OK, Republicans, we’ll go over this one last time: I am Black. I voted for President Barack Obama. I did not vote for him because he’s Black, and I’m willing to bet my meager paycheck that most Black politically astute voters didn’t vote for his skin color either.
I voted for the president because he was head and shoulders above the lying, smarmy, condescending, snake-eyed weasel you Republicans called a candidate. For most Black folk, and for most Americans in general, it turns out — it wasn’t even a choice.
Look, we Democrats didn’t complain when our nominee, the jelly-spined Michael Dukakis, got his butt kicked by George H.W. Bush in 1988. Dukakis was an idiot, and we knew it. Once we saw the ridiculous photo of that doofus riding in a tank wearing a battle helmet, we realized the race was over. But we sucked it up, and took the beating we deserved, because it was essentially our fault that our candidate was so weak.
Republicans seem to lack even that minimum degree of self-awareness. In defeat, the GOP has pointed fingers at everyone but themselves. Mostly, though, they’ve blamed Blacks and other minorities for their own dismal failures.
Paul Ryan, the phantom running mate — who magically disappeared as soon as he was named for the VP slot, blamed the loss on Obama’s turnout in “urban” communities — as if we’re too stupid to figure out the code. Mitt Romney, still clueless about his own culpability in turning off millions of potential voters, said Obama bought the election with lavish “gifts” to the president’s base supporters at taxpayer expense — “gifts” like health care and student loan forgiveness.
Only Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor of Louisiana, attempted to grasp the message voters were sending the GOP on Election Day — and even he only got it half right.
Jindal said, rightly, that the GOP would need to reach out to minorities and disenfranchised voters if the party ever wants to become viable again. He said they’d have to soften the divisive language on rape, homosexuality, immigration, and contraception, to name a few — or perish like the dinosaurs.
Jindal’s on the right track here, but he’s still on the wrong train. The GOP has got to reach out beyond its base of rich old white men, to be sure — but not just by softening the language. They’ll have to completely shift their divisive platform, politics and policies to even give themselves a chance with the millions of voters who rejected them last week in disgust. Just changing the tone will only mask their intentions, and add another layer of hypocrisy to their present pack of lies.
The fact is that millions of Americans — Black, white, gay, Hispanic, or whatever — voted for Obama not because they were snookered by a Democratic snake oil salesman, but because they were justifiably horrified by the things that actually came out of Republicans’ mouths for more than two years.
Did the GOP really think that the softer, gentler Romney who emerged at the very end of the campaign would somehow negate the 47 percent putdown, or the legitimate rape fiasco, or Rush Limbaugh attacking a college student as a slut, or invasive ultrasound procedures forced on women seeking to terminate their pregnancies? Did they think we’d forget about Newt Gingrich’s “food stamp president” slap, or Rick Santorum’s vow not to give white people’s money to lazy Blacks? Were we supposed to look the other way while Michelle Bachmann blamed the economic recession on poor Black folks, or ignore Rick Perry’s frequent hunting trips to the N-word Ranch?
We haven’t even gotten to their unashamed hatred of gays and lesbians, their plan to build an electrified fence to fry undocumented workers crossing the border like a giant bug zapper, or their apparent willingness to let their own grandmothers search through dumpsters for food scraps in exchange for hefty tax cuts for millionaires.
No, they’d rather believe that somehow Black people conspired to undo them, because if history has shown them nothing else, it’s that blaming dark-skinned folks is easier than looking in the mirror.
So go ahead. Call me racist for voting for Obama, while ignoring common sense and a mountain of damning evidence. Blame everything and everyone but yourselves — and your obsession with a continuing white pseudo-Christian plutocracy.
Keep it up all the way until 2016, when you can blame President Hillary Clinton and all those darned women for your next scheduled butt kicking.
Daryl Gale is the city editor of The Philadelphia Tribune.