Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Republican Base Boos Juan Williams: Who Are These People?

Even though they probably could have saved those last 10-or-so debates, the one positive that we can take away from watching all of these things is that we've learned a lot about the Republican base.  First they cheered for the idea of executing people in the electric chair.  Then they booed a solider currently serving in the United States military because he was gay.  Then they cheered for the idea of letting sick people die.  At Monday's South Carolina debate they did it again, only this time they booed Fox News' Juan Williams over the idea that Newt Gingrich may have made racially insensitive remarks about Black people and food stamps.

So you guys are going to boo Juan Williams now?  Juan Williams of Fox News??  Isn't that against the Republican 11th commandment?

I find the psyche of the Republican base fascinating.  Consider for a moment the mentality of a person who instinctively boos the very protector of their own freedom simply because that protector happens to be gay.  Also consider what manner of man is honestly filled with jubilation at the prospect of an innocent person dying at all, let alone dying from lack of health care coverage or from execution by electric chair.  And now this latest insight into the Republican mind: anger and resentment towards an African American - on MLK Day mind you - who even dares to insinuate that we still have a race problem in modern day America.  Fascinating.

The fact of the matter is, Juan Williams should not have had to ask Newt Gingrich about his "food stamp" comments because Newt Gingrich should have never made them in the first place.   Just as Ronald Reagan knew precisely what he was doing when he used to stoke the conservative lynch mob flames during his stump speeches with the imagery of "welfare Queens", Newt Gingrich knew precisely what he was doing when he called Barack Obama a "food stamp president."  This plays right into the stereotypes held by many Whites that most people on welfare and food stamps are lazy Black people (despite the fact that 61% of people on welfare are White).   In short, Gingrich was race bating, and Juan Williams attempted to call him out on it.  And then in an impressive reversal of reality, Gingrich turns the crowd against the Black guy for having the audacity to point out that Gingrich was, in fact, race bating.  As if it was Juan Williams - and not Newt Gingrich - who had played the race card.

I find all of this fascinating because, quite frankly, it takes one hell of an ego to reconcile all of these seemingly irreconcilable positions.  It requires more than the mere belief in your convictions; you must also believe that anybody who says anything that departs in the slightest from what you have been taught is 100% wrong and must be destroyed.  One must be unabashedly vocal against anything that does not fit the conservative talking points word for word.  Gay soldiers must be ousted, sick people without insurance must die, convicted criminals must be executed, and Black people need to know their place, shut the hell up with all that race card talk, and be thankful that they are even allowed to speak at a GOP debate in the first place.

Like I said...fascinating.

1. Who are these people?
2. What forms their opinions?
3. Was Juan Williams unjustifiably playing the race card?
4. What have you learned from the GOP debate audience?
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