He’s One of Them

Last month, the philosopher Robert Paul Wolff gave his answer to that pressing question: “why does the Right hate Obamacare?”. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me quoting a few paragraphs:

“There is now a sizable fraction of the American public, and a considerable number of Representatives and Senators, who say that they consider Obamacare an assault on everything they hold dear, a fatal blow to the American Way, a Socialist plot to destroy life as we know it, an evil so great that it is worth bringing the government to a halt and threatening the world financial system to defund it or even slow marginally the pace at which its provisions go into effect….

The Civil Rights Movement, launched by African-Americans half a century ago, threatened, and eventually began to break down … legal, customary, residential, and employment barriers.  It was at this time that the old familiar political rhetoric about “working men and women” also began to change. The new rhetoric spoke of “middle-class Americans,” which, although no one acknowledged it, was a thinly veiled code for “not Black.”  As economic pressures mounted on those in the lower half of the income pyramid, Whites wrapped themselves in the oft-reiterated reassurance that at least they did not live in the Inner City (which is to say, Black neighborhoods), that they were “Middle Class.”  All of the political discourse came to be about the needs, the concerns, the prospects of the Middle Class, which to millions of Americans, whether they could even articulate it, meant “not Black.”

All of this crumbled, frighteningly, calamitously, disastrously, when a Black man was elected president.  “Free, white, and twenty-one” ceased to be the boast of the working-class White man. Statistics do not matter, trends do not matter, probabilities do not matter, income distribution differentials do not matter. If a Black man with a Black wife and two Black children is President of the United States, then a fundamental metaphysical break has occurred in the spiritual foundation on which White America has built its self-congratulatory self-image for three centuries and more.

Hysterical Whites tried every form of denial. Obama’s election was theft. Obama is not an American. Obama is a Muslim. Obama is a socialist…. When Obama was reelected, vast numbers of Americans went into terminal denial. They seized upon the ACA simply because it was, as everyone knew, Obama’s signature domestic accomplishment. To repeal it, to defund it, to make it as though it had never existed, would be in some measure to deny that he had ever been President. The actual details of the ACA matter not at all. Neither do the actual felt medical needs of those driven insane by the very fact of Obama’s tenure in the White House. None of that has anything at all to do with the real cause of the hysteria. Why are millions of Americans driven beyond hysteria by the ACA? 

BECAUSE OBAMA IS BLACK.”

The full text is here:

http://robertpaulwolff.blogspot.com/2013/09/why-does-right-hate-obamacare.html

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