I want to let this go, but I can’t. Here’s the comment Tavis Smiley made last night on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell: “I said over a year ago that this was going to be, this presidential race, Lawrence, was going to be the ugliest, the nastiest, the most divisive, and the most racist in the history of this Republic.” Video link via Real Clear Politics.
I’m sure it will be Mr. Smiley – and mostly on the Democratic side. But, maybe he forgot about that other time in the 1860s when there were two other Presidential races fought over an issue that was so divisive it actually tore this country apart for over four years. I am of course talking about the issue of Slavery and the Civil War.
The Republicans of that time had merely a platform plank calling for the end of slavery. They hadn’t expected it to become the cornerstone over which the Democrats were willing to destroy this country just to see that the issue never came up for discussion.
Or perhaps Mr. Smiley has forgotten about the other time, a hundred years later when this country fought itself over the issue of Civil Rights and Voting Rights legislation. Legislation fought against by most of the Democratic Party in Congress – no surprise there – and only passed because of the Republicans in Congress. He should know about it because he grew up in the midst of what was happening at the time.
But Mr. Smiley conveniently forgot these ‘minor’ items in the rush to paint all conservatives with the same verbal depictions used by the
Democrats Slaveocrats on his own ancestors! Like them, he vilified what he dislikes or doesn’t understand. This has always been the way of the Democratic Party, however, and I don’t really expect it to end anytime soon.
In the video, he repeats the same tired talking points on the racism of the Tea Party that the Democrats have been spouting for over a year and even tries to connect them with Donald Trump. Despite some polls that suggest the Tea Party likes Trump, reality and belief have never been further apart. And the same can be said for Mr. Smiley’s prediction.
My prediction, counter to Mr. Smiley’s is this: We will have a normal election with hotheads on both sides saying things that shouldn’t be said – but that’s it. I hope that we can get a chance to undo some of the damage that President Obama has done to the country. That is where my disagreement with Obama lies, in his policies, not in him.