withdrawal of Pawlenty, Johnson and Huntsmen, all minor candidates who dropped out early).
2. His outstanding record of business achievement and balancing the budgets described by former President Clinton as “sterling”.
3. His reputation for honesty and integrity unmatched by any of the close Obama White House staff and close associates in the corrupt Democrat machine in Chicago. He remains the only politician among the major candidates who could unabashedly make the correct assertion “I will never embarrass you” with a life history of total transparency.
4. His enormous generosity to the poor and the needy through his church and in many acts of great compassion.
5. His ability to work “across the aisle” proven by 4 years of good and honest government working with a state legislature that was 87% Democrat in Massachusetts.
6. Successful management of many enterprises from his investment firm, the Olympic Games, the Massachusetts State House.
The other side of the coin has been the continued campaign tactic of cultivating the special interests of a dozen communities with the Democrats claiming that the Republicans are “waging a war” against every identifiable demographic in the electoral pie – women, “minorities”, Blacks, Latinos, the elderly, the poor, Gays, Muslims, immigrants (only illegal), college students, the unemployed, “kids” on their parents health insurance who can now be described as ‘children’ up to age 26, the middle class and of course the “working class” whom we are told, together account for 99% of the American population, constantly exploited by the super- rich who comprise the remaining 1%.
That makes 13 groups whom Obama regards as his favored selected protected communities that owe him allegiance, because he is “protecting” these groups and their special interests as the guardian angel of all the oppressed who will be collectively thrown under the bus or off the cliff depending on the clever ad campaign of the moment.
This rhetoric of many Obama supporters and spokesmen has provoked outrage by the constant assertions that any member of any one of these groups who votes Republican is a “traitor” to his community, race or class.
The absurdity of this way of thinking was so obvious that even the deaf, dumb and blind could understand from the Republican convention with its array of talented and successful governors and congressmen that these individuals represent some of the most capable people in government.
Throughout the last four decades, since the end of the Sixties, the Political Left in the United States more than anywhere else has strengthened its dominant position among racial “minorities”, women, and gays by cultivating an embracing sense of “victimhood”.
On the basis of her own experience as the head of the National Organization of Women (NOW) devoted to “freedom of choice” and a liberal agenda, author Tammy Bruce, has cataloged her own experience as to how an elite of “malignant narcissists” and a friendly media acquire and exert an entrenched control over the “victims” (see her book, The Death of Right and Wrong, 2004).
Whenever a Republican or conservative gay (like Bruce), black (philosopher and economist Thomas Sowell, Florida congressman Allan West, businessman Herman Cain) or “minority” Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, New Mexico Senator Susanna Martinez, Republican congressman and Jewish House majority leader Eric Cantor, embraces an agenda of liberty, individual responsibility, ambition, and entrepreneurship, they are immediately condemned as renegades who have ‘betrayed’ their community.
This core belief of the Obama campaign and the democrats often results in absurd misrepresentations – many Jewish dinosaur liberals are unaware that Cantor is Jewish because he is a Republican from Virginia.
Chief Justice John Roberts has rightly expressed his firm opposition to the “whole sordid business” of dividing the American population by race and ethnicity but the prospects are dim that we can escape the fate of all of us being forced into statistical boxes.
My wife was born in Argentina and her first language is Spanish. Does she qualify as a Hispanic? Her parents were Yiddish speaking Jews who immigrated to Argentina in 1920. When she asked an official at the American Embassy if she should identify herself on a form to get her green card as Hispanic, his reply was – “I haven’t got a clue.”
A first page newspaper story in the Orlando Sentinel (a newspaper that traditionally has endorsed Democrats but threw it support to Romney in this election) featured a story last year on page one entitled “Hispanic License Plate Could Sail to Approval.”
A Hispanic Achievers plate design has been incorporated into a bill submitted to Governor Crist. The original design simply stated “Hispanics Discovered Florida” but the public relations team behind the proposal had to tone down the message to simply put the organization’s name on the design Hispanic Achievers with a Spanish galleon in the center and the word UNIDOS in large print.
Profits from the $25 tag fee would go to fund the group’s “administrative costs” and benefit a fund to aid Hispanic achievers. The group claims a network of 14,000 subscribers, a drop in the bucket of the state’s more than three and a half million Hispanics.
Of course, the absurd irony that no one bothers to pay attention to, is that the same mentality of group pride and a balkanized identity of hyphenated-Americans originally led most politicians on both the state and local level to go along with cancelling “Columbus Day” to satisfy American Indian groups angry at the Spanish “discovery and conquest of the Americas” as racial genocide.
Columbus Day was originally declared a federal holiday back in 1934 as an act by the Roosevelt administration to help assuage the feelings of many American Catholics, organized by the Knights of Columbus, especially of Italian origin (who claim Columbus as their own), that there was no national holiday that recognized an achievement by Catholics (and Italians). We have come full circle.
Ironically, the Mormons have been the only community subject to mass violence in American history, yet Romney is never referred to as a minority, although several major polls including one this year by Gallup reveal a continued deep seated prejudice against voting for a Mormon candidate for President.
Reluctance to vote for a Mormon for president today is related to both education and partisanship. The percentage saying “no” to a Mormon candidate rises from 6% among those with postgraduate education to 23% among those with a high school education or less. Negativity toward a Mormon candidate increases from 10% among Republicans to 18% among independents to 24% among Democrats.
It is very likely that Obama will lose the share of the vote that he obtained from all of the above groups in the 2008 election. Many voters have come to realize that when you keep cutting the pie into smaller shares instead of baking a bigger one, the pieces all crumble.
Norman Berdichevsky is a native New Yorker who lives in Orlando, Florida. He holds a Ph.D. in human geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1974) and is the author of The Danish-German Border Dispute (Academica Press, 2002), Nations, Language and Citizenship (McFarland & Co., Inc., 2004), Spanish Vignettes; An Offbeat Look into Spain’s Culture, Society & History (Santana Books, Malaga, Spain. 2004), An Introduction to Danish Culture (MacFarland, 2011) and The Left is Seldom Right (New English Review Press, 2011). He is the author of more than 200 articles and book reviews that have appeared in a variety of American, British, Danish, Israeli and Spanish periodicals such as World Affairs, Journal of Cultural Geography, Ecumene, Ariel, Ethnicity, The World & I, Contemporary Review, German Life, Israel Affairs, and Midstream. He is also a professional translator from Hebrew and Danish to English and his website is here.
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