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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.

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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
      addressed.
      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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