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Is the current state of politics in the U.S. due to the race of our president?

Many conservatives who held certain positions before Obama was elected had taken the opposite view when he took those same positions. For example, the Affordable Care Act was modelled after Romney's health care law when he was governor. Currently they have tried to repeal it 37 times. In recent times this much acrimony has not been seen, and never before have we had a president with African ancestry. Is there a connection? I am especially interested in answers based on documented facts.

  • Jun 21 2013: The current state of politics in America is due
    to the long term, ongoing, moral decline (if they ever had any), of those in power, those
    who are rich and elite, those who sit at the top of corporations,
    educational institutions, medical institutions, religious institutions,
    and virtually anyone who has large, great or immense power over others,
    through money, position, race or politics.

    If the people of America were to demand, beseech, implore, command, beg, ask or tell,
    those who have this power, to stop what they are doing, it would reveal something everyone
    needs to be honest about.
    The fact they would refuse to, would ignore the concerns, the real fears people have and, or otherwise dismiss
    them, as Osamabama recently did by calling the NSA spying on citizens a "ruckus",
    would reveal they are sociopaths, psychopaths and that is what the people have allowed, or put into the offices of
    The fact they show no concern at all fits the exact description of sociopathic and psychopathic humans.
    • Jun 21 2013: I lost all respect for what I thought was going to be a thoughtful comment when you said Osamabama. It reveals a lack of moral intelligence and an ignorance of common decency.
    • Jun 21 2013: We have the freedom to be immoral, deceitful, lack values and ethics.
      I respect countries who do not separate religion and law because religion adds that moral structure that we all humans need. I respect countries who don't allow immigrants to gain citizenship or they require one to assimilate to gain citizenship so they don't pollute the structure of the country. if you don't believe in a God, keep it to yourself.
      Im not very religious, but I believe in what all of the books of religion call us to do and be as humans. What God you serve is irrelevant, how you serve your God is irrelevant. What is and always should be relevant is what all of these Gods call us to do, how these Gods tell us to act, behave, treat each other, and this planet. It's all the same, and it should not be separated from our government, it should not be separated from us.
      You see what happens when its separated? Look at our country now. It's hell on earth, literally. People are acting crazy in this country. All due to the media and mainstream convincing people that its okay to not listen to the structures of religion, violence is entertaining, sex is devilishly fun.
  • Jun 22 2013: It is my fim belief that Obama's "fall from grace" stems more from our collective hopes being dashed when we see that his administration truly never changed any basic fundamentals, as we had hoped. I think people are slowely recognizing that we are increasingly being ruled by a small, selfish plutocracy rather than our intended democracy. The racial issue only becomes conveniently adopted by these plutocrats as a diversion from far deeper problems.
    • Jun 22 2013: I disagree with your statements about Obama's accomplishments. He got health care reform passed and no other president did. He saved the auto industry and the economy that the previous administration and congress bashed. He got the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act. He ended the war in Iraq. In short, he cleaned up a lot of issues he inherited.

      I do agree that Obama has not met the expectations he set, the rhetoric did not match the intentional inertia set up by the Republicans, and the inherent inertia that is Washington D.C. He was naive in that respect.
      • Jun 24 2013: Out of curiosity, has any president met with every expectation he set? Isn't every president at the 'mercy' of the segregation and fundamentally different views and beliefs of the Republican and Democratic parties?
        • Jun 24 2013: I think any presidency is viewed differently and more objectively after some time has passed, i.e. Lincoln, Roosevelt. Only then can we view a president as a man rather than as leader of a party. Conversely, I think many recent former presidents do some of their most valued work after they leave office and they no longer have the endless interruptions of the position. I.E. presidents Carter and Clinton. History will tell.
      • Jun 24 2013: That's a good point, M-L, we often realize the true value of someone's pursuit after they leave office. Is it a case of, 'You don't know what you've got, till it's gone'? Or, perhaps we can only appreciate what that person has done in the past, based on what is going on in the present?
        • Jun 24 2013: I agree Lizanne. In the days immediately following 9/11 President Bush had, I would say, close to 100% of the American people with him. History showed, however, that there were no WMD's and from that point on Bush lost credibility with many Americans. From there politics took over, an African American got elected, and here we are.
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    Jun 21 2013: I very much doubt this. Many of the same people who hate the current administration also hate one or both Clintons.
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      Jun 21 2013: Well Fritzie, it seems as though it's going to go that way.
  • Jun 20 2013: Alot of people point at race, I honestly never realized how many people were still so serious about racism. it's scary. Race does not measure intelligence, it does not measure someones lack of experience, competence, morality, values, and such. Our president is a man of words, he is very very good with words. And that's about it.
    The current state of politics is OUR fault, yes I said it its the PEOPLE"S FAULT.
    For not caring about politics, it is our job to regulate those in power. The constitution was not made for our rights, but to keep the government in line. We have become so obedient and sheep like, and we have allowed sociopaths to infiltrate our government, police, and military. We do whatever they say, we except every law and abide by them all no matter how insane they are. We have to roll our sleeves up and create this country to OUR benefit, not the benefit of the rich and political.
    Its time for the people to change so our government can change
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      Jun 20 2013: Who knew about all those racists in tea parties. The Hispanic guy who runs the tea party in my town never said.
      I watched a couple of African Americans on TV who ran tea parties in their towns never admitted to being white supremacists. Who knew
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          Jun 20 2013: Of course. But, would you define a Black who critiques other blacks as racist?, Would you call these blacks "white supremacists"? ....

