12 November 2014

That Great, Unexorcised Demon of the American Soul

The NY Times reports on the idiocy of the American voter in this 5 November 2014 article about the disconnect between individually-held values and temper-tantrum-style revenge voting, as revealed by 2014 Midterm exit polls. 
More than a third of people voting for a Republican House candidate said they were unhappy or even angry at the Republican leaders in Congress, according to exit polls, but they did so anyway, producing a House that is even more right-wing than the current one. On a day of Republican triumph, a majority of voters said they wanted to find a way to allow immigrants to stay in this country, even if they are here illegally. That position could not be more at odds with the one held by most of the new senators elected yesterday.
Though the piece in no way entertains the notion that voters' desire to express their unhappiness with President Obama by stacking the Senate with Republicans diametrically opposed to their own values hints at a dark, reactionary motivation rooted in Racism--which should surprise no one given the surpassing general silence on this question--the absence in the piece of the exact causes of this wounded, flailing unhappiness is the very thing that gives the obscene, vindictive, irrational reaction in question the familiar structural shape discoverable ad nauseam in the obsessive, gleeful, racist resistance to and confounding of all things Obama--a more or less open revolt--by Congress in particular and Republicans in general. 
They did it in order to send a message of deep disappointment and frustration to President Obama, but the message didn’t really contain much content beyond that. “I’m just tired of all the fighting and bickering,” Jeffrey Kowalczuk, a Wisconsin voter, told The Times yesterday, explaining why he voted for Republicans.
It is not necessary to have a rational or consistent reason to oppose any of the motions, nominations, proposals, or actions of Obama because our Republican brothers and sisters oppose all of them, before they even know what they are. This is not the evidence of a reasoned, principled opposition to policy or thought but the betrayal of a cocky, condescending, disrespectful, mocking, dismissive opposition to a man. The mysterious, unarticulated root cause of this unhappiness with Obama--when there is no reasonable reason that could ever account for such a confident, childish, consistent, universal, and unyielding stance--could only be that great, unexorcised demon of the American soul, called Racism, for it bears its classic shape and markers. It is the only thing that could allow both our legislature and electorate to behave in such embarrassingly and unselfconsciously stupid ways. 

You may read the NYT article in its entirety in "The Tornado Election."

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