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More coded language from the GOP at Three Roads Blog
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More coded language from the GOP

Here is Terry Neal, writing for The Root, on the GOP’s dog-whistle politicking:

“Uppity” used to be the preferred term for Negroes who didn’t know their place. There was a time when it was regularly applied to any number of black men and women who strived to be more than day laborers, nannies or sharecroppers.

The GOP, ever aware of the connotative power of words, has steered clear of the direct usage of that loaded term. When they speak of Barack Obama—a man in pursuit of the most lofty of prizes—they simply use the words that define the term. Snobbish. Arrogant. Presumptuous.

The fact that the mainstream media has embraced the uppity-Obama storyline is further evidence of the right’s ability to advance whatever preposterous storyline it chooses, despite its persistent whining about the liberal media.

Republicans have long been able to win races by doing a better job of negatively defining their opponents with coordinated media attacks. What the right does particularly well is not just framing the arguments but coordinating the response to the fallout.

When Obama suggested that McCain was attempting to make him seem different and scary, McCain and his supporters wailed that Obama was “playing the race card.”

That term, of course, has become the de facto line of defense for whites who want to immediately end any uncomfortable conversations about race. “Are you calling me a racist? You’re calling me a racist!”

Interestingly, calling someone a racist has become a worse offense than actually being one. [Emphasis added] And thus the media will allow McCain and his defenders to have it both ways—play to racial sensitivities and express mock horror than anyone would have the audacity to question their motives.

Neal goes on to say that he doesn’t think McCain is racist—he’s just willing to play the role for the sake of getting the racist vote. McCain himself admitted as much after the 2000 primary. Here he is talking about how he censored his true feelings about the Confederate flag:

I should have done this earlier when an honest answer could have affected me personally. I did not do so for one reason alone. I feared that if I answered honestly, I could not win the South Carolina primary. So I chose to compromise my principles. I broke my promise to always tell the truth.

You can admire his candor here, but the troubling fact remains: McCain sacrificed his most cherished principle—straight-talking honesty—when it became politically expedient to do so. And what’s worse, he sacrificed it—and continues to—in order to appeal to the very worst aspect of our country’s character—our persistent racism.

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