Some folks seem awfully eager to find racism lurking behind our presidential politics.
CNN commentator David Gergen Tuesday outlandishly suggested Hillary Clinton should disavow the votes of "racists" in Kentucky. Should Barack Obama do the same with the roughly 90 percent of black votes he's getting?
Now, the ever-righteous United Nations is sending a "special rapporteur on racism" to the United States this summer to find it. Oh goody! A poor man's Tocqueville, likely bearing his less-flattering conclusions about America before he even arrives.
This is the same body, after all, that once allowed its commission on human rights to be chaired by Libya, and whose New and Improved Council on Human Rights still disproportionately targets Israel while ignoring Cuba, North Korea, et al.
We can save the United Nations some time: Yes, there is racism still out there. And we'll be the first ones to condemn it -- such as the T-shirt being sold recently by a bar owner in Marietta comparing Barack Obama to the children's-book monkey Curious George.
But set against the sorry state of human rights in many other parts of the world, you have to wonder why this is such a priority to the United Nations. There seems to be no sense of perspective at the world body.
Meanwhile, those who suggest that racism explains away Obama's recent poor showing in several largely white states are, like our "friends" at the U.N., grasping for the first America-bashing tool they can find.
Racism alone cannot explain Hillary Clinton's five-touchdown wins in West Virginia and Kentucky. If racism were that aggravated there, we would've heard by now. Al Sharpton would be protesting so much he'd get his mail there.
Moreover, consider: On the same night Clinton trounced Obama in Kentucky on Tuesday, Obama was beating her rather convincingly in Oregon -- a state with similar racial demographics as Kentucky's.
Clearly, there's something more at work than racism.
It might be mistrust.
A lot of folks wonder about Barack Obama's ideological leanings, for one thing. He's considered the most liberal person in the U.S. Senate -- a problem for many conservative "Reagan Democrats." And if he's the nominee, it's a good bet any ties to radical socialists will be explored. There are already fears of that showing up on the Internet.
And remember Obama's semi-private pronouncement weeks ago that some voters "cling" to guns and faith out of fear and loathing of those who don't look like them? That arrogance and condescension and unbridled ignorance might have something to do with his loss of appeal.
Perhaps more prominent, however, are the doubts about how deep his patriotism goes. He has surrounded himself over the years with anti-American types, such as admitted domestic terrorist William Ayers and Obama's infamously America-bashing pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Then there are the statements by Mrs. Obama, who said she'd never been proud of her country before her husband's run for the presidency, and that the United States is just a "mean" place.
Such things give patriotic Americans heartburn and more than a little trepidation. Do we really want a group with such a dim view of America running the executive branch of government?
Perhaps owing to the increasing doubts about him, Obama recently began wearing a flag pin on his lapel, something he'd earlier declined to do. Clearly, he believes the issue is hurting him.
There are a number of reasons Barack Obama is limping toward the nomination. Race is no doubt among them for some.
But not nearly as much as some others would like to believe.