Either a lot of Democrats have been slandering millions of American voters as racist, or the Tea Party hasn’t gotten the word that Herman Cain is African American. That is the only conclusion that can be drawn after a slew of recent polls shows that Cain is picking up the ‘teavangelical’ vote as former favorites like Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry fade.
In particular, this morning we get the word from my native state of South Carolina that Cain is the leader in the Republican primary there. According to this American Research Group poll, Cain has a small and statistically insignificant lead over Mitt Romney: 26 percent to 25 percent.
Unless there has been a heretofore unnoticed surge of Black voters into the ranks of the South Carolina GOP, this means that one out of every four voters in the most conservative electorate in the United States are now ready to vote for a Black candidate for president. This should not be all that surprising; the conservative backed governor in South Carolina is of Indian descent, and the voters of Charleston have sent a Black Republican to Congress. It would be hard to find a district of liberal whites who have such a consistently cosmopolitan voting record.
Racism is not dead in this country; anybody who edits blog comments knows that we still have plenty of hot headed haters and racist fools running around. That’s not surprising; any time you have 300 million eggs in a basket, a few of them are going to be addled.
But when GOP conservatives from South Carolina have a Black Congressman, a non-white governor and are lining up to vote for a Black presidential candidate, I think it’s time we reconsidered the slur and defame policy. Whatever their parents and grandparents may have thought, and whatever atavistic creeps still snipe from the fringes, the mass of white southern conservatives today have moved on. They clearly and incontrovertibly are judging political candidates by their character and their views, not by the color of the skin.
It would be nice to see a few more voices in the establishment media take note of that. Who knows? An end to the constant drip-drip-drip of accusations that American conservatives are racist thugs longing for the days of Jim Crow might just do something to restore civility in our political discourse.
It’s just a thought.