There is absolutely no logical reason why Mitt Romney should be leading Barack Obama in any state. More than any campaign in recent history, the Romney camp has adopted a strategy of flagrant lies and delirious deception, and it appears to be working for them. The extent Romney’s surrogates go to cover the lies would make a beetroot blush. Most recently, even after Chrysler debunked the xenophobic television ad that contortedly accuses the car company and the President of moving jobs to China, Romney’s campaign defiantly refuses to back down.
What baffles me is the fact that the media is allowing the Romney campaign to get away with this obvious blizzard of shameless lies. They seem to be intimidated by the bullying tactics of John Sununu and other rambunctious Romney talking heads who have sunk to such a low level of reprobation that only the beguiled would deny that they have made a deal with the devil. I still can’t believe that Romney’s refusal to disclose his tax history is no longer newsworthy. And lets not even talk about the fact that he avoids paying his fair share to the Internal Revenue Service by hiding his money in foreign tax shelters. I know President Obama did not live up to all of his promises (not for a lack of trying), but this media refusal to call Romney out just doesn’t make sense.
Last week, FOX News political analyst, Juan Williams wrote an interesting commentary on why he believes Romney may be the next president of the United States of America. The game-changing event, in his opinion, was the way in which the first presidential debate was reported. From his vantage point as an insider, Williams noticed that while the debate was being conducted, fellow journalists were more glued to the Twitter feed than the actual content of the candidate’s arguments. Consequently, the post-debate reporting was all about the pathos of the opponents’ performance and had no substantive evaluation of the candidates’ ethos (personal ethics) or the strength of their logos (arguments).
I agree with Williams that the first debate was a major turning point, but I don’t believe it was Twitter that shifted the electoral tide. The real catalyst, in my estimation, was race. It is no secret that the major negative shift in the post-debate support for the President was among the White electorate—both male and female. I believe that there were many people who were looking for an excuse not to vote for Mr. Obama, and Romney’s bodacious performance gave it to them.
By now, I know the Spectrum audience, and am pretty sure that some had already accused me of playing the race card after reading the first sentence of this column. Nonetheless, for those who truly desire genuine dialogue, I invite you to take a look at the recently released Associated Press poll that reports 51% of Americans expressing “explicit anti-Black attitudes” and 56% holding “anti-Black sentiments.” Am I to believe that this has nothing to do with voting patterns in the United States of America? The very fact that the majority of voters of all ethnicities fail to acknowledge Ann Dunham’s contribution to Barack Obama’s genetic makeup, is enough evidence for the racial dysfunction in American society.
One Term President
Over the past four years, we have been blitzed with a barrage of blatant racist attempts to destabilize the President. Don’t for a second believe that the private meeting held by top Republican politicians held on the day of Mr. Obama’s inauguration had nothing to do with race. As best-selling author Robert Draper reports in his recent book, the sole purpose for that unprecedented meeting was to ensure the failure of the first obviously African gened President. In that meeting, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and their associates planned to make Obama’s presidency look so incompetent that the White House’s living quarters would never again be called “home” by the descendants of African victims of European imperialism.
This meeting was the strategically placed snowball that launched the avalanche of bigotry that has only seemed to intensify during the President’s tenure. From Congressman Joe Wilson’s disrespectful “You Lie” outburst to opportunist Donald Trump’s “birther” campaign, this Hawaiian born President has been forced to endure racial attitudes unknown to any of his predecessors; but all too familiar to any of those ethnic groups that have been categorized as “other.” Unfortunately, as the aforementioned Associated Press poll reveals, the racial animus towards Blacks is actually worse than it was four years ago. Given the political attempt to diminish the President’s authority, I don’t believe this is coincidental.
Ironically, the one who may topple the current President is one whose religion is built on the notion of White supremacy. In fact, I’m surprised that the media has not examined the doctrines and traditions of the Mormon Church more closely. Who knows if Romney’s religious formation is the reason why he feels comfortable articulating “birther” language and proposing policies that would mean the death of many Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)?
More sinister is the possibility that he may see himself as the fulfillment of the controversial “White Horse” prophecy that may not have originated with Joseph Smith, but has shaped Mormon’s understanding of their role in prophecy. According to this teaching, a time will come when the United States constitution will be “hanging on a thread,” and the United States will look to the Mormon Church for deliverance. Could Mr. Romney be the “exceedingly fair and delightsome” deliverer who replaces the one who bears the “curse” of a “skin of blackness” (for the context of the quotes see the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 5:21)?
I know I had previously announced that my columns for the next few months would feature obituaries, and this definitely does not fit the genre. However, in an uncanny way this column does speak about death—the death of reason. Some people are so blinded by their own bigotry that they are willing to make political choices that are detrimental to their own interests. This defies all standards of reasonable behavior and common sense.
I have no doubt that this willingness to be deceived is symptomatic of the times in which we live. Who knows? A Romney presidency could be a loud reminder that these are indeed the closing days of earth’s history. This could be the wake up call for God’s people to align themselves with the only political leader who always tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This leader is none other than Jesus the Messiah who values citizens of “every nation, tribe, language and people” (Rev 14:6). He is a “one term” leader who will never be up for re-election (and was never up for election!) because his reign is “for ever and ever” (Rev 11:15). He is the one called “Faithful and True” who rides the white horse of eschatological justice (Rev 19:11).
As you reflect on this election in light of the eternal kingdom, always keep in mind that “a tree is known by its fruit.”
Keith Augustus Burton is a teacher, author and evangelist. He directs the Center for Adventist-Muslim Relations at Oakwood University.