So glad we're all living in a post-racial society! The proof? Why, a black president in the White House, of course. Change has come at last!
Uh... not quite.
Watching the media pundits squirm in their chairs while contorting their vocabularies in order to avoid giving a name to the somewhat remarkable patterns of southern GOP voters, one might conclude that the chief concerns of those voters seem to be religious affiliation and -- what -- skin color? when it comes to determining a fit candidate for president.
Because God in all His glory knows that choosing between the sitting president (who has by all records governed in a quite centrist fashion and whose policies are starkly in the working class's favor, as well as saving the car industry, ending the war in Iraq, providing improved access to health care, rubbing out America's key Al Qaeda enemies, etc., etc., etc.) and PRACTICALLY ANY OTHER LIVING CREATURE WHO IS NOT HIM is the sanest choice to make.
President Obama is, apparently to the majority of southern GOP voters, a Muslim, a Kenyan, a ripper-offer of working people, a taker-awayer of guns, a demon sent from Hell to destroy America and install Shariah Law (whatever the hell that is) in place of our good old fashioned American values (chief among them being never to question perceived authority figures who shamelessly evoke A Stern But Fair Daddy, A Madonna/Whore Mommy and of course Ronald Reagan).
Race, though, has absolutely nothing to do with their decisions! Nothing!
There has indeed always been a real hatred of "otherness" at the root of the American psyche, epitomized by the genocide of the Native American and the wholesale enslavement of the African, which seemed in the 20th century to recede from its flagrantly violent manifestation into a more manageable though still horrific systemic racism. From there though, civil rights activism found its footing and was able to give historically oppressed people the opportunity to forge a rightful place into society, a struggle which continues to this day.
But the once raging hatred had been tamed to a manageable level; the once silenced voices were allowed to be heard.
But certain entities, whose talent is stoking infernos from smoldering embers and then dispatching news crews to report the conflagration -- in a fair and balanced manner, of course -- saw an opportunity to ply their trade.
And thus we have the eyeroll-and-facepalm-inducing spectacle of a thoroughly cowed and bought media trying like mad to sculpt the narrative into yet another fictional version of reality, giving airtime to the rejuvenated fringe lunacy and repackaged racism that the Right has found such tragic success with of late.
Ah, but the caustic effects of vitriol are beginning to eat away at the facade and even true-believers are starting to be repulsed by the ugliness beneath. The dog whistles and the coded speech are becoming more and more obvious, less attractive even to ideologues of a conservative persuasion. There is little to leaven the unbridled venom that is at the core of the Right WIng attacks on Obama, on the government, on social programs, on the middle class, on Democracy, and on people. Innocent people.
And it ain't over. The fire is raging once again and those responsible for reigniting it are doing their damnedest to keep it roaring; everything is fuel at this point.
Until November, that is. When it's either put out...or it consumes everything.