Note: This post is from a portion of an email from my State Senator, Mark Obenshain (R-26). Even if you don’t live in his district, I strongly encourage you to sign up on his email list, as he is one of the leading conservative voices in Richmond. As I appreciated this segment of his most recent piece, I wanted to pass it on to you. Thank you Senator Obenshain.
It’s probably not on your calendar, but September 21st is the International Day of Peace, and former President Jimmy Carter will be in town lecturing on the subject. Unfortunately, the former president hasn’t acted like much of a peacemaker this past week, fanning the flames and engaging in a little race baiting by accusing critics of President Obama, and specifically Rep. Joe Wilson, of racial animus.
Now, I don’t approve of Joe Wilson’s antics. There are right and wrong ways to challenge the President’s assertions, and interrupting an address before a joint session of Congress falls in the latter category. Rather than criticizing a lack of decorum, however – hardly a first in the often boisterous world of politics – Jimmy Carter wasted no time in playing the race card, accusing Wilson and other critics of ObamaCare of mounting opposition to the proposal out of a deep-seated racism.
I don’t suppose it could simply be that they oppose the bill on the merits? I don’t know about Mr. Carter, but I, for one, remember a similar backlash when President Clinton advanced his health care proposals in 1994. Maybe the American people are simply uncomfortable with a government takeover of health care.
Racism is not, alas, dead, and I have no doubt that some small number of President Obama’s critics are animated by such base motives. To assume that dissent implies racism, however, is to slander anyone who happens to have a different point of view. It is an attempt to stifle dissent, not a way to bring people to the table. Someone who styles himself a peacemaker should know better.