          Coming to think of it, I guess you could... you can call anyone racist for almost any reason.
          It doesn't even have to be appropriate or accurate. It shuts off conversation or debate and gives the caller a sense of superiority for being better then a racist.
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          Jun 21 2013: Oh, I forgot, there were a number albeit small of Black plantation owners that had slaves. So, can we say slavery was not a matter of racism but economics?
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          Jun 20 2013: LaMar,
          One more time, it's not about racism of tea party members. I am not a member, but I remember seeing that when ask the question on national news, while interviewing a large group of tea party leadership, all stated that racism violates their organizational objectives. Their concern was the expansion of the Federal Government under the current administration.
          So, you have a stack of signed memorandum that attest to a large majority of acknowledged racists are members of tea party organizations...good for you.
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          Jun 21 2013: You definitely have family issues. Sorry.

          Read my posting of 5 hours ago and let's discussed the President and his policies from there
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          Jun 21 2013: I did. It's at the bottom of this conversation.
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          Jun 21 2013: No, your expressing a lack of historical knowledge on the history of slavery as it applies to the Americas. In fact, racism as it is now constuctt really developed after the civil war. Vanquished southerners blamed the slaves for the war and their defeat.

          Southerners had bought these prisoners from victorious tribes in Africa. The victorious tribes of African tribal wars would sell the vanquished captives into slavery instead of killing them, it was more profitable. Either way the victors did not want the losers hanging around.

          But, I am beginning to think that this is a discussion about racism and nothing at all about political issues.
  • Jun 26 2013: Kate, anyone who wants to self-evaluate, and I as an American surely due, must consider all opinions. I value your opinion immensely and thank you for it!
  • Jun 25 2013: Kate are you a U.S. citizen?
  • Jun 25 2013: Kate are you a U.S. citizen?
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      • Jun 26 2013: Kate, of course you do not have to be a US citizen to reply here, that is why I asked if you were a US citizen! To get a real feel for the racism that exists here, to get a sense of the culture that is US racism, you must live among those who are the perpetrators of and those who are the victims of racism. I am sure the same is true of any cultural phenomenon in your country, that is, to get a sense of that phenomenon I would have to be among those who experience it.
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    Jun 23 2013: A lot has been made of the President's Affordable Health Care Act. It's was sort of based on what Gov. Romney put in place in his state. Like many great ideas... it tanked. The rational? it provides health insurance. Great!. But, health insurance has to be bought, there is profit in selling. When purchase is mandatory, there is greater profit. But once you have health insurance, you have to find a place to use it.
    This country is short tens of thousands of primary care physicians. Practicing doctors looking at all the regulations and associated costs of implementation are leaving the profession. I know this personally as my internist and cardiologist sent me letters explaining why they will no longer be seeing me.

    Had the President expanded the Public Health Service by setting up low or no cost clinics nation wide: offering young medical students scholarships in exchange for service at the clinics. The "freebies" coming with the current law could have been easily given without have to purchase insurance.

    All this law has done is given a greater customer base to insurance companies and they will profit.
    The President has given billions of tax dollars away to other industries and too many went down taking the money with them. He gave a $50 billion sweetheart deal to the Auto Workers Union to regenerate a new General Motors. Bondholders got pennies on the dollar from the old GM and non union suppliers got the crankshaft from the new company. Tens of thousands lost heir jobs, including some family members of mine.

