by Latoya Peterson
From the Politico:
Racism is not a factor driving conservative opposition to President Barack Obama, according to the results of focus groups conducted by Democracy Corps, a Democratic organization, released on Friday. […]
Rather than attributing their dislike of Obama to race, participants in the focus groups, which were a project of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, said that their disaffection was borne out of a sense that the president was orchestrating an effort to steer the country away from its “founding principles.”
“They want him to fail,” said pollster Stan Greenberg. “It’s not just a political motivation, it’s an ethical imperative given what they think Obama’s goals are.”
The research team held focus groups from Sept. 29-30 with conservative voters in suburban Atlanta and another set of meetings with conservative-leaning independents in the Cleveland area. The Atlanta groups consisted of older white, self-identified conservatives who voted for both John McCain and a Republican Congressional candidate. The Cleveland groups included older white swing voters — half of whom voted for Obama and half of whom supported McCain in 2008. In the two places, researchers found vastly different results.
Now, y’all know I’m skeptical. I truly believe a lot of people may find Obama’s actions to be contrary to their beliefs, and to see him as a symbol of a country gone mad. I don’t think you have to be a racist to believe that – you just have to believe in things like ending Roe vs. Wade or an embrace of small government principles, or you think you’d benefit from a plutocracy. There are lots of reasons – that have absolutely nothing to do with racism – not to like Obama.
But here’s why I think the study was doomed before it began – no one self-identifies as a racist. Not even racists! They have different terms that they like to use*, or they use the popular phrase “I’m not racist, but…”