I don't care for politics much at all. That may be an ironic statement coming from a guy who works for government and has been involved in politics in one way or another for the past twenty years. However, I usually find candidates, their handlers, and the commentating "experts" to be less than truthful and somewhat contemptible.
Tonight, following the second presidential debate, which I watched, albeit begrudgingly, a theme was introduced by a couple of commentators, but which was hammered home by one of the "experts" on CNN. The comment was made by Alex Castellanos, he of the title "Republican Consultant" and he of the bad white guy mustache.
In the immediate aftermath of the debate, the commentators began their instant analysis by focusing on the style, strength and overall "performance" of the two candidates. As the comments began rolling in on CNN, the majority of talking heads seemed to give the advantage to the President, coupled with a sense of relief from the Democrats who were hoping that he would fare better than he had in the first debate. Then, the mustachioed Castellanos gave us his impression. "The President was better in this debate. In fact, he was repeatedly angry and showed that anger."
Like I said above, I actually watched the debate. At no time did I ever see the President appear upset, out of sorts, or come anywhere close to angry. He was annoyed at times, he seemed to chomp at the bit here and there, and he even looked like Governor Romney was pushing his buttons, but angry? No. Castellanos didn't have to say that the President was "angry" to convey whatever message he was intending to get across. Rather, he could have spoken about the President's "forcefulness" or his "demeanor" and how it may have differed from the first debate.
Alex Castellanos, CNN's Republican consultant on it's post-debate panel knew exactly what he was doing by calling the President "angry." He was feeding into that age-old racist stereotype of the "angry black man." Because as the election draws closer and America's white conservative men continue to see their hold on society slip away, they can't be overt in the hatred or, I'll try to be less severe, their disdain for the President. And they can't let those feelings manifest themselves on what is considered to be a "fair" news network.
What people like Alex Castellanos can do, however, is call the President "angry," in order to raise up that fear in people - as if a black man can't be angry and, if he is, then white America better get nervous. What can be worse to conservative white America than a black President? Easy - an "angry" black man who happens to be running for his second term as President of the United States.
As I sat and wondered, literally, who I was going to vote for in three weeks and was leaning towards the President following the debate based on an analysis of his answers, Governor Romney's answers and the manner in which they addressed the questions and each other, Alex Castellanos helped me out. As I watched and listened to him desperately sputter the "angry" invective and try to push his agenda on me, it made my decision much easier.
While I may be tired of politicians, their half-truths and pandering; and while I may also be fed up with what appears to be the inability to engage in civil and informative discussions on the issues that affect most Americans, I am truly sick and tired of guys like Castellanos who can say anything and no one sitting on a panel with him feel the urge to call him on it. I heard it and I can feel fairly certain that he knew what he was doing.
Thanks Alex Castellanos. I didn't know who you were before tonight, but your comments made me angry enough to make my decision easy. Good luck, Mr. President and I think I'll skip debate no. 3.
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