Right On: Crying wolf

Image composite, St. George News

OPINION – He’s a racist. He’s homophobic. He’s a misogynist. He’s anti-Latino. He’s Islamophobic. He’s ….

It’s obvious who I’m talking about, right? Well, not exactly.

The Democratic Party and the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) have applied these and similar epithets to George W. Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney and most recently to Donald Trump.

These epithets appeared in Democratic campaign ads. Worse, they continue to appear in what are presented by the media as news stories.

Thoughtful observers on both sides of the political spectrum point out that these accusations have lost their sting. They have been so overused that they are largely ignored by voters from both parties.

Was George W. Bush a racist? Al Gore’s campaign ads said Bush was. Yet Bush included more African Americans in his cabinet than Bill Clinton or any other president before him.

Was John McCain a racist? Google returns over 1 million results for “John McCain racist 2008”. During the campaign, Obama strongly implied McCain was a racist but even ABC News disputed it.

Google returns over 12 million results for “Romney racist 2012.” Even the mildest criticism of Obama then and now has been deemed racist by Democrats. The public is numb to the claim.

Then came Donald Trump. As he continued to rise through successive Republican primaries, Democrats could only hope such a flawed candidate would be nominated. Democrats and their media allies took a back seat to the Republican Stop Trump movement.

But little noticed in the summer of 2016, thoughtful articles began appearing in both conservative and liberal media. These authors opposed Trump but realized that the public wasn’t hearing their cries of wolf.

Jonah Goldberg in the conservative National Review wrote in July, “Decades of smearing decent Republican candidates leaves (Democrats) without credibility on Trump’s demagoguery. Millions of Americans firmly believe that journalists are water carriers for the Democrats and will tune out much of what they have to say about Trump now that he’s the nominee.”

New York Times writer Frank Bruni belatedly picked up the theme in September. In his editorial, Crying Wolf, Then Confronting Trump, Bruni said:

Four years ago, Romney was a bloodsucking capitalist vampire whose indictment of Obamacare was ipso facto proof of his racism.

In The Daily Beast, (Romney) was called a ‘race-mongering pyromaniac.’ On MSNBC, (Romney) was accused, by a black commentator, of the ‘niggerization’ of Obama into ‘the scary black man who we’ve been trained to fear.’

Bruni then quoted Howard Wolfson who worked for Democratic presidential candidates in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

“I’m quite confident I employed language that, in retrospect, was hyperbolic and inaccurate, language that cheapened my ability — our ability — to talk about this (Trump) moment with accuracy and credibility,” Wolfson said. “We should take stock of this moment and recognize that our language really needs to be more accountable and more appropriate to the circumstances.”

In the conservative magazine “Commentary,” Noah Rothman wrote, “Honorable and decent men like McCain and Romney are reflexively dubbed racists simply for opposing Democratic policies. Today, (Democrats) point and shout ‘racist’ into the void, but (they) only have themselves to blame for the fact that so many are no longer listening.”

With all this angst about Trump, how much is fact and how much is left liberal over-the-top rhetoric?

Scott Alexander is a mental health worker and a liberal blogger. He believes Trump will be a terrible president and has had two patients express Trump-related suicidal ideation. Yet his blog post “You Are Still Crying Wolf” is eye opening.

The post is long and data-filled. I strongly suggest reading it before criticizing the following samples:

“There is no evidence that Donald Trump is more racist than any past Republican candidate (or any other 70 year old white guy, for that matter).

“All this stuff about how he’s ‘the candidate of the KKK’ and ‘the vanguard of a new white supremacist movement’ is made up.”

“(Trump will be) by far the most pro-transgender Republican president in history.”

But what about the following over-the-top campaign statement?

“We cannot tolerate illegal immigration and we must stop it. Washington talked tough but failed to act. Drugs flowed freely. Illegal immigration was rampant. Criminal immigrants, deported after committing crimes in America, returned the very next day to commit crimes again.”

Which candidate said that? Alexander quotes it word for word from Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection campaign.

Alexander’s bottom line: Trump may turn out to be a terrible president but almost certainly not for the reasons given by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and repeated as news, not opinion, in the mainstream media.

Get over it, Democrats. You lost the election crying wolf. You created great anxiety among those naïve enough to believe you.

As Alexander says at the end of his blog post, stop, stop, stop.

And this writer says get back to the business of being the loyal opposition on matters of substance.

Howard Sierer is a developing columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: hsierer@stgeorgeutah.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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15 Comments

  • ScanMeister January 12, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Wow, this really echos the real side of what has happened to charged political comments falling on ears that tune out that familiar drummer over the years……playing the same beat.

  • Real Life January 12, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Liberals have used the word racist so often, it has watered down the very meaning of the word.

    • DB January 12, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      Agreed! The term ‘racist’ is as overused as the words ‘gourmet’ and ‘executive’. Remember when Joe Biden was called a racist when he called Obama ‘articulate’ in 2008?

  • tcrider January 12, 2017 at 8:21 am

    the way I see it:
    john mccain and mitt are the only ones with integrity on your list,
    george w invaded a country that had nothing to do with 911 or weapons of mass destruction, and then our country reinforced saudi arabia, the country that provided the majority of terrorists for 911 (go figure)
    its only a matter of time before dungle trump will be impeached, he has never been able to answer a question intelligently, and is a pathological liar.

