As the right wing begins to rachet up the violent and racist rhetoric, many see this as their last ditch effort to win this election, when, in fact, it could be the factor that seals the deal. We must remember that white America did not join the civil rights movement, en masse, until faced with the images of violence that accompanied the racial oppression in the south…
The current Republican strategy of directly appealing to racist tendencies is an act of desparation. It is a Hail Mary Pass into double coverage. While many people on the intertubes are fretting that this strategy will bring McCain/Palin out of the electoral basement, we must focus on showing this ugly, racist face of the rightwing to the American public.
Lessons from the 50’s/60’s
This was one of the most pivotal parts of the American Civil Rights Movement of the 50’s and 60’s. When the American public had to face the video of dogs attacking and fire hoses being turned on the civil rights activists, white Americans had to look in the mirror and decide if this was really the society they wanted. While they may have had racist sympathies and inclinations, the images of the physical manifestation of these emotions put their internal feelings and beliefs under a microscope, where citizens had to decide whether they were willing to be passive supporters of such a violent and oppressive system.
In the final analysis, the majority of white Americans turned their back on Jim Crow, and the movement to give African-American citizens equal rights won. While the victory was no where close to perfect, it was an appreciable step forward, in American society.
Applications to today’s political environment
There are important lessons that we can take from this, which will not only help Obama win, but will further bankrupt the rightwing’s claim to any moral authority, over the left. That being said, it is up to us to pressure the media, etc. If we work hard to expose these extremist, racist tendencies, within the rightwing electoral coalition, then we have a unique opportunity to show the American public the rightwing we have all seen and fought against for all of these years.
The McCain/Palin campaign has made a bet. Their bet is that they will be able to fan the flames of hate, without the media calling them on it. It is a very risky bet, seeing as how the American public can quickly turn against these tactics, if they are exposed. It is our job to raise his odds, by going out and insuring that the media covers the growing number of instances of intolerance that the McCain/Palin campaign is encouraging, through their extremely charged rhetoric.
They’ve thrown for the endzone, in double coverage, and it’s our job to pick this one off. If we do so, we could fundamentally change the political discourse in these United States of America.
Crossposted at Dailykos