Vice President Joe Biden was campaigning in southern Virginia to a fair-sized crowd that included quite a few African Americans. Some are saying that he made an honest mistake, accidentally referencing slavery in his speech to the voters. The Vice President said that Mitt Romney’s plans if he were elected to the presidency includes the deregulation of Wall Street, or as Biden put it, the unchaining of Wall Street. He then went on to make the comment that has started so much debate. He told the crowd that Romney wanted to “put y’all back in chains.”
A little over the top maybe? Naturally, Romney himself said that this was a new low for the White House and the comments were unacceptable. Of course, they always say that. If Biden had said that Romney had a plan to declare that the sky is blue, Romney would immediately veraciously call him a liar and a thief. And vice versa. that is the nature of election season and part of the ridiculous playacting that we call American politics.
Some are calling this a signal to black voters to get out and vote. Well, that seems pretty much on point. After all, the point of campaign speeches is to get potential voters to vote for your candidate. We’re with you so far. Is it an example of a political race card?
Well, once again, of course it is. It’s election time. Things are getting nasty. The hate ads are swirling back and forth, and despite what either side will tell you at any given moment, both are equally as guilty of slinging the mud, desperately hoping that some of it might stick. Another mainstay of election season is a concept that should be familiar to sports fans. Leave it all on the field. Someone is going to win and someone is going to lose. The winner will be President of the United States for at least four years. The other will fade away into obscurity and most likely never run a major political campaign for the rest of their life. Leave it all on the field. That’s what this is. Call it the race card, call it playing the game, or just call it politics. This is what the people we allow to represent our country do. Whether it works or not is up to the people.
Is this the Obama campaign’s first time to play the black ace of spades? Of course not. In the first election, Barack Obama himself accused Republicans of hoping for “black folks” to stay home when voting time came around. There wasn’t a lot of debate about that one. Pretty obvious. You know what? It worked like a charm. The “black folks” did indeed turn out and they played a dominant role in the election of Mr. Obama to the most powerful position in the world. So, is there any doubt that card will be played again? Well, not anymore.
Incidentally, if either candidate was to make an over-the-top plea for “white folks” to turn out and vote, it would not be “playing the race card.” That would just be termed racist. Yes, we said it. It’s okay to pander directly to black voters, but to pander directly to white voters would be discriminating against the black voters and therefore an outright act of political racism. To pander directly to the black voters is simply trying to “play the race card” to increase voter turnout. Is that fair? Not really. But sometimes it is what it is. Welcome to America.