The intern blog below is a commentary on Tavis Smiley’s opinion of the role that race will play in the 2012 presidential election based on the video that can be found below the commentary. As the nation gets ready for the 2012 presidential election season to begin, the Republican Party is weighing its options for potential candidates to run against Obama. In the video posted below, Tavis Smiley opines that the 2012 election will be “the ugliest, the nastiest, the most divisive, and the most racist… in the history of this republic”. The comments of Tea Party supporters and leaders have made the truth in Smiley’s statement apparent. Former Tea Party spokesman Mark Williams stated, “It is the duty of every American Citizen to do everything within their power to disrupt and defeat the domestic enemy that currently occupies the corridors of power in Washington and a dangerous number of state capitols”. This comment, in addition to others, forced him to resign. Even though his words were condemned, I know that many people agree with him, which makes me fearful of the tactics that will be used in the 2012 elections. However, I think that the fact that Osama Bin Laden was killed under Obama’s watch will prove to be a large benefit to his campaign. The New York Times reports that between April and May, Obama’s approval rate went up by 11%. This fact makes me believe that Smiley’s ominous prediction will prove to be true. The Republican Party will have to resort to divisive tactics to have a chance of posing a legitimate threat to Obama.
TAVIS SMILEY, PBS: I said over a year ago that this was going to be, this presidential race, Lawrence, was going to be the ugliest, the nastiest, the most divisive, and the most racist, the most racist, in the history of this republic. I did not know that that race to the bottom would begin so quickly. One can disagree with the Tea Party…
LAWRENCE O’DONNELL, HOST: Why did you see this coming?
SMILEY: I saw it coming because it’s pretty clear given how the Tea Party has acted, given that Donald Trump is now playing to the worst in the Tea Party, that this would be possible. I don’t want to demonize or cast aspersions on the Tea Party broadly. I believe that there’s a certain angst that many people in that entity feel, and I share that angst about government. I don’t believe that it’s the solution to reduce government. Government does have a role to play. We’ve got to figure out, we can figure out and debate what that role is, but there have been semantics they’ve engaged in that made it clear to me: showing up at rallies with guns, and the Secret Service, you know, working overtime to protect this president. More threats against his life than any president in the history of the nation, indeed, presidents combined. So the evidence is pretty clear that they would do anything and say anything in order to make sure he does not get reelected.