Who’s afraid of the big black wolf?

“They’re going to try to make you afraid of me,” says Barack Obama. “He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?”

Why is it that when someone on the left disapproves of something, or disagrees with something, it’s out of principle, while those of us on the right always take our positions based on “fear”? What are they afraid of? If you don’t want marriage redefined, you’re a homophobe, afraid of homosexuals rather than simply believing that marriage ought to remain between a man and a woman? If you don’t plan to vote for Barack Obama, you’re afraid of him because he’s black rather than simply opposed to his policies?

People like me didn’t vote for John Kerry or Al Gore either. Was it because we were afraid of them? Was it because we were racist? Oh, that’s right, they were both white guys. Never mind. The Anchoress has links to several blogs addressing this issue, including Bookworm’s bold and witty response.

When those who like to call themselves “progressive” dismiss my political views as based on fear, it reminds me of when I was young and single and guys used to demand, “What are you afraid of?” when I wasn’t inclined to hop into bed with them. The fact that I didn’t want to have sex with someone couldn’t possibly mean that (a) I thought casual sex was wrong on principle, or (b) I wasn’t all that attracted to the guy who was trying to get it. No, it meant that I was afraid. Because surely if I wasn’t afraid, I’d be nice and compliant and spread my legs at the drop of a hat for anyone who asked, right?

When someone doesn’t agree with you, or want to do what you want them to do, the most facile, puerile response possible is to dismiss their disagreement as fear.

Comments 5

  1. jk Austin trainer wrote:

    This is going to be an ugly election. BHO is already playing the race card. BHO will get 95% of the black vote. Were McCain to say blacks are not votng for him because he is white, the media would tear him to shreds but BHO is permtted such rhetoric.

    Posted 24 Jun 2008 at 3:08 am
  2. Katherine Gebler wrote:

    Being of the Progressive left — I agree with you — often people on the left use the tag “you’re afraid or a racist” when they don’t want to debate you on the merits of an argument — or just accept that you don’t think like them and that’s okay.

    But doesn’t the conservative Right have their own version of this: The left is “weak”, “soft” or my favorite “living in la la land” (I get that from my father all the time).

    But your wider point is vitally important — it’s time to stop name call on BOTH sides, and to get down to issues and ideas. With the country in a mortgage crisis, gas nearing 5 bucks a gallon and food costs climbing — things are getting dire for everyone.

    By the way — saw a terrible bumper sticker at Costco this morning: “democrats are hard on fetus and soft on terrorists”. Can someone tell me, how that is helpful?

    Posted 24 Jun 2008 at 9:12 pm
  3. Brigette Russell wrote:

    The charge of being “weak” or “soft” is one that has some substance, when the issue is doing and saying things that make our enemies have contempt for us. Kate, you know your Roman history well enough to know how impossible the maintenance of empire would have been had the peoples on the fringe of the empire not known that the Romans spoke softly but carried a VERY big stick and weren’t the least hesitant to use it.

    As to bumper stickers, the vast majority of them I see in Santa Fe are nasty, infantile and leftist — Bush is president of Dumfukistan, Exfoliate the Bushes, Buck Fush, Remove Bush’s Feeding Tube (gasoline pump pictured), and even one using nursery school scatology to describe the president (too embarrassing even to type it here). There is obnoxious sloganeering on both sides, to be sure, but I see far more of one kind than the other around here.

    Posted 24 Jun 2008 at 11:22 pm
  4. Bowden Russell wrote:

    “By the way — saw a terrible bumper sticker at Costco this morning: “democrats are hard on fetus and soft on terrorists”. Can someone tell me, how that is helpful?”

    Nothing wrong with that sticker. If you believe that an embryo is a living being, and last time I checked life begets life, than it is very, very, depressingly accurate.

    How accurate? Oh about 47 million times accurate since Roe v. Wade.

    Abortion = terrorism.

    Posted 26 Jun 2008 at 10:23 pm
  5. cathleen wrote:

    Wow, what an excellent point! It is irritating being accused of being afraid all the time. Geez.

    Posted 28 Jun 2008 at 1:42 pm

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