  • peanutz714 January 12, 2017 at 8:52 am

    I think the GOP does not realize that all of these racists things are recorded. Trump will say that he did not ridicule a disabled man, but the evidence is right before us. They deny that he said anything negative about Mexicans, but those were the first words out of his mouth when he announced his candidacy. Also recorded. Then he said that he did not say anything negative about women, yet we have the audio of him bragging about grabbing p*&(& . He has broken several of his major campaign promises BEFORE he has even taken the oath of office. He won the electoral vote. However he does not have a mandate of the people because he lost the popular vote by 2.8 million dollars. About ” getting over it “, that is BS. I have teenagers who will become adults in the next four years. My continued concern is for them. Is one of his impulsive tweets going to put us to war? His association with Russia is dangerous. This is not a President of the people. We have EVERY right to be concerned. I will continue to be concerned and will watch him and his policies so that it does not affect my children.

    • KarenS January 12, 2017 at 10:59 am

      I agree with peanutz. This article misses the fact that it was what Trump actually said and did that brought those judgements on him. He made racist comments such a the ones he made about the Hispanic judge. Even Paul Ryan said it was “the textbook definition of a racist comment.” Trump certainly did mock a disabled reporter and then lied when he claimed that he had never met the man. Additionally, people with that disability do move their arms like Trump mocked. There are videos of people with that disability that show those same arm movements when they move around. Trump knew the reporter and knew the movements. Trump lied.

      The broader point here is that Trump’s words and actions during the campaign caused many people to view him with skepticism and doubt. Time will tell.

    • comments January 12, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      LOL! and how are you going to stop gov’t policy from affecting your kids?

      • .... January 14, 2017 at 3:37 am

        LOL ! Oh I’m sure you have some kind of conspiracy theory on this to !

  • Who January 12, 2017 at 9:58 am

    It’s amazing how calm the right is (and always has been). The hysteria of the left goes on and on. The right gave Obama a chance, no looting, burning down neighborhoods etc. Now it’s time for the left to show us why America should listen to them. Always remember , the big cities and their unions don’t represent America as a whole as the election showed.

    • Rainbow Dash January 12, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      Who ,
      Most of the statements you made in your comment were wrong. Let me set you straight.

      “It’s amazing how calm the right is (and always has been).”

      There are numerous videos of right wingers screaming and yelling all sorts of obscenities at Trump rallies
      This is just one such man and here he is denying that he did anything wrong.
      He is just one example, yes, but his “do now, deny later” behavior fits about 99% of modern conservatives. I submit that when Obama won in 2008 and 2012, Conservatives didn’t take to the streets, No sir. Instead of taking to the streets and putting faces to names, most conservatives took the “silent majority” approach and took to their keyboard.

      “The right gave Obama a chance….” Wrong again.
      Then GOP House Minority Leader John Boehner said; “We’re going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.” Then Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is quoted as saying ““The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

      “Always remember , the big cities and their unions don’t represent America as a whole as the election showed.” Again, wrong.
      2.5 MILLION more Americans voted for Hillary than did Trump. Let me say that again, THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS VOTED FOR HILLARY CLINTON!. Donald Trump is only President because of an outdated and obsolete system in which, as was proven on December 19th, 538 people can override the vote of the majority.

      Now before you retort with some stuff about how you think I wouldn’t be saying that if the situation were reversed, Let me be clear. I ABSOLUTELY would. The Electoral college, designed for a long past election process that relied on Pony Express riders, was fraught with all sorts of peril, and took weeks or months to iron out, is no longer necessary in my humble opinion and needs to be either changed to better fit modern America, used only in the event of a tie, or repealed completely.

      Have a nice day,

  • anybody home January 12, 2017 at 10:28 am

    If Donald Trump was only a racist, that would be one thing. (And I use the word “only” very carefully.) But Donald Trump is a racist, a sexist, a liar, a cheater, a misogynist, a bully and a thug. Worse, he’s a child in a man’s suit who likes to make trouble as he has all his life – well-documented now. I don’t care what he does with his business interests, but I care a hell of a lot what he does with my country and the country of my children and grandchildren.
    It’s interesting to me that Trump marries women who apparently have no relatives close by. This is a good trick, because any mother of a daughter asks herself, “What would I tell my daughter if she brought this guy home?” And every mother I know would tell her to kick him to the curb because his sleaze factor is off the charts.
    You can like Donald Trump, Mr. Seier, but I’d tell my daughter to kick you to the curb as well.

  • comments January 12, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    I’m actually beginning to like Trump on some issues and I hope he turns out to be genuine. The filth that is the mainstream facist neo-liberal establishment needs to be put in its place. It isn’t racist to want your country to work for the citizens first and not a bunch of illegal aliens and foreigners who don’t belong. And it’s almost seeming like this plan to investigate the filthy corrupt evil ******s in the vaccine industry(racket) will go through. As of now we have a bunch of soulless sociopaths running things. Even a snake has more conscience than these creatures. Someday they will get what they deserve I hope.

  • comments January 12, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Oh and the fact that the MSM never shuts their filthy lying mouths about Russia you know the Russians must be doing something right. We should send Hillary over there and let Putin deal with her. LOL

    • .... January 14, 2017 at 3:40 am

      good idea. and you can go with her !

  • r2d2 January 12, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    This article hits the nail square on the head. The little boy cried wolf and no one listened.

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