Voices from Russia

Monday, 13 August 2012

As John Robles Sees It… Romney’s “Sikhs vs Sheikhs”: A “Mistake”… or Playing to His “Base”

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It is almost impossible for any thinking and rational person to believe that a man with an accumulated wealth of over 200 million dollars would be able, out of ignorance, or simple tiredness, to make so many gaffes and blunders, and insult so many people as Mitt Romney has done lately. When we look further, are we to believe that the rich, powerful, and supposedly educated Romney can be so incredibly stupid to mistake “Sheiks” and “Sikhs?” Okay, things happen, but right on the heels of the event, it’s hard to imagine, even from a man who once forgot his dog on the roof of his car and took off down the highway. Romney committed such a slip-of-the-tongue when apparently expressing his condolences to those affected by the recent killing of members of the Sikh faithful in Oak Creek WI. I say “apparently” expressing condolences because he wasn’t addressing any member of the Sikh community at the time, and if you think I am coming down too hard on him because I’m not an apologist for Mr Romney, then, think again. Yes, “apparently”, because he was speaking to his supporters in Iowa, his “base”.

During his speech, he made the “mistake” several times; he called their place of worship a “Temple of the Sheik’s” and even added, “The Sheik people, as well as their religion, are one of the most peaceful”. This man knows exactly what he’s doing, and I believe he carefully plans and orchestrates all of his “mistakes” and “gaffes” to play to his “base”, which I’ll get to in a minute. Such a callous and insulting “error” has no real place in the public debate, and were it not in the context of a presidential election, many would in no way so easily brush it aside, at least.

As for the “Sheik” gaffe, a spokesman for the Republican, Rick Hill, explained that the politician was just tired and incorrectly used words that are similar in pronunciation. “Incorrectly used similar words”, nice, if you’re a redneck driving a pickup. In all likelihood, this is exactly the type of person who Romney’s playing to, because, you see, in American politics, and, in particular, Republican politics, the uneducated, racist, and xenophobic poor white voter is one of their most important assets. Call them NASCAR folks, the working class, those down-home-folks, “real” Americans, “good” Christians, the good-ole-boys, or what have you, the fact of the matter is that these kind of people are so numerous in the USA that their votes put people like George W Bush into the White House, not once, but twice, and, for Romney, these are the people who matter.

I’m not an apologist for these people, but I’m sure a few of them do know the difference between a “Sheikh” and a “Sikh”, and a “Muslim” and a “Sikh”, and an “Iranian” and a “Puerto Rican”, the last one I added because my father had to defend our family from attack from American racists in 1979, who wanted to kill us because they thought we were Iranian, and, after 9/11, many members of my family were harassed by police and beaten in the USA because they were brown and could’ve been Muslims. These people would kill or attack even Russians and other whites, just for being different. I should emphasise that the American government classifies Arabs (and even Iranians) as white. The same people who sympathise with the Wisconsin shooter, who hate anything foreign, believe that insulting heads of state and members of the international community is a virtue, they believe it shows guts and strength, and they view ignorance as a virtue, meaning he’s a “regular” guy and “one of us”. That’s truly frightening, when a man in the position they are going to put Romney into can start World War III.

After Romney’s recent “gaffe filled foreign trip” where he and his entourage managed to insult almost everyone they came in contact with, Romney strategist Stuart Stevens said that the trip was “a great success, generally”. I’m sure it was, if we’re talking about scoring points and pleasing ignorant xenophobic members of the American electorate. Going back to the “Sheikh” blunder, coming on the heels of the event, it was either a completely and unbelievably stupid error (and I’ve already said that this isn’t something I believe) or it was something much darker and sinister indeed.

When we look at the fact that many of these white supremacists and neo-Nazis are so ignorant that they’d confuse a Sikh with a Muslim, and even the shooter in Wisconsin was so filled with xenophobic hate that he ended his own life in what may have been a complete failure to his own twisted ends, and we see a candidate for the position of what many call “The Leader of the Free World” making the exact same error, it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Yet, he may well become the next president of the USA, and, sadly, for the world, this will lead to more death and destruction, and, quite possibly, World War III, unless Romney is just pretending.

On his recent visit to Poland, Israel, and London he managed to offend almost everyone. Romney called Jerusalem the capital of Israel, he insulted the Palestinians, who many of his aforementioned base see as just Muslim “rag-heads”, he insulted the British, who many in his base see as “elitist” and “tea-drinkers”, and he insulted the Polish, who many of the ignorant see as “stupid” and are called “Polacks” (an American epithet for Polish people) {actually, “Polack” is an English garbling of the Poles own name for themselves: editor}. Therefore, if Romney’s gaffes shocked the world, don’t worry, or worry, as the case may be; he was just playing to his “base”.

The opinions and views expressed here are my own.

10 August 2012

John Robles

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_08_10/Romney-s-Sikhs-vs-Sheikhs-a-mistake-or-playing-to-his-base/

 

Saturday, 30 July 2011

30 July 2011. A Point to Ponder… Who’s the REAL Foe?

Here’s how Christians and Muslims truly get on… don’t listen to Fox News or to John Whiteford…

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This is from an article in the Spectator that I found interesting:

It’s a shame that [they] didn’t spend more time explaining the threat that secularism poses to the Christian world. Nobody raised the idea that aggressive Islamism is a response to aggressive secularism. Our “decadent” secular societies appal Muslims across the world, and they’re prepared to resist violently what they see as our “imperialist” liberal culture. Christians often catch the sharp end of their anti-secular rage. This isn’t in any way to excuse Muslims who commit violent acts. However, the problem starts with a domineering liberal secular culture that leaves religious people (Christian, Muslim, Sikh, whichever) alienated and angry.

If there’s “Christianophobia”, the threat comes from aggressive secularists, not from Muslims, as the Italian court case Lautsi vs Italy illustrated abundantly. Furthermore, most secular people aren’t our enemies. Who’re our enemies? The godless rich who worship at Mammon’s altar (including those who make a loud profession of their “Christian” beliefs)… “I believe in money; I don’t believe in God”. Interestingly enough, they’re the enemies of most secular folk, too. We shouldn’t be attacking those who’re just as aggrieved by the present situation as we are. Beware those who whip up anti-Muslim hatred… do check out their agenda. Many (such as Hilarion Alfeyev) are more closely tied to the oligarchs (and their grasping and soulless greed) than is comfortable for a Christian…

BMD

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