    I might point out the our President is only half African, he is also half Kansas Caucasian, so whatever acrimony I may feel about his incompetence as a President directed against his black side it is equally shared with his white side. That's the American way.
  • Jun 22 2013: M-L, suppose the banks were not bailed out. What would have been the consequence?
  • Jun 22 2013: Obama's financial advisors were unfortunately all holdovers from the Bush administration who were all in favor of "business" and "business as usual". Thus the TARP money, the disastrous bank bail-outs, the Pharmaceuticals winning over single option, the increasing printing of dollars (thus devaluation of same), higher deficits....all were completely contrary to what Pres.-elect Obama stood for. There is no such thing as "too big to fail"...this "coined"phrase serves merely to de-incentivize the competition so basic to democracy. That is why the electors are so disappointed.
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    Jun 22 2013: I would say that 'race' and 'hate' crimes are difficult to document. Crimes are more 'results' evaluated than 'motive or intentions'. I would offer that I don't think there has ever been a level of hatred this intense since A. Lincoln - which was racially motivated. I am limited in my opinion to what I've learned about our history and what I've experienced, but I have lived through 12 different presidents - including multiple terms. Yes, there are bitter rivalries and vehement political dissidents, but I have never felt this level of pure hatred, and it is crippling my nation. Yes, that's 'my' nation, and your nation. I won't go into what this man was handed, or what he has or has not accomplished in his time. I will only offer that I believe we have revealed through our anger our underlying legacy of distrust and revilement of different human races. We do not, cannot yet, see each other as brothers and sisters, and until we do, this will not end.
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      Jun 22 2013: RH,
      You and I are about the same age. I am not sure of your experiences living in the US these past years.
      However, I have to admit, I spent my working life outside the US, so I missed the nuances you have
      Here is my take. A bunch of us meet for coffee at McDonalds...senior coffee.. Here is what I hear.
      There is one ..... who is an avowed racists. He doesn't come around much since a couple of retired military guys joined up. But, here's the point. There is almost no criticism of the person of the President. There is a lot of criticism of his administration and perceived policies.
      You may find hatred where you are at, I am not seeing it in my neck of the woods. Maybe it is not as pervasive as you believe. At least, I hope so.
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        Jun 22 2013: Yes it's true. The Republicans vs. Democrats, the debt, the 'freeloaders' vs. the working. These are the public discussions. But - again in my opinion - we've heard these debates before. There is a new level of bitterness, resolve, and defiance accompanying the discussion. A sort of 'righteous indignation' heard under the cover of the issues. Where does this increased and somewhat 'sudden' bravado come from? What is the 'elephant under the rug"? As I said, race and hate crimes are difficult to document, and as you point out, somewhat subjective. But outside of 'polite' conversation I hear much clearer displays of our legacy of distrust and hate. In just the generation before us, White scientists were still arguing that Blacks were not human. It is within our generation that centuries of such disgrace were abolished by law. I mean, we had to create a 'law' to abolish such thinking because it was so prevalent! It's like the culture of our ancestors, we are now 'modern' but still have a taste for certain foods, a certain type of 'romance', a certain type of view. We can't help that it's there, but we mediate it to advance socially. Some are better at it than others. So, as disagreeable and unconscionable as this dynamic is, TED 'questions' such as this allow us to discuss the normally 'undiscussable', and I believe there is an element of truth to what Jeffrey is inferring. But believe me, I would hope you were right.
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          Jun 22 2013: You have gotten me to think back, thank you. I think there has always been a small number of people who had a " superiority complex"??? and wanted to manipulate the future of mankind. When I was little, I remember adults talking about Eugenics, where poor and minorities would be sterilized because they couldn't properly raise children... being poor and minority and all.
          To me... that was racist.
          Are there a few nuts out there who have yelled to commit great bodily harm to our president... absolutely. But he is still our President. I may think his policies are poorly thought out and his administration is run by a bunch of squirrelly kooks, but he is still our president. We've had over 40 Presidents; alcoholics, womanizers,
          manic depressives, this one has been described as an aloof academic without contact with our reality... Oh, "he is of mixed race" ... he is not the first there either.
          He is also taller and so was Lincoln. What else are we going to say about the man...
          Most of the conversation I hear is about his administration's policies. Some of his chosen administrators are dumber then those cartoon characters on TV.
          Now to be honest, a few things have gone right. But, a stopped clock is right twice a day. If you want a list of my awards for dumb things this administration has done... That's a whole other conversation for me.
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    Jun 21 2013: The "state of politics in the U.S." is a very broad area with tens of thousands of actors - politicians and their sugar daddies. Overall it has very little to do with Mr. Obama, and even less with his ethnic background. It has much more to do with the "win at all costs" attitude of the political parties, accompanied by the unconscionable millions of $$ of special interest money to which our politicians have become addicted. This situation won't change when Mr. Obama leaves office, unless certain changes are made in the U.S. Constitution.

    I'm not a conservative, but the example you give of conservatives taking "the opposite view" is misleading. The main issue in the federal vs the Massachusetts health care laws was the extent of federal authority. One could reasonably oppose the federal government assuming the power to require individuals to buy insurance, while supporting the idea that a state of the union has that power. That was, in fact, the chief legal point that Chief Justice Roberts eventually decided in favor of the feds and that allowed the law to stand.

    Drawing a causal connection between two observations ("acrimony" and "African ancestry") that may, in the observer's mind, seem to occur together but that may just as well be completely unrelated is a logical flaw, unfortunately too common. Much misery and tragic decision-making has resulted from this kind of illogic.
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      Jun 22 2013: Paul,
      Just a quick note on Justice Roberts..
      He spoke for the majority on the findings in the suit of the tax to be levied on people who failed to buy health insurance under the new law. The suit was based on that the Federal Government could not impose a penalty for not purchasing a commercial product, to wit: health insurance. SCOTUS ruled that the penalty was in fact a tax. An in accordance with the 16th Amendment, the congress can impose any tax for any amount. In simple terms, the 16th was an open license to steal. the congress can tax at their pleasure and there was no constitutional limits on this power.
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        Jun 22 2013: Yes, Chief Justice Roberts did write the majority opinion, though oddly he didn't really have a majority with him on his chief legal point. The four "conservative" justices (incl. Kennedy but not Roberts) held that what the Obama administration called a "fee," to be levied on those who failed to purchase health insurance, was in fact a tax on a non-action, which in their judgement Congress had no power to impose. The four "liberal" justices agreed with the administration that this was a fee, not a tax, and that Congress could impose this. Enter Roberts, who agreed with the conservatives that it was a tax, but then (many pages later in his opinion) surprisingly concluded that Congress did have the power to apply such a tax. So he was the only justice who held that Congress could tax a non-purchase.

        I personally found his argument tortuous and reaching. It appears that following this ruling Congress could - in order to promote a desirable social outcome such as better health - levy a tax on everyone who does not buy a bicycle. Roberts' principle has opened a new way for Congress to direct the behavior of U.S. citizens. I've discussed this in an essay at Blue Ridge Journal:
        • Jun 22 2013: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

          Whether it is a tax or a fee is, indeed, a legal argument. However the preamble to the constitution says it is the federal government's job to promote the general welfare. Is not universal health care promoting the general welfare?
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          Jun 22 2013: Sorry, Paul
          I didn't know that you had gone into this depth on the ruling. My fearful take was that Robert's was trying to point out was the the 16th was a gun in the mugger's hand and the people are to be mugged. My perception is that he really wanted to go there and the other justices were not. So, he weaved that web to put it out there.
          My read is that if government produces a product that is sold or a service that is presented for a fee... Federal Dams that sell electricity, or collects a fee for using services while visiting a national park... I'm ok,
          but when money is collected from the public because of some action the public under takes or not... it's a tax. When the government takes money not in the direct exchange for goods or services... it's a tax. I have no other name for it and neither did Justice Roberts.
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        Jun 22 2013: Jeffrey J:
        "... the preamble to the constitution says it is the federal government's job to promote the general welfare. Is not universal health care promoting the general welfare?"

        I suppose it is, but the preamble is merely a hopeful set of general aims, it has no legal force. The body of the Constitution sets limits on what the federal government may do, and those limits are interpreted by the Supreme Court. If you look again at the preamble, I'm pretty sure you would not argue that the federal government may do whatever it sees fit in order to "insure domestic tranquility", or to "provide for the common defence." That would permit all kinds of abuse of power.
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    Jun 21 2013: I am not promoting anything. It was as it was. Slavers were in business. It was as it was.
    Are people bothered by the the history of slavery, I understand, but I can't change history.

