Stupidity might beget racism but racism is just a part and not the sum.
The conservative MSM's decision post GHWB to chase ghosts instead of stories (Vince Foster, Whitewater etc)...stupidity was given a seat at the national table.
The conservative MSM's decision post 9-11 to chase ghosts instead of stories (Niger yellowcake and wmd's and that evil architect of 9-11 Saddam Hussein)...stupidity became the accepted form of national discourse.
The conservative MSM's decision to elevate the likes of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell post Obama inauguration should have, forever, woken the masses up to the fact that the media controls the message and the message is: Conservatism rocks and liberals are god-hating socialist misfits who don't know what's really good for them.
Lies are now accepted without sanction. That is why Romney and Ryan can tell lie after lie after holy fucking Pinocchio lie...and be called "wonky" and disseminators of "hard truths". Despite the fact-checking that says otherwise...Romney is being pushed as a sane alternative to a President who couldn't fix a broken economy, win or stop two failed wars in 3 years, solve the immigration problem, solve global warming, resurrect Christ...
The GOP doesn't win because of racism. They win and continue to remain viable because the media yells as loudly as possible that we should "forget the man behind the curtain"; that despite whatever is actually said or promoted "the GOP has your back".
Does Obama get it rougher because the color of his skin? Yes. Do you think it would be different if this were Mitt v Hillary or Mitt v any Democrat? If so, I think you are a fool. This is only a close election because Obama's successes have been portrayed as abject failures for four years. Obamacare helps but because the media wouldn't help sell it to the people it benefits...the people haven't embraced it. Despite Obama trying to reign in the banks the banks and the GOP have worked in concert to make sure banks end up with the same, or more power, than they had pre-Crash. The media has failed to be on the side Obama because the owners of the media are indistinguishable from the owners of the banks because they have mutual interest in keeping govt out of their business. Obama tries to promote green energy and all we hear is "Solyndra" without once being told of the success stories. Obama drills and drills and stays perfectly silent on gun laws and the media continues to allow the GOP talking points of "Obama is killing domestic energy production" and "Obama is coming for your guns."
The media obediently parrots the dogwhistles and reminds people that Obama isn't white. They have allowed the Trumpers to continually rehash a birth certificate despite KNOWING that such talk is total fucking bullshit.
Yes, racism still exists. The majority of the neocon base is probably a subdued racist or out-and-out klansmen.
None of that would matter if the media gave the rest of the population the truth. FOXNews, CNN(Foxlite), CBS, NBC, ABC...they drive the message in an age when print media no longer matters. For every DK there is a Breitbart or RedState. MSNBC is liberal at certain times of day and conservative at others. HuffPo is a mixed bag that, like CNN, wants to provide the consumer what they want and not what they need.
The media is why the GOP is viable. Without the 24/7 defense of liars and anti-American politicians who think gays aren't people and women shouldn't choose and Mexicans are just Al-Queda of a different stripe...this election would be one-sided, Obama would have taken over for Gore, and the world and America would be a much different and safer place.