Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ben Stein: Obama Election 100% About Race Mistreatment Guilt

Ben Stein on Larry King Live: ... like to see the Republicans turn back to the Republicans of Dwight Eisenhower.

Uh, Mr. Stein, Susan Eisenhower has endorsed Senator Barack Obama.

Why I'm Backing Obama

Who's Blogging» Links to this article
By Susan Eisenhower
Saturday, February 2, 2008

Obviously, she has more belief in Obama than in a candidate of her own party, Senator McCain, a maverick who has parted ways according to him with his own party.


I am not alone in worrying that my generation will fail to do what my grandfather's did so well: Leave America a better, stronger place than the one it found.

Given the magnitude of these issues and the cost of addressing them, our next president must be able to bring about a sense of national unity and change. As we no longer have the financial resources to address all these problems comprehensively and simultaneously, setting priorities will be essential. With hard work, much can be done.

The biggest barrier to rolling up our sleeves and preparing for a better future is our own apathy, fear or immobility. We have been living in a zero-sum political environment where all heads have been lowered to avert being lopped off by angry, noisy extremists. I am convinced that Barack Obama is the one presidential candidate today who can encourage ordinary Americans to stand straight again; he is a man who can salve our national wounds and both inspire and pursue genuine bipartisan cooperation. Just as important, Obama can assure the world and Americans that this great nation's impulses are still free, open, fair and broad-minded.

No measures to avert the serious, looming consequences can be taken without this sense of renewal. Uncommon political courage will be required. Yet this courage can be summoned only if something profoundly different transpires. Putting America first -- ahead of our own selfish interests -- must be our national priority if we are to retain our capacity to lead.

Striking, that, isn't it?

Stein made the exact remark about Republicans returning to the era of Eisenhower last July...

But he said something more... people who would vote for Barack Obama = those who are doing so out of guilt for past slavery and mistreatment of African Americans, historically?

STEIN: I think it`s way beyond that, Glenn. I think it`s all about race. I think it`s Americans thinking they`re going to -- we`re going to make up for our past racism by electing a black man. I think it`s 100 percent about race. I mean, he`s a very talented guy. He`s a very smart guy. I have heard him talk about legal issues. He does it very, very well.

He`s obviously an extremely capable human being, but I think an awful lot of his popularity has to do with whites saying we`re going to make it up now by electing a black man.

BECK: I think that`s insulting. I think that`s insulting.

STEIN: No, it really isn`t insulting. He`s a very capable man. He would go tremendously far, no matter what he did, but I think the fact of white guilt has a lot do with it.

BECK: Well, here`s -- let me play the race card the other direction. This is what he said July 30. He said, quote, "You know, people are going to say he`s not patriotic enough. He`s got a funny name. You know, he doesn`t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."

Let me go to another quote that kind of -- go to screen -- let`s see - - go to screen five. The first black president -- this is the Ludacris lyrics from that same song, "The first black president is destined, and it`s meant to be. The threat ain`t phasing us, the nooses or the jokes."

I think both of these things. First of all, Ludacris, show me where the nooses are, because I`ll stand shoulder to shoulder with you to put those people, you know, in the place where they belong. And I`d like to hear from Obama, who is it that` saying he doesn`t look like all the other presidents on the dollar bills and he`s got a funny name? With any credibility, who`s saying that?

STEIN: I don`t know that anyone`s saying it. But the point is, he is different, he is new, and he is a new possibility.

BECK: Yes.

STEIN: And I welcome that. Look, I welcome that. It`s been a long, long time since African-Americans, or Africans, were brought here as slaves. It`s about time one of them had a shot at being president.

But let`s not kid ourselves. Some of the fact of his appeal is white people thinking in their hearts we have been very guilty of wrongful conduct towards blacks. Let`s try to make it up.

I -- maybe I`m wrong about that, but I think that`s a large part of his appeal.

BECK: Shar (ph), who is an African-American working camera two. Insulting, Shar (ph)? Insulting. Who is it insulting to? African- Americans or all people?

STEIN: In what possible way is it insulting?

BECK: I think -- I`m with Shar (ph) on this. I think this is insulting to Americans to think that we`re so shallow. I mean, I think there are those people...

STEIN: You think it`s insulting to say that Americans feel guilty about several hundred years of extreme mistreatment of African-Americans?

BECK: Yes. You know what?

STEIN: That`s not insulting. That`s saying they have a decent conscience.

BECK: No, it doesn`t.

STEIN: Yes, it does.

BECK: Ben, I have nothing to do with slavery. My people weren`t even here during the slave days. We have had shameful periods in our history, just like every other country, just like -- hang on -- every other people. How is this -- how is this -- we stopped it. And we have a guy now who might be president of the United States that`s black. God bless America, man.

STEIN: Do you think that there is not a huge residue of guilt in this country over the way African-Americans were treated?

BECK: Did we not pay for the -- for the slave trade in blood through the Civil War?

STEIN: There was still incredible mistreatment of African-Americans.

BECK: Of course, there was. Of course, there was. And there has mistreatment in the 1960s there was mistreatment. And there`s mistreatment all around. There`s enough mistreatment for everybody. How about women? Do you feel bad...

STEIN: I couldn`t agree more.

BECK: ... that we treated women this way? I don`t.

STEIN: I feel incredibly bad about the way women are treated.

BECK: Did you say the same thing about people feeling guilty, voting for Hillary Clinton, because of the way we`ve treated women?

STEIN: No, I think it would have been great if we`d had a woman president.

BECK: Because she would have been the most qualified.

STEIN: The fact is that women have been seriously mistreated. African-Americans have been seriously mistreated. There is a certain fraction of the population that feels guilty about it.

BECK: Get over your guilt. Pick the person that`s the best first. I believe it was...

STEIN: I hope -- I hope people do that. I hope.

BECK: ... Martin Luther King that said judge by the content of the character.

STEIN: And I hope -- and I hope they do that. And I hope they do that. But I think, in their heart of hearts, an awful lot of people feel guilty about the way America has treated the black man, and they should.

BECK: No, they shouldn`t. No, they shouldn`t. Unless you were the one responsible for it, no, you shouldn`t.

STEIN: Well, maybe you shouldn`t, but plenty people do.

BECK: Those are two different things.

STEIN: We`re not talking about whether they should or...

BECK: No, I want you to stick around. We`ll be back with Ben Stein here in a minute. About halfway through the program.

Also, I`ve got to show you some progress in Washington next. A bipartisan group. We have these congressmen on, pushing their politics aside to find real solutions to our energy crisis. They were on a couple of weeks ago. We`re going to find out from these two congressmen whether - - was there any progress?

Plus, country music superstar Toby Keith will be here a little later on in the program. We`ll talk about his two latest projects: new album, plus a new movie. And his take on the current state of our union. Stick around.


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