I have always wondered why the election of Barack Obama bothered the GOP and the right wing so much. Charles Pierce has a very good piece over at Esquire that explains a lot.
The country is sitting on a powder keg right now.
Shortly before his death, Thomas Jefferson described the issue of chattel slavery as the equivalent of holding a wolf by the ear—you can’t hold him and you can’t let him go. Jefferson, being fundamentally a white supremacist, misread the problem. It wasn’t slavery that was the wolf. That was only the most outward manifestation of the wolf. The wolf was racism, and we’re still just barely hanging on. It has become vivid in the past seven years, since the country had the audacity of electing a black man to be its president. The election of Barack Obama changed the context of the events that occurred during his presidency. All of those events—from the arrest of Henry Louis Gates in his own home, to the rise of #BLM in the wake of the killings of Trayvon Martin and all the rest, to the mass shooting in Charleston—took place in the context of racial opposition to the idea of Barack Obama’s election. It sharpened the racial edge of the political dialogue on virtually every issue. (Ever stopped to count how many synonyms for “uppity” have been used in connection with this president? You wouldn’t think there was a thesaurus that comprehensive.) The grip we have on the wolf is weakening.