It is not difficult to understand why supporters of Hillary Clinton attribute sexist to many of her detractors, or why the mostly-same group attributes racist motives to those who have fervently opposed Barack Obama. For one thing, those opponents often have been quick to show their racist and sexist asses, whether when commenting on Hillary’s pantsuits or our First Lady’s derriere, or when posting charactatures of President Obama that feature “negroid” features that harken back an era when many in our nation regarded African-Americans as less than human. The, of course, there is the Photoshopping that goes on, purporting to show President Obama as an armed Black Panther, but never as the president of the Harvard Law Review, though some would argue it was an equally radical and potentially dangerous group. The point is the attempts to emphasize race and/or gender to denigrate or to inspire antipathy, rather than focusing on positions, track records, or even character.
On the other hand, people on the right have been quick to point out that many of the attacks from the left on conservative women such as Sarah Palin, Joni Ernst, and Carly Fiorina have reeked of sexism, and that it was commentators from the left, and not his supporters on the right, who seemed titillated by the fact that some of Herman Cain’s accusers were white women. Then, too, it’s not as if some on the left didn’t exaggerate Ted Cruz’s features, or Photoshop to make him look like Grampa Munster. Was that because they couldn’t tolerate the thought of a Hispanic in the White House? Of course not.
And, approaching the same issues from a different perspective, can any honest and objective person deny that that many of the same conservatives who seem rabidly anti-Obama enthusiastically supported Herman Cain and, more recently, Ben Carson? Or that no state-wide elected official is more popular among South Carolina Republicans than Tim Scott? For that matter, if Darryl Glenn wins in Colorado in the general election, the ratio of black Republicans to black Democrats in the U.S. Senate, come January, may end up 2:1. And, just as the left reviled and ridiculed Sarah Palin, was she not an icon for the so-called sexists on the right? And, if you go in for “two-fers,” if conservatives are racist and sexist, how does one explain Rep. Mia Love defeating a white male Democratic incumbent in a congressional district that was only 4% African-American?
I think this is what we have been confusing: racism and sexism as motives to oppose, versus racism and sexism that opposition bring to the surface. Just look at the news stories from the past couple of days. I’m sure that the Reverend Jessie Jackson has never refused to help a fellow Democrat because that candidate was a Jew, but his infamous characterization of NYC as “Hymietown” revealed his underlying feelings about Jews.
My take on all this is that most people, whether on the left or on the right, a fully willing, even eager, to support candidates who do not look like them, but who clearly think like they do. Witness the fact that, in 2014, Tim Scott not only defeated a while male conservative in the Republican primary, but went on to win more votes in the general election than did his white male (and senior) Republican Senate colleague, Lindsay Graham. But, there are certain people across the political spectrum who, when they are angry, worried, or even annoyed, find it easier and/or more gratifying to dispense with compelling facts and cogent argument, and instead jump straight to the gutter tactics of the bigot…half the time not even realizing that’s what their doing.
BTW, if you don’t buy my assertion that the left has revealed its sexism and racism during recent elections, just Google the names of some conservative female and/or black or hispanic candidates, and see what you come up with. Here’s one you can start with, from the Huffington Post, no less: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adele-stan/stop-the-sexist-rants-on_b_226436.html