As a political observer, I am thoroughly convinced that a Donald Trump nomination as the 2016 Republican candidate for president will very likely result in both a landslide victory for Democrats in keeping the White House and a retaking of the Senate. It could even result in drawing enough Democrats to the polls to give them an outside chance of retaking the House of Representatives. From a Democrat standpoint, therefore, a Donald Trump candidacy would be a welcomed event; from an American standpoint, having a blatant racist at the top of the ticket of one of our two major parties, it would be an affront to every ideal for which this nation stands.
What exactly is racism? Regardless of the exact definition of racism as it relates to race, in my view racism is, primarily, grouping an entire category of people together to hate, or, at least, stereotype. By using the so-called broad brush approach, it makes it a great deal simpler for the hater to hate through generalization. There is no need to actually look at individuals as individuals regardless of what grouping they may find themselves due to religion, ethnicity, race, nationality or heritage.
Racism, though, didn’t start with the candidacy of Donald Trump and his attacks on various ethnic and religious groups. He just brought it to a new level. The fear that the Republican party now has about the disaster that would be the 2016 general election with Trump at the top of its ticket is real. The blame, however, is not with Trump; the blame is squarely on the shoulders of the Republican party for creating the monster that is Trump.
As stated in Galatians, “Whatever one sows, that will he also reap”. The Republican party, by turning a blinds eye and allowing Trump to spew unfettered his racist attacks on President Obama, especially regarding the nonsensical “birther” non-issue, created the environment in which Trump has unleashed his venom on the other Republican candidates and continues to rise in the polls at the expense of candidates that would be far preferable to the party to head the ticket. Serves them right; maybe there is some justice in this world.
The difference between the blatant racism of today and the more hidden racism of yesterday goes back, not to Trump, but, rather to, yes, Fox News. It was Fox News and its inability to accept a President of color that brought blatant racism out of the closet and into the mainstream. Fox made it alright to be racist since, if it can be said on television, then it must be all right to express it anywhere, even at John McCain rallies in 2008, Mitt Romney rallies in 2012 and at everyone’s rallies in 2016.
It wasn’t too long ago that Al Campanis, then general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was fired for expressing his thoughts that were construed to be racist. You may recall Nightline anchorman Ted Koppel asking him why, at the time, there had been few black managers and no black general managers in Major League Baseball. Campanis’ reply was that “blacks may not have some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager, or, perhaps, a general manager” for these positions. Elsewhere in the interview he said that blacks are often poor swimmers “because they don’t have the buoyancy.”His remarks were deemed offensive, not tolerated and he was fired the next day by the Dodgers.
In today’s political discourse world of FOX News and Russ Limbaugh, these comments are rather tame compared to the hate-filled comments made on a daily basis under the banner that it is all right NOT to be politically correct.
Political correctness has nothing to do with the hate-filled rhetoric coming out of the mouths of either the candidates or the pseudo-news organizations covering them. Political correctness concerns toning down a use of terms to make it more palatable and less offensive based on an individual’s sensitivities. Political correctness may mean referring to a janitor as a custodian or a garbage man as a sanitation engineer. It may even make use of the term “mentally challenged” in lieu of referring to someone as retarded. It does not mean misrepresenting facts and inciting hatred against a group of people, any group of people, as is currently the case with today’s political coverage and the candidates being covered.