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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Romney and the Muslim vote

Right now, a lot of people are talking about the GOP's problems with Latinos. But there's another minority group that also deserves attention.

The Republican party has become the He-Man Muslim-Haters Club in recent years. I don't know how many Muslim votes Romney received in 2012, but I do know that in 2004, only four percent of Muslims voted for George W. Bush.

You may be surprised to learn that the situation was very different in 2000...
In the 2000 election, approximately 70% of Muslims in America voted for Bush; among non-African-American Muslims, the ratio was over 80%.
As a measure of how things have changed, one Muslim voter writes:
There is simply no way that I can justify voting for a party that denies the very legitimacy of my identity as an American. And there is no way that I can justify voting for any member of that party that does not, in the strongest possible terms, denounce that view. Nor can most other members of the American Muslim community, who just happen to be clustered in swing states like Ohio, Virginia, and Florida.
Would the Muslim vote have made a difference? Only one percent of Ohio residents are Muslims, which means that, of that state's 11,544,951 citizens, roughly 115,000 practice Islam. Of course, not all of those 115,000 participated in the election. We won't know for some time how exactly how many more people in that state voted for Obama than for Romney, but, obviously, the election was very close. The Republicans could have used an extra 40 or 50 thousand votes.

Romney could have gotten those votes if he had criticized the drone wars or offered a viable plan to restart the peace process. As things stand, the Islamic community has little reason to love Obama, but even less reason to like the GOP.

To paraphrase Churchill (again): Anti-Islamism is a good starter, but a bad finisher.
Today's republican party is contracting into a nucleus of disaffected white men and their abused spouses.

The question I ask of them is,"Come 2017 when Obama leaves Washington and you still have your guns, will you check your paranoia into the nearest mental health facility? "
Romney lost Ohio by almost exactly 100,000 votes, so the Muslim vote could have been a factor. The 88, 000 who voted for independents didn't help either. The Muslim angle could be worth watching in the future, Joseph. However, Muslims are currently the favorite boogeyman to scare Americans with, just as in the past we were told that there were communists hiding in the closet and under the bed. After communism pretty much went out of business in Russia, a new Other had to be invented.
Since the US has spent a few trillion dollars killing Muslims and destroying their countries over the last 11 years, it seems unlikely that the powers that be will walk away from that "investment" and all the propaganda and police state bureaucracies that have been created or expanded to support the phony war on terror. Neither major party would be allowed to do that, because it would require a major rewriting of history and some important political figures would find themselves being vilified as liars and war criminals. Also, since eternal war and riding herd on the sheep are almost the only successful industries left in the US, any change in the status quo would implode the already imploding economy.
Gore's running mate in 2000, Joe Lieberman, was a good part of the pro-GOP Moslem vote.

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