Northam's Minstrel Show Morality Play

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Within a column about the ongoing the Ralph Northam debacle in Virginia comes a gem by Walter Williams:

Which one is the Democrat? Does it really matter? (Image by East Virginia Medical School, via Wikipedia.)
Keeping blacks blind to the folly of unquestioned support for the Democratic Party by keeping blacks fearful, angry and resentful and painting the Republican Party as racist is vital. Democrats never want blacks to seriously ask questions about what the party has done for them. Here are some facts. The nation's most troublesome and dangerous cities -- Indianapolis, Stockton, Oakland, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Kansas City, Baltimore, Memphis, St. Louis and Detroit -- have been run by Democrats, often black Democrats, for nearly a half-century. These and other Democratic-run cities are where blacks suffer the highest murder rates and their youngsters attend the poorest-performing and most unsafe schools.
I rarely say this of Williams, but he doesn't go far enough. To see what I mean, read on.

The writer at The American Spectator quotes Williams in partial support of his contention -- with which I agree -- that the Democratic Party uses race quite cynically today, and that its policies are harmful to everyone, especially blacks.

But shortly afterwards, George Neumayr notes similarities between Republican immigration policies (with which I disagree) and those of several Democrats. The similarity hardly ends there, as Republicans have for decades been inadequate opponents of the Democrats, failing to oppose their policies on moral grounds, being "Democrats lite", or even adopting their bad policies. Case in point: With ample evidence of the failure of government schools, for example, did Republicans lay the groundwork for privatization when there was momentum for something like that? No. Instead, they pushed for vouchers, which could have been a good first step -- but which it soon became apparent was just a way to let churches get at the government trough. (Trump's recent voucher proposal, absent a broader context of getting the government out of education, is a prime example.) Threats to religious freedom aside, vouchers alone are a fascistic "solution" to the problem of socialism, which ignores the real alternative: capitalism.

Ralph Northam may show that Democrats are all hat and no cattle... Scratch that: He shows them to be cattle rustlers. But the fact that Northam won the governorship of Virginia is not, as some have suggested, merely due to inadequate opposition research. It's because the Republicans are not substantially different overall than the Democrats. This is why mere race-baiting can win elections.

But real contests with decent, actual alternatives aren't going to happen until many more of us -- not just blacks and not just Democrats -- start asking ourselves why we're delivering so much power over our lives and well-being to politicians, pretty much all of whom we should regard with suspicion. The fact that the top three rungs of Virginia's gubernatorial line of succession are inhabited by men of questionable character should make all of us think about that.

-- CAV

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