Obama has lead us to The Dead-End Street of Identity Politics

May 23, 2011 02:55

Rather than healing old wounds and developing a cohesive sense of national identity independent of race or ancestry, Obama instead has rubbed salt in those wounds.

By Dean Malik at American Thinker


Obama presented himself as the unifying, transcendent consensus leader of all Americans, while simultaneously holding himself out as the standard-bearer and kinsman of America’s historically disempowered minorities carrying the promise of “redistributive justice.”

This is one of the great tragedies of Obama’s caustic and divisive political strategy; at the precise moment when we as a society were poised to move beyond race as a relevant social and economic issue, race was forcefully injected back into the national consciousness.

However, the 2008 presidential election was a test for the degree of racism in American society, and we passed with flying colors.  Regardless of his appeal to racial minorities, Obama could not have been elected in an endemically racist society.

Additionally, the election of Obama brings new attention to a growing number of conservative Americans not of European descent — people who believe that the American Dream is a product of freedom, personal responsibility, individual merit, and determination, and not a race-based entitlement.   Paul Thurmond, the son of former arch-segregationist Strom Thurmond, was defeated in the Republican primary in South Carolina by Tim Scott, a more conservative black candidate who went on to win the general election in the state’s 1st Congressional District.  Nikki Haley, an American of Indian descent, won the governorship of the same state for the GOP.  In Florida, conservative war veteran Allen West — who also happens to be black — handily defeated Democratic incumbent Ron Klein and delivered Florida’s 22nd Congressional District to the Republican party after years of Democratic control.  The rise of Republicans Marco Rubio in Florida and Bobby Jindal in Louisiana also coincides with Obama’s ascendancy.
The success of non-white political candidates in both broad-based and predominantly white electorates in states below the Mason-Dixon Line contributes to a growing body of evidence that the embrace of core conservative values is a viable, powerful, and uniquely American alternative to race-based politics.


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