Next month after the midterm elections, Barack Obama is scheduled to visit India. While on the trip, he had originally planned to go to the Golden Temple, the spiritual center of the Sikh religion. Indians of all faiths revere this site, since it bears testimony to the ecumenism of the nation. The Sikhs in particular were very proud of this planned trip, and had promoted it to the millions of members of the faith throughout the world.

A Sikh pilgrim is photographed while praying inside the compound of Gurdawara Dera Saheb in Lahore June 16, 2010. Hundreds of Sikh pilgrims took part in the 404th Martyrdom Day celebrations of their fifth Guru of Sikhism, Guru Arjun Dev ji, on Wednesday. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza  (PAKISTAN - Tags: RELIGION HEADSHOT SOCIETY)

Unfortunately, when an advance team went to the temple, they discovered that if President Obama visited the site, he would be required to remove his shoes and cover his head in a piece of cloth that must be tied to his head. When the Queen of England visited, she removed her shoes. When the Canadian Prime Minister visited, he also observed the tradition. But Obama felt that if he did this, it would reinforce the opinions of some people that he was a Muslim.

Not that Sikhs are Islamic. They’re a completely different religion. But in the White House’s opinion, many Americans are not intelligent enough to differentiate between different religions, would classify anyone with a turban as a potential terrorist, and this action could be used as a bludgeon in his re-election bid in 2 years.

Too often, politicians decide that it is easier to play to the worst of us rather than try to lift the nation