We have all seen the crazies and racists coming out of the woodwork since 2008. No longer is being racist something to hide. No conspiracy freak needs to worry about being ridiculed. The President though cannot speak the truth and just say that America has problems. America has a problem with racists. America has a problem with gun right advocates. America has a problem with science deniers.
No, the President cannot come out and say that many of the problems with America today are self-inflicted due to willful ignorance and the advocacy of powerful interest groups that benefit from the crazies opposition to everything that the president proposes.
The President’s problem is due to the way any meaningful way of addressing these problems will be received. If he says America has a racial problem, the racists (and Fox News) will accuse him of trying to divide the country. If he says the country needs gun control laws, the NRA will accuse him of what they have said he is trying to do all along – disarm law abiding American’s so that the black UN helicopters can swoop in and impose UN rule. Any attempt to address climate change will call forth the Koch’s and those that think he’s a tool of China.
The crazies have identified the rational response to their crazy ideas and woven it into an Obama/socialist/UN conspiracy that begins with logical steps to address the country’s problems. The crazies expect a response. They hope for a response. The very fact that the President addresses them proves their argument (at least to them). So any attempt to address gun control or global warming will do nothing more than solidify the opposition who expect government to come and take away their guns or their coal.
I do hope Obama gives a speech on racism in the US before he leaves. He’s avoided the whole problem even as he has been the victim of republican racist rants. But I hope he calls them out at some point and says America needs to deal with race and sexism and points out the republican’s conscious acceptance of both. He probably won’t but until people accept racism and ignorance are alive and well and accepted within the republican party, the problems will stay alive in America.