In the New Republic, John Judis argues that Barack Obama is more like Al Smith than John F Kennedy and that he will lose the presidency. This begs the question if Obama is like Al Smith than is John McCain Herbert Hoover?
Most Americans forget that until John Kennedy's election Catholics were reviled in this country. In fact according to a Gallup Poll Taken in 1955 45% of Americans said they would never vote for a Catholic. In the same poll only 22% said they would never vote for a Jew. In fact today almost 30% of Americans have a negative view of Catholics.
Anti-Catholic Bigotry is in the words of Arthur Schlesinger America's oldest hatred. and Al Smith who was a successful governor of New York and a great leader was nominated in 1928 to be the Democratic Nominee a Catholic and the son of immigrants.
Smith Faced train stations surrounded with Burning Crosses, he suffered from editorials that excoriated not only his Catholicism but the fact that his four grandparents, one Italian, One Irish, One German and One English were all Immigrants and Catholics. Ministers preached against him and he lost the presidency to Hoover.
While Hoover never uttered a bigoted word his supporters did. He was supported by bigots of the first order and he never challenged them.
Is John Mc Cain going to be that man this year?
Is he going to allow the grandchildren of the Klansman, the Reverend Hagee's of the world to use the kind of racist rants and quiet bigotry to destroy Obama so that he can be president?
Republicans have been winking at these people for 40 years and making Abraham Lincoln turn over in his grave.
This is the question.
The Republicans have become masters at the silent ascent. Ronald Reagan began his 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Why would you start a campaign in the place where the three civil rights workers were killed in 1962?
Republicans have also used other hot button words to separate Urban Catholics from others by using language like "changing neighborhoods" and Busing to win elections where their goal is to simply gain power.
When Republicans talk about "socialized medicine" or other issues what they are say is you are not like "them". Is John McCain going to be like Hoover? Is he going to allow the bigots and bloggers to convince America that Obama is crazy black muslim from Chicago?
This is the only way that Mc Cain can win this year and I am sure he wants to win by any means necessary so get ready to relive 1928 all over again.
Unless America has grown tired of silent ascents?