Sunday, January 22, 2012

Newt and South Carolinians show Steven Pinker wrong ...

These days I'm immersed in Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker's enormous and fascinating The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. I'm nowhere near ready to write anything thoughtful about the book as whole; getting there may take several weeks more digestion.

But yesterday was not the best day to read the section on what Pinker calls "the rights revolution," to assimilate in his assertion that most racism in contemporary U.S. culture is a a thing of the past. Here's a sample:

The stigmatizing of any attitude that smacks of the dehumanization or demonization of minority groups extends well beyond the polling numbers. It has transformed Western culture, government, sports, and everyday life. … Derogatory racial and ethnic jokes, offensive terms for minority groups, and naive musings about innate racial differences have become taboo in mainstream forums and have ended the careers of several politicians and media figures. Of course, plenty of vicious racism can still be found in the cesspools of the Internet and at the fringes of the political right, but a sharp line divides it from mainstream culture and politics. … The campaign to extirpate any precursor to attitudes that could lead to racial violence has defined the bounds of the thinkable and sayable. …

Apparently not if you are Newt Gingrich and the place is South Carolina.

Beating up on Black reporter Juan Williams for challenging him to disavow the racism embedded in his attacks Barack Obama -- a Kenyan socialist food stamp president according to Newt -- and trumpeting the attacks just won the former House Speaker a nice popular vote victory. And this came even at the end of a week in which one of his ex-wive's claimed he'd demanded an open marriage while already carrying on an affair with wife number three. Newt is riding high. Apparently in his victory speech, he announced

I articulate the deepest held values of the American people.

Let's hope not.

2 comments:

Rain said...

Well I am not fond of any Republican candidates-- not any of them. I would not vote for them but frankly I've come to see Romney the scariest because ethically he only values his church but it doesn't appear he applies that to anything else. He will do anything for power and it's done as subterfuge. His economic record for what he has helped do to our country is part of the total destruction they have plotted on the Middle Class. So for me Newt wasn't the worst choice at all. That doesn't make him anything but sleazy but in terms of worse, no that was Romney; so I am glad it went as it did. I keep hoping someone will come into the Republican field who is conservative (which I won't like) but at least has honor. As it stands, I'd rather the people had to vote for the out front sleaze than the one hidden under sanctimonious religiosity while he takes everything we have as a people.

Think about Romney and his taxes where he is trying to not reveal what he has been paying which is probably considerably under 15%. What kind of human being would run for the highest office in the land, would be doing such things probably up until recently, and still say he could be for the every guy. I think I'd rather have my sleaze up front and visible so at least we are forewarned. Now I know I don't think like Republicans for my values, what I want a government to do, but honestly will Republicans even think like Gingrich when this is all time to vote? They might Romney and then what would we have? I was glad Gingrich won even knowing he stoked a racist code to get there. Romney, in his speeches on the stump, did the same thing. I think they couldn't get the vote from that segment of the right without it. The only thing that worries me in this next election now is-- how big a segment of Americans are like that? If it's over half, then we will get a Romney or a Gingrich type from the looks of it. I am hoping it's not...

PseudoPiskie said...

I don't care what individuals say, the anti-Obama people are racists. If you ask enough questions, even the most reluctant will eventually admit that a black in the WHITE House just doesn't compute. I suspect there are many who will vote for the most vile, most hateful man, always a male, possible to get the n out of the white man's house. Sad and sick.

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