    I can't read other people,s minds... Did slave owners feel superior to slaves????
    I can only see what happened. Some owners took "slaves" as their wives and raised families.
    Some found highly intelligent slaves and made the business managers and accountants,
    Some beat their slaves like draft animals and treated them worse.
  • Jun 21 2013: So let me see if I have your views correct. There is no more racism against Mr. Obama as there was against Mr. Bush, proportionately. (That view assumes, by the way, that the people who made death threats against Mr. Bush were racist African Americans, an assumption that is hard to fathom. The attempted assassinations against Mr. Reagan and Mr. Ford, for example, were white.) And Republicans never really were for universal health care. Am I right?
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    Jun 21 2013: It seems that the answer to this question is going to be a resounding yes, regardless of any discussion.
    • Jun 21 2013: Thanks for your honest reply, Mike. That ends our discussion as anything further would be a waste of time and energy.
  • Jun 21 2013: Your implicit assumption, Mike, is that being a racist means you will threaten to kill the president. This is highly dubious.
  • Jun 21 2013: True, but the Clintons embraced black people. I personally think these people dislike anything not conservative and then throw in the president's race and bam, there you have all this hatred.
  • Jun 20 2013: Mike,

    Do you think racism plays a role in the increased death threats against President Obama compared to the number of death threats against President Bush?

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      Jun 21 2013: I am not sure about your source Jeff, I would feel better if Diane Sawyer had this story on the 6:30 news.....
      • Jun 21 2013: Suppose I left the source out. Now answer the question.
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          Jun 21 2013: OK, let's look at the numbers. There are about 4 times as many whites as there are blacks in the USA.. If there are and I would assume to be true an equal percentage of racists in each group.
          Then I would expect President Obama to have 4 times the death threats as President Bush.
          Simple math.
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    Jun 20 2013: Are we to assume that this conversation will be based on the premise that anyone who disagrees with the politics of the current President of the USA is a racist?
    • Jun 20 2013: Mike,

      Of course not. How do you explain Republicans who were for an issue, like mandatory universal health care, before Obama was president, then were against it when he proposed essentially the same thing?
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        Jun 21 2013: If you listen carefully, you would have heard that Republicans really were unsure of universal health care because they didn't know how to make it work. Now that they have seen the Affordable Healthcare Act, they are absolutely sure that it is not the way.
        • Jun 21 2013: Really, which Republicans really were unsure of universal health care? When? Surely you do not mean Mr. Romney when he was a governor, do you?
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    Jun 20 2013: If the current state of politics in the US as it is in relation to our President, I would put race way down at the bottom of the list.
    I would put his inexperience and lack of political acumen at the top. I believe that he became standard bearer of his party because of the concerns by party leaders in the creation of a Clinton dynasty. After what has happened, there may be reconsideration that the Clinton's would not be that bad.
    President O'Bama had an opportunity to create a health program that could help the poor and uninsured. He could have opened free clinics, he could have offered free scholarships to medical students in exchange for service in these clinics, etc, etc.
    Instead, he selected a model for medical insurance that raised the cost of insurance to the people of Mass. Not to fear, the whole nation will now have the opportunity to pay more for insurance... If anyone thinks that the insurance companies can not find a way to make more profit from more people under the new law is too naive to be out without parental supervision. Yes, the House is trying to repeal it. A lot of those members know if they don't get the job done, their constituents will find representative to get the job done.

    I have to be honest... there are a number of Americans who have heard the promises made about the healthcare act and all the freebies and bought into it. I mean who could pass up free flu shots, What they didn't hear was they would have to buy health insurance from health insurance companies or pay a hefty tax.. This was all so poor people didn't go to emergency rooms. So, what did we get for this act. Doctors running for the hills because their reimbursement are going down. In fact in a few years, most 3rd world countries will have better doctor population ratios then the US.
    So, it's not about the race of the President, it's about the asinine policies of his administration.
    • Jun 20 2013: Why then, Mike, do white Republicans oppose positions they used to support, until Obama became president? Why then, Mike, do white Governors in the south try to restrict voting? Racism is the most reasonable explanation.
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        Jun 21 2013: Read the post above to address why Republican oppose positions they used to support.

        Well, there could be some southern governors have other issues, but most of the voter laws that have been proposed recently ... last 50 years.... is more about voting by non citizens.
        Let me give you an example. In the last election,in a few precincts turned in more votes then there were eligible voters. Strangely, most of those votes were for democratic candidates.
        Why? Well, non citizens voting,, ballot box stuffing, multiple ballots cast and my favorite, a number of voters gave their address as the same as a local cemetery. Most of those racists governors want a law to have voters show an official picture identification card., like a driver's license or passport.
        One voter, one vote. Well, surprisingly, the democratic party has opposed these laws. It's hard for the elderly for example to get to the state license offices to get IDs. It's even harder for the folks at the cemetery. . .

        By the way, Please read the comment you tagged. You will better understand.