George Will:<br />
'White Guilt' Keeping Obama Afloat

President Barack Obama and Newspaper Columnist George Will

Should Mitt Romney lose his bid for the presidency in November – and by all accounts it looks increasingly likely that he will – there will be a wide range of explanations and excuses as to what factors helped produced that outcome.

Many will surely start with the reality that the former Massachusetts governor ran a poor campaign – one where he masqueraded himself as a staunch social conservative instead of the moderate he used to be years ago. While that might have been necessary to win a primary against tough contestants like a former pizza company exec, an aging racist, a former Pennsylvania senator and eternal missionary sex advocate, and a…whatever Michelle Bachmann is, it did little to win over the rest of the country in the general election. Making matters worse was the Bain Capital founder scoring 10s across the board on plutocrat realness in addition to his own constant failure to articulate his own policies and overall vision for the country.

So yes, there are already enough reasons to see how Mitt Romney might fail miserably in his bid to become president but “American feeling sorry for the Black man” and varying instances of White guilt probably won’t top the lists for many.

But I suppose such contrarian political observations are why George Will works as a columnist for the Washington Post. In a recent column, the conservative commentator asserted, “Obama’s administration is in shambles, yet he is prospering politically.” Will argues that this may not “entirely be evidence of the irrationality of the electorate,” but rather “something more benign may be at work.”

Sweet talker.

Will then offers a sport analogy by way of Frank Robinson, major league baseball’s first Black manager and his subsequent firing from the Cleveland Indians in 1977 to champion what he considers “progress.” Say, that Black folks “could enjoy the God-given right to be scapegoats for impatient team owners or incompetent team executives.”

In Will’s eyes America has yet to reach such a plateau in regards to its political figures, which leads him to conclude: “Instead, the nation, which is generally reluctant to declare a president a failure — thereby admitting that it made a mistake in choosing him — seems especially reluctant to give up on the first African American president. If so, the 2012 election speaks well of the nation’s heart, if not its head.”

Speaking of thinking with you’re head, I’m to believe that people, regardless of what color they are, are going to vote for a person they don’t support – privately in an election booth, mind you – because they want the country to look as good to the world as possible. And we all know how looking good to the world has kept America in constant high moral ground throughout its history.

If White guilt was as pervasive as suggested and America truly had such a “big heart,” we would have had a Black president a long time ago. And even if Obama does win, much of Will’s conservative brethren will continue reminding the president that he is Black at every single turn whenever the opportunity to present itself as they’ve done over the last four years. All of which negates this irrational racial rant.

The title of Will’s article is “Can Romney turn this around?” None of it speaks to Romney’s real failures or that of his party’s at large, though. Instead, we get an intellectually lazy argument about how simplistic Will thinks certain people – re: average ones – are to him. People he clearly doesn’t actively engage.

For someone who has repeatedly shown how highly he thinks of his intellect, you’d expect such a didactic diatribe to be better supported. Then again, if we’re talking history it’s not uncommon to hear wealthy white men operating inside of a bubble bemoan everyone else’s faults while conveniently glossing over their own.

Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick