Purposeful Misinterpretation

Liberals and democrats like to paint republicans with a broad brush that the GOP is bigoted and they attach a variety of biases which, in my experience, don’t hold water. For example, Minister Leslie Watson Malachi penned a blog post on Huffington Post in which she leaps from this Mitt Romney quote:

If they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy — more free stuff. But don’t forget nothing is really free.

to this conclusion:

Romney is echoing generations of right-wing politicians who have told white Americans that their Black neighbors, friends, co-workers, colleagues, even family members have an insatiable appetite for “free stuff” from the government.

The quote is simply pointing out the difference between the parties: conservatives (and most republicans), believe in smaller government and more independence for the individual – a reduction in entitlement programs. Liberals (and most democrats) believe in redistributionary programs where people become dependent on government programs and hold the perception that they will get things for free. Free healthcare, free contraception, free benefits while unemployed, etc.

I am not denying that bigotry exists and that African-Americans have been and are on the receiving end of this.  But this exists within both parties.  I have heard some amazingly prejudicial comments from some very liberal friends.  But read the quote again.  It isn’t singling out African-Americans and it isn’t saying that he believes they have an “insatiable appetite for ‘free stuff’ from the government”.  It is pointing out the core difference.  Thomas Sowell puts it this way:

What Obama seems to understand that Republicans and many in the media do not, is that dependency on the government in hard times can translate into votes for the White House incumbent.
Growing numbers of Americans on food stamps, jobs preserved by bailouts, people living on extended unemployment payments and people behind in their mortgage payments being helped by government interventions are all potential voters for those who rescued them — even if their rescuers are the reason for hard times, in the first place.
The economy was far worse during the first term of Franklin D. Roosevelt than it has been under Obama. Unemployment rates under FDR were more than double what they have been under Obama. Yet FDR was reelected in a landslide. Dependency pays off for politicians, even when it damages an economy or ruins a society.
So let’s get past this – call out racism when it exists but don’t buy into these baseless and misinterpretations.  

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