Sunday, October 12, 2008

The McCain Campaign on White Voters

An Open Letter to White Voters, or What McCain Really Thinks of You

from the Racialicious blog

Dear white voter,

Sorry, was that too direct? Sarah Palin loves calling you “Joe Six Pack” and “hockey mom.” Perhaps I too, should use one of 68 possible euphemisms to refer to you instead.

I want to ask you a simple question: Which candidate — McCain or Obama — do you think has a higher opinion of your character?

John McCain has spent the last couple of weeks asking ominously: “Who is the real Barack Obama?”

Sarah Palin hasn’t hesitated to supply an answer to this question. She declared at a Florida rally on Monday that Barack Obama “is not a man who sees America the way you and I see America. I’m afraid this is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to work with a former domestic terrorist who had targeted his own country.”

And as CNN’s Campbell Brown pointed out in her commentary Wednesday night, McCain surrogates have made a point of calling the Democratic candidate “Barack Hussein Obama” at least twice this week.

The McCain campaign is doing its best to paint Obama as a shadowy Manchurian candidate who is un-American, unpatriotic, dangerous, sympathetic to terrorists, and possibly even a secret Muslim (needless to say, that’s a bad thing in their eyes).

That much is obvious.

But what does their strategy say about what they think of you, the white voter?

Judging from their messaging, they seem to be stereotyping white voters as closed-minded, paranoid, naive, xenophobic, and just a tad bit racist.

Full article at Racialicious


The Angry Independent said...

Liberal Arts Dude,

I agree that I don't believe most white voters are like this (racist and xenophobic). But there is a significant number of white voters who are.

The author lost sight of the purpose of the McCain tactics. The purpose of these tactics is not to change the minds of most white voters. The goal is to create just enough doubt about Obama that they sway a few whites, a few moderates, and a few independents away from Obama. They want to do just enough to put themselves back in the Game.

There are some signs that the fearmongering has worked in Ohio (we have to see a few more polls). Obama's lead may have been a knee jerk reaction to the economy....and may be short-lived.

Now McCain has taken his hate tour to Red State Virginia where he will try the same tactics...and try to regain a lead there.

Frustrating to watch the fearmongering...and voters gullible enough to fall for it.

Liberal Arts Dude said...

Hello AI

I think the author at the Racialicious blog makes a very interesting point -- that the McCain camp comes off as basing its assumptions about white voters as being racist and xenophobic. No matter what, any campaign that does that is really scraping the bottom of the barrel and going for the lowest common denominator to get votes.

Now what depresses me about American society is that your observation is absolutely correct that for a certain segment of the population, such tactics work and are effective in getting their vote.

Hopefully enough white Republicans will see through such tactics and reject the McCain campaign as a result.

In any case, I think the point the author makes is an important one and needed to be made even if it is not meant to sway wavering white voters to the Obama side. It's an effective illustration on which campaign holds the high ground on race in this case.