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Rudi Giuliani and Barack Obama team up to play the divide-(by-race)-and-rule game

by John Spritzler

February 20, 2015


A recent Guardian article reports that former NYC mayor Rudi Giuiliani (whose views are virtually the same as those of Rush Limbaugh) declared:

“I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” he said. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me.”

After defending himself from accusations that his statement was racist, by noting that Obama was raised by his white mother, Giuliani then elaborated on his criticism of Obama, saying of him, as reported here:

“I don’t hear from him what I heard from Harry Truman, what I heard from Bill Clinton, what I heard from Jimmy Carter, which is these wonderful words about what a great country we are, what an exceptional country we are.”

“He sees Christians slaughtered and doesn’t stand up to hold a press conference although he holds a press conference for the situation in Ferguson,” Giuliani said. “This is a president I’ve never seen before.”...

“I was in Europe a lot this summer and this fall, and all I heard about is the bigoted American police departments, and I never heard the president of the United States defend the policemen of America.”

Giuliani's (and Rush Limbaugh's, etc.) underlying framework for these kinds of statements is twofold, first a premise and then a conclusion based upon it. The premise is this:

"America is exceptionally good because our government democratically represents all good Americans equally, unlike so many other countries with their upper class ruling over a lower class."

The conclusion is this:

"Anybody who criticizes America, who doesn't love America, is saying that good ordinary Americans are bad people."

Barack Obama (and the entire Democratic Party leadership) plays along with Rudi Giuliani (and Rush Limbaugh, etc.) by criticizing America (for things like racially biased policing and the CIA's history of overthrowing popularly elected governments in places such as Iran and Guatemala) without ever challenging the Giuliani premise that our government represents all good Americans equally.

In this debate between the Obama left and the Giuliani right, the question thus becomes, "Are good ordinary Americans good or bad?" instead of "Are the policies of America's ruling plutocracy good or bad?" It's pretty obvious which side in this debate will win, isn't it?

If the Obama left truly wanted to destroy the Giuliani right it would aim at refuting the Giuliani premise that our government represents all good Americans equally. It would proclaim the truth that the American government is of, by and ONLY for a plutocracy that dominates and oppresses all ordinary Americans as well as people in foreign countries. By not doing this, it hands over to the right the mantle of "defender of good Americans against those who do not love them."

There is really only one explanation for why the Obama left plays along this way with the Giuliani right. The Obama left and the Giuliani right are both working for the same cause--to discredit all criticism of the policies carried out by and for the plutocracy.

Why does this sham debate work?

The sham debate clearly works only among those who feel they are truly represented by our government. This is where race enters the picture in a big way. Since the time of slavery, the ruling class in America has tried to persuade ordinary so-called "white" people that they are full fledged members of the club of good people that rules America and that so-called "non-white" people are bad people (during slavery: less than fully human; today: welfare cheats, whiners, criminals, etc.) rightfully excluded from this club. The Giuliani right appeals directly to people who view themselves as good white people who are members of the club that rules America. The right's grip on these people is only strengthened by the manner in which the Obama left criticizes America--its refusal to declare the truth that America is a dictatorship of, by and ONLY for the plutocracy.

Those who take either side in this phony debate are just being suckered into the plutocracy's divide-and-rule strategy. What's needed is an egalitarian revolutionary movement that refutes the premise that both sides of this phony debate tacitly embrace. The truth is that ordinary so-called "white" Americans are not members of the club that rules America, they are part of the club that is dominated and oppressed; the only way they can improve their lot is by having solidarity with the so-called "non-whites" and this means understanding and acting on the fact that an injury to one is an injury to all, as I discuss in my recently updated article, Racial Discrimination Against Non-Whites is Rampant and Harms Working Class People of ALL Races.



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