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Miles J. Zaremski Headshot

2012 Election: Trust and Leadership vs. Racism and Bigotry

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Most of my blog posts since I started writing for HuffPost four years ago -- one shy of 100 with this one -- have concerned politics and health care/health care legislation, notably the Affordable Care Act. This one diverges due in recent days to what I see as racism and bigotry trying to defeat President Obama and his mantle of trust and leadership. A lead article on the Politics page by HuffPost writer Peter Finocchiaro highlights the former with views of Lawrence Wilkerson, former aide to Colin Powell.

Let me put my spin on this topic before moving further. Of course, we have Sununu having first (sans a later "retraction") said that the reason General Powell endorsed Obama was that they are of the same race. Before that, we heard another Republican, Sarah Palin, describe Obama using the words, "shuck and jive", which comes from those of color who shucked corn in the south and entertained themselves with "jive." Then we have Donald Trump willing to write a $5 million check if Obama would disclose his college transcripts and passport application, obviously raising the specter of affirmative action and suggesting that Obama did not deserve to become editor of the Harvard Law Review after he was accepted into law school with his grades he earned as an undergraduate. Parenthetically, did Trump even have the grades to get out of the college, if any he attended? And to add salt to the wounds of the intelligence of the voting public, there is the conservative, Ann Coulter, who described Obama the other day using the word "retard"; on the Piers Morgan show that aired on CNN on Oct. 26, she not only said she was justified in using it, but could not understand anyone who would object to her calling Obama a retard (she did not find using the word offensive to anyone who has a disability as well). To Morgan's question, she said being a retard is nothing more than being a moron or other similar adjectives to describe Obama. Enough of wanting to hear from the female version of Rush Limbaugh!

While growing up in the Chicago area as a white male, I was not much involved nor, quite frankly, interested, in what all went on in the South and the days leading up to the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. I have become more aware of those days and what it must have meant for those who suffered but who led the effort to achieve civil rights in our country -- but only because I see a repeat of that awful time some 48-plus years later during a presidential election where our president is of color. Those who want to defeat him are not currently doing so based on policy or issue, but now have reached the depths of racism, and intolerance and prejudice, i.e., bigotry. Highlighting the examples as I have above, well shows in microcosm a political party that supports Romney for president, and Romney himself. Keep in mind that Romney has yet to "dress-down" Sununu, a co-chair of his campaign, for the remarks he (Sununu) made about why Powell now endorses Obama.

Why do I say Obama has shown us trust and leadership? He came into office facing the worst financial crisis brought on by an administration to which Romney wants to return us second only to the great depression of the 1920s; Obama has led the effort to dig us out, with leading economic indicators pointing in a positive direction. Romney tells us this rate of growth is not fast enough, but an economy that his Republican predecessor took us into takes more than one presidential term to substantially turn around. Obama saw millions of Americans without the ability to access and afford health care and said he would do something about it; he did, with the passage of the Affordable Care Act -- that Romney says he will immediately repeal if he becomes president. Obama told us he would get us out of Iraq that a prior Republican administration got us into by saying, falsely so, that there existed weapons of mass destruction [incidentally, one of the architects for the existence of WMDs was Dick Cheney, who just had a fundraiser in Texas for Romney]; Obama kept his word and we are no longer in Iraq. Obama said he would get us out of Afghanistan and we will in 2014. Of course, Obama said if he had a sight on bin Laden, he would take him out; he did! Obama led the charge to save our auto industry; it is prospering. I think I have used my "paint brush" to paint a broad enough canvass.

What do we have left? Because of the mounting racism and bigotry now suggested in language used by media-craving Republicans mentioned in this post, Republicans are throwing the proverbial slop against the wall (that apparently they think that is all they have left), hoping something will stick to counter what Obama has achieved, has shown what he can do, and no doubt based on the last four years, what he is capable of doing and more in the next four with bipartisan cooperation. But it is a sad state of American life to think that there still exists those in America who must sink so low to combat political leadership and trust with... racism and bigotry.