By John Stang
The recent sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain reveal a noticeable trend in American electoral politics, playing the victim of a conspiracy can win you points. Conservatives often attack liberals for “playing the victim” in most situations and getting away with it. For example, liberals whining about evil corporations stopping on the little guy who wants make a living or even playing the race card. I would argue that a cohesive political argument starts off with someone being victim of some wrong, otherwise no problem really exists.
The conservative case of victim-hood come from the liberal elite attacking the very foundations of their moral standing. More importantly, it has to do with jealousy. A conservative will often claim that liberals are jealous of conservative popularity. Ann Coulter is a good example of this rhetoric:
“Liberals are terrified of Herman Cain. He is a strong conservative black man. Look at the way they go after Allen West and Michael Steele and they aren’t even running against Obama. They are terrified of strong, conservative, black men,” Coulter said.
The other route is to say that the allegations against Cain are just a conspiracy to bring him down. The Daily Telegraph reports:
JD Gordon, the candidate’s spokesman, said he was being “targeted by liberals just because they disagree with his politics.”
What I find moronic about the victim card for conservatives is how they are never really the victim of anything, except for their own paranoia. Sure, liberals might disagree with Cain’s ideas, but most will just attack the ideas on face rather than just drudging up a story to make him look bad. Real journalism involves digging into a candidates past and seeing what skeleton’s might show up. Character assassination comes from finding facts objectively and then people may draw conclusions from those stated facts.
If you think about it, bringing down conservative character is much easier. Many conservatives are profoundly religious and tout higher moral purity. Not only that, but often times a conservative will defend the status quo and current institutions as sacrosanct. With that baggage, one can presume that will be much easier to take down a conservative politician than a liberal that may not have those characteristics. Finally, no one should forget the dirty tricks of the GOP from the “ratfucking” of elections perpetrated by “Trick Dick” Nixon to Karl Rove’s bag of tricks. Politics is not a clean game, only Mother Teresea can really compete, and even then her “saintliness” might be in question.