Ever since President Obama brought up his initiative of health care reform, he has met strong resistance on both sides of the aisle in the form of “tea parties,” protests at town hall meetings and even outbursts by members of Congress at various speeches.
Because of the opposition to his heath care proposals, there have been whispers that his opponents complaints are motivated by the color of Obama’s skin rather than the content of his proposals.
Former President Jimmy Carter is the latest to join this chorus, saying on Tuesday that South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson’s “you lie” exclamation was motivated by race.
On Wednesday he went even farther, adding that protesting at “tea parties” and town hall meetings are motivated by Obama’s race.
Although the White House has denied both of these claims by Carter, it is disheartening, although interesting, to see these accusations being made.
The vast majority of those speaking out against Obama’s proposed health care reform are doing so because they are against the increase in power of the federal government, not because a black president is proposing these changes.
While some may be protesting these proposals because of his skin color, they do not come close to representing the views of the majority of the people against Obama’s policies.
Some of the examples that Carter gave during his speech were of protestors comparing Obama to an animal, Adolph Hitler or wishing death upon the president.
These are all egregious statements to make and there should be no place for them in a civilized discussion about health care reform.
However, most, if not all, of these same claims were made about former President George W. Bush when he was in office.
The difference, of course, is that these allegations were made about Bush’s policies, not his race.
So what gives the same argument about Bush and Obama’s policies different motivations?
It is completely unfair and wrong to say that those who don’t align with Obama’s policies are racist. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 53 percent of Americans are against Obama’s proposed health care reform.
Does this mean that 53 percent of America is racist because they do not see eye-to-eye with Obama on his health care legislation?
It means that more than half of the country is against the overhaul of the health care industry and, therefore, one-sixth of the U.S. economy.
It’s a shame that there can’t be real dialogue on this reform without name calling and race-baiting by prominent politicians on both ends of the political spectrum.
Until the race card stops being played, it will continue to be politics as usual in Washington.