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Mar 24 2012

The 2012 election dilemma

Andy Borowitz points out how a presidential contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is going to pose an agonizing problem for bigots., saying “Across the U.S., voters who describe themselves as bigots are complaining that a first-ever matchup between a Black man and a Mormon, while historic, is forcing them to ask a difficult question: which group do they hate more?”

Although Borowitz is a humorist, I think this will actually be a real problem for some bigots, except for that subset of them who are also nutcases and think that Obama is a Muslim. Then it becomes an easy choice in favor of Romney.

10 comments

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  1. 1
    'Tis Himself

    Also from Borowitz’s website:

    In other political news, former Sen. Rick Santorum revealed that he made his first sweater vest himself when he tore off the sleeves of his straitjacket.

  2. 2
    Somite

    Isn’t Mormonism bigoted to begin with? They do believe black people were marked by sin and other usual religious stupidity.

  3. 3
    'Tis Himself

    For a fair number of the anti-Mormon bigots, Mormon anti-black bigotry is actually a point in the church’s favor.

  4. 4
    lordshipmayhem

    Hopefully some bigots will decide to not bother voting at all, rather than choosing which prejudice to ignore.

  5. 5
    Michael Heath

    The bigots will vote for the guy who will best advance their overall bigotries beyond their prejudice towards Mormonism. In addition there are far more conservatives who are bigoted towards black people where that racism is far more deeply embedded in conservative ideology. So it’s a no-brainer, they’ll rationalize voting for Mitt Romney.

    Actually, many bigots have already done that in this primary season by voting for Mitt Romney while remaining bigoted towards Mormons in general, in spite of being more ideologically in line with Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, or Michelle Bachmann. Thus showing even bigots can be pragmatic in their application of bigotry as they seek to take down the uppity black usurper. This approach by bigots is little different than conservative protestant Christians politically embracing conservative Catholics, and Fox News, which is run by a Catholic and whose on-air talent is disproportionately Catholic, especially during prime time. Though Fox’s staff tends to be loyal to the Catholic hierarchy rather than the beliefs and values of most of the U.S. congregants. The latter embracing education, social justice, and helping the poor, children, and less fortunate; unlike conservative Catholics and especially not Fox News.

  6. 6
    Dan-o

    Obama vs MIt you will simply need to decide who lies less or which will cause the economy greater harm and then vote for the opposite one. Cheers

  7. 7
    sailor1031

    I’ll predict that anti-black prejudice will trump anti-mormon prejudice. Even if Romney were a muslim it would just be a contest between two muslims, one white the other black – and that’s a no-brainer for the no-brains!

  8. 8
    James Sweet

    The other relevant factor here is that (I imagine) very nearly 100% of the people who are bigoted against both blacks and Mormons are going to be staunch political conservatives, for whom voting for a Democrat is absolutely inconceivable.

    There is little doubt, however, that Romney is going to bleed some votes to third parties because of people who think Mormons worship the wrong fictional Jesus. The question is whether it will be a significant. If a Tea Party-backed third-party challenger emerges, then it will be crippling. Otherwise I imagine the effect will be small.

  9. 9
    Jared A

    The “dark skin marked by sin thing” is more of an example of cognitive dissonance than an actual believ. As a former mormon, my experience was that the vast majority (maybe on the order of 80% even in Utah) don’t functionally believe that, though they do pay lip service to the idea for doctrinal reasons. It seems relatively common for people to claim they subscribe to an official doctrine yet personally believe the opposite and not realize there is a contradiction in it. Another good example is that Mormons technically don’t believe in a christian style hell, yet they kind of do anyway because everyone else does.

    This doesn’t mean there isn’t racism amongst Mormons. It’s just that my experience was that it is in line with the bigotry of choice of the region. So in Utah it is generally towards latin-americans and had little to do with that weird “skin color is a mark of sin” thing and much more to do with the usual reasons that conservative white people in the southwest and mountainwest generally tend to be bigoted towards latinos (they’re taking our jobs, they need to learn english, etc.)

  10. 10
    Art

    I had a guy at the laundry tell me that Obama was a Muslim, and a socialist. He was very adamant about it. I laughed and told him he was wrong, that the people who told him that are lying to him and that while it is every American’s right to be wrong he might want to find better sources of information.

    He seemed a nice enough fellow, a bit jumpy and afraid of blacks, he clearly had a deep southern rural upbringing. He clearly needed to have me affirm his opinion and when I wouldn’t, frankly told him he was wrong, but didn’t get mad or treat him like an enemy it rattled him.

    The older black lady I was folding clothes beside was clearly upset by his words so I told her how I saw it: the man is kind enough but he is confused by his loss of status, he was on the way to Tennessee to find work, and he is running scared. Having a black president is just the cherry on top of a a series of shocks and setbacks. He isn’t really wanting to do harm. Fear and loss has him striking out at people and looking for people to blame.

    The funny thing is the man was traveling with an older female, quite spry and energetic for her age, I took to be his mother and she was rolling her eyes every time he called Obama a Muslim and blamed him. He went to check a drier and she came up and said she agreed that Obama had pretty much done the best he could with an lousy situation. She apologized for the man and added that he had had a rough time trying to work as a roofer in south Florida. I told it was okay, a lot of people have been thrown for a loop by the economic situation and that out of fear and desperation latch onto wrong ideas. I felt that he was really a good man and that as soon as he gets regular work and settled he will look back and laugh at what he believed.

    There was a Herp shop next door and, seeing as that she was looking bored, I suggested we could look at the animals. The spider as big as my hand amazed her and she was quite taken with one of the larger brightly colored snakes. She took out her phone and took some pictures.

    Before I left I helped the gentleman carry the loads of laundry to their truck, a truck loaded down with roofing gear, and we parted on good terms.

    A lot of southern white males have seen their fortunes decline. Used to be that if you were white, had a grade school education, a strong back, and were willing to work you could scrape up a job. Then there is age. A lot of those guys are middle age and they can’t compete for labor with a young buck. Combine those two with even a slight decline in racism, whites still have a shoe in but a little less each year down here, and you have a large population of people who are facing declining prospects for the first time in a generation. It has them rattled and desperate. In that condition they are reflexively blaming the traditional scapegoats, people with brown skin, foreigners, non-Christians, liberals, environmentalists, et al.

    Hard to say how the many scared southern white males will vote for. I will point out that this man’s mother was far less put off by race and seemed to be ready to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. If that translates to a trend of white southern women voting for Obama that may turn the tide.

    There are a few traditional stories from the antebellum south of a brave white woman saving a wrongly accused black man. sometimes in return for the house negro saving the family from a slave rebellion or disaster.

    If Obama could frame himself as the defender of women and women’s rights, while the GOP plays the cruel and heartless oppressor of women, he could pluck the strings of that mythology.

    It is going to be interesting, and scary, America seems on the verge of mental breakdown, seeing how this shakes out.

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