The crudity of the liberal mind

I think the big issue everywhere in the world today is there are some forces bringing us together and some forces tearing us apart. And you want the ones that are bringing us together to triumph over the ones that are tearing us apart.
— William Clinton, explaining to reporters in South Africa why he has “fallen in love” with soccer

Wherever Clinton goes, whatever the issue is, he predictably applies the same template. Goodness equals the forces that are “bringing people together,” badness the forces that are “tearing them apart.” So soccer is good because it represents the forces that are bringing people together. Which means that if you don’t like soccer, you’re on the side of the forces that are tearing us apart. You are, in short, a racist.

Similarly, when Clinton came to New York City in September 1993 to campaign for the disastrous incumbent Mayor David Dinkins against his rival Rudolph Giuliani, the president stated that the only possible reason people could have for not supporting Dinkins was that “too many of us are still too unwilling to vote for people who are different than we are.” He repeatedly added that he was not speaking about “overt racism,” meaning that he was talking about covert racism.

Similarly, in 2008, even as a nonwhite was winning the Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton bemoaned the fact that Americans “were sorting ourselves out by choosing to live with people that we agree with,” as reflected in the Red-Blue polarization of the country shown in the 2004 presidential election. But, as I commented, “given that liberals think that conservatives are racists, why would conservatives want to live around liberals?” I would love to see a liberal answer that question.

Which, by the way, brings us back to the subject of Jeffersonian’s recent expanded article on how to divide America into two countries, one for liberals, one for conservatives.

Here is the September 27, 1993 New York Times article, by Todd Purdum, about Clinton’s trip to New York:

President Clinton, his voice ringing in revival tones, told a packed fund-raiser last night that Mayor David N. Dinkins deserved re-election on his record, but was facing a tough campaign partly because “too many of us are still too unwilling to vote for people who are different than we are.”

With such an overt reference to Mr. Dinkins’s status as New York City’s first black Mayor, the President unleashed perhaps the most explosive electoral weapon at the Mayor’s command, and one that Mr. Dinkins has seldom, if ever, invoked in such strong terms.

“This is not as simple as overt racism,” Mr. Clinton told 1,000 people at a $1,000-a-plate dinner at the New York Sheraton, speaking extemporaneously and choosing his words with apparent care as the crowd burst into cheers and ovations. “That is not anything I would charge to anybody who doesn’t vote for David Dinkins or Bill Clinton or anybody else. It’s not that simple. It’s this deep-seated reluctance we have, against all our better judgment, to reach out across these lines.”

At that, a voice in the crowd shouted out, “Tell ‘em, Bubba!”

As he began this portion of his speech, flanked on the dais by such celebrated Democratic orators as Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, who had spoken earlier, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Mr. Clinton said, “I’m going to get in a lot of trouble.”

But he said that on the flight from Washington with the Mayor on Air Force One, he had begun to wonder why Mr. Dinkins, having endured tough fiscal times, hired more police and seen crime decline, should face a competitive race against Rudolph W. Giuliani in a city like New York, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 5 to 1. He said part of the reason is “he doesn’t give enough speeches like he gave here tonight,” referring to the Mayor’s own unusually emphatic broadside against Mr. Giuliani as a supporter of Republican policies that he says have hurt the city. He also called the Mayor a humble man in a society “that values self-promotion.”

Then he went on to raise the race question, saying several times that he did not mean to suggest overt racism. Instead, he said: “It is this inability to take that sort of leap of faith, to believe that people who look different than we are really are more like us than some people who look just like us but don’t share our values and our interests.”

Black supporters of the Mayor have tried occasionally to voice such concerns, and have often faced stiff criticism. For a white Southern-born President to raise them was an altogether different order of political tactics, though mayoral aides insisted that the passage was unplanned.

Indeed, the tone of Mr. Clinton’s speech was in marked contrast to the photo opportunities and other carefully scripted events in a day that began with the President giving the Mayor a lift on Air Force One from Washington, where Mr. Dinkins had gone Saturday night just for a morning meeting at the White House and airborne face time with his Commander in Chief.

From the White House lawn to the Future Diner in Fresh Meadows, Queens (where the President conducted one of his trademark Oprah-esque seminars on health care, with Mr. Dinkins nodding solemnly in a front-row booth) to a private fund-raiser for big donors at the home of a whiskey magnate to the dinner, the Mayor stuck to the President like wallpaper sticks to the wall. Beaming broadly, he introduced him in Queens as “our fearless leader.”

At the fund-raiser, Mr. Clinton said of his help for the Mayor, “This is a big deal to me,” noting that he himself could never have been elected without broad interracial support. “This is a big deal, folks. This is not just New York, this is L.A., this is rural South. This is every place we are being tested. We are going through a time of profound change and we right now don’t have the sense of personal security to make the changes we need to make.”

He continued: “We need more confidence in our selves, and confidence that we can meet all these challenges that are out there and confidence that the 21st century will also be an American century. And in order to do it, we have to get our act together, so we can feel good about the people we elect.”

Citing the treaty-signing ceremony between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel, Mr. Clinton said: “Think about what it means for the future of the Middle East if we can keep it going. And then ask yourself, this man, who has a good record, who has a good plan, who has a good heart, has earned the right to your vote, and you ought to make sure he gets it and is returned to City Hall.”

The Mayor wrapped Mr. Clinton in a bear hug and told the crowd, “For me, it does not get better than this.”

In an interview later at the Carnegie Delicatessen, where he had repaired with aides for a bowl of chicken soup, the Mayor said he had had no idea that Mr. Clinton would make such comments. He had been moved, the Mayor said, but “in retrospect, I’m not surprised, given the man.”

He added: “I think this: that one has to take his words in the total context of what he was saying, and get the nuances and subtleties that are there.”

Noting that the President had explicitly said he was not talking about racism, Mr. Dinkins said that some would undoubtedly try to twist Mr. Clinton’s words. “The point I would make is if others of us would attempt to make those subtle distinctions, we would not be able to. Given his stature, and the respect and esteem in which he’s held, I think he’s able to.” [LA replies: But it’s not true that Clinton said he was not talking about racism. The same article tells us: “Then he went on to raise the race question, saying several times that he did not mean to suggest overt racism.” If you keep saying over and over, “I’m not talking about overt racism, I’m not talking about overt racism,” then clearly you mean that you are talking about covert racism.]

Mr. Dinkins’s campaign manager, Bill Lynch, insisted of the remarks: “The President just went off and did that. There was no discussion. It was not the prepared text I saw. I think he formed a bond with the Mayor.”….

- end of initial entry -

James P. writes:

“I think the big issue everywhere in the world today is there are some forces bringing us together and some forces tearing us apart. And you want the ones that are bringing us together to triumph over the ones that are tearing us apart.”

Wait, which one is soccer, again? Soccer promotes riots, hooliganism, unbridled nationalism, and even causes wars. I would say soccer “tears us apart” more than brings us together.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 26, 2010 08:31 AM | Send

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