The Corner

Kerry’s Race Baiting

Jonah: An even worse example of race baiting than Reuters reporting on the non-controversy over voting rights for felons is John Kerry’s speech to the Congressional Black Caucus a week and a half ago. “We are not going to stand by and allow another million African-American votes go uncounted in this election,” said Kerry. A million African-American votes uncounted? That’s a lot of hanging chads–and it would have represented about two-thirds of all the black adults living in Florida four years ago, if it were true. The figure, however, is completely unsubstantiated in Florida or anywhere. (I called the Kerry campaign for any kind of corroboration and they weren’t able to provide so much as a junk-science study from some half-cocked left-wing interest group.) But Kerry wasn’t done with his vile allegations: “We are not going to allow acts of voter suppression, and we’re hearing those things again in this election.” Of course they are: The Democrats have set up a toll-free telephone number to collect such stories, which are so essentially to the party’s mythology about what happened in 2000. This line is sure to ring nonstop through Election Day as every partisan crank who sees a state trooper within a few miles of a voting booth calls in to announce a Republican conspiracy. A few hours before Kerry issued his hateful accusations, John Edwards spoke at a CBC prayer breakfast and called for “unity” on the third anniversary of the terrorist strikes. “We want that one America,” he said. Too bad his running mate wasn’t listening.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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