As we have seen over the past couple of years, prejudice and racism is on the rise. Xenophobia seems to be growing. All of it is threatening to come to a head. However, as I was reading Charles Krauthhammer’s column on Sunday, while I usually disagree vehemently with him and did this time, I noticed again what we are dealing with.
The GOP, conservative movement, Fox news, and whoever else they claim in their tent is akin to a lion tamer in a circus. Naturally, I am not breaking new ground her. Everyone knows what is going on. The Teaparty movement by itself is not racist, but racists within the movement are not discouraged from performing their schict. The anti-immigration movement itself might not be bigoted, but they gladly accept bigots among their fold. Most people that are against the mosque being built near ground zero aren’t Islamaphobes, but they make sure Islmaphobes know about it.
Thus, folks like Krauthammer associate noise with majorities. It’s like a junior high pep rally. The spirit award is given to the class that screams the loudest. Whether that class actually has more people that are spirited or even more people does not matter. The fear we all have is what happens when noise becomes something greater. In the sports world, this is when an innocent fan gets trampled when the mob rushes the field. In the real world, it is when a zealot kills an innocent person because he or she doesn’t look like them.
So, we get to the question in the title. Is it worse to be ignorant and bigoted or is it worse to use the ignorant and bigoted for your own gain? Both carry with them their own pitfalls. Ignorance and bigotry should never be defended. Yet, when someone uses those simpletons it is a simple sign of two things: they know they are beaten and they are unable to relenquish power even though they are beaten. Worse yet, they know good well that something bad can happen.
In Krauthammer’s case, he dismisses the cries of racism, nativism, islamaphobia, and homophobia for the simple logical fact that not all that oppose the president are racists, not everyone that opposes illegal immigation is a xenophobe, not everyone that opposes the mosque is an islamaphobe, and not everyone that opposes same sex marriage is a homophobe. Yes, this is all true. Yet, notice who the conservative movement targets with their tactics. A good amount of the opponents of all of these initiatives/groups are not exactly educated or reasonable. You cannot continue to pour lighter fluid on the coals and then claim we’re playing the race/bigot card. When you lay the ace of spades you can’t pick it up again and pretend you didn’t play it.