I admit that I have been pretty hard on President Obama in this blog, but as MLK said once, you can’t be disappointed in something or someone you don’t care about. I also admit that my enthusiasm has been waning for the re-election campaign. However, the GOP debate last night in the birthplace of the Civil War hosted by Fox News and on MLK day was like an electric jolt of motivation. To hear men like Romney and Newt and Perry talk about “States Rights” (code words for bigots resisting civil rights) and quoting Dr. King in almost the same breath was infuriating. Every man on that platform represents exactly what Dr. King fought against in his lifetime: economic injustice and bigotry. Obama has not been as successful as we had hoped, but we had better pray and do everything in our power to assure that he is re-elected.
When Newt called President Obama the “food stamp President” and was challenged by Juan Williams it was like a flash realization: this IS what this election is all about. They criticize spending tens of millions to help feed the poor and not one word on the billions of dollars we give the rich in corporate welfare. Dr. King would have asked the candidates “why is it that when we give money to help the poor it is called “welfare” and when we give money to the rich it is called “subsidies?” Or he might ask them “why is it that it is harder now for a man or woman to be economically successful in the U.S. than it is in 19 other countries in Europe and Asia? What is it about your policies that has all but removed opportunity in this society?”
When President Obama took office our economy was in a freefall and we were losing 750,000 jobs a MONTH. His policies stopped that rush toward economic Depression – and he did it without a single vote from Republicans. To have Newt ignore the results of GOP economic policies and claim that the poor are poor because they lack a work ethic, and mock a government that helps feed them when in need was like watching Bull Conner confronting King in front of an all white audience. Now this was South Carolina, but GOP audiences in past debates have applauded executions and jeered at an active duty serviceman. The fact that South Carolina is suffering the more than most States from GOP economics is apparently trumped by intolerance. White Carolinans would rather cheer intolerance than change their own lives. Who is really being lazy freeloaders?
The GOP has become the Party of intolerance and men like Newt and Romney are carrying their banner. This debate made the choice clear to me do we create a society of compassion and opportunity for all Americans, or do we become a society of intolerance and opportunity for the 1%?