Unfortunately, this is not surprising. Rasmussen Reports finds that public optimism about race relations has fallen during Barack Obama‘s presidency. There are probably a variety of factors at work here, including a poor economy. Quips about white police officers acting “stupidly,” and the country being a “nation of cowards” when it comes to race, haven’t helped.
The president’s pollsters and political advisers are faced with the challenge of mobilizing a disenergized base, including black voters, for next month’s elections.On the campaign trail, the president has recently invoked the fight against slavery in describing the political battles he has waged in Washington.
While this is tempting as easy rhetoric, any political reward reaped by its continued usage comes not without risk. Casting proponents and opponents of a modern day domestic policy debate with the moral lightness and darkness of the slavery issue of 150 years ago….well, something tells me that’s not likely to inspire the type of harmony worthy of the better angels of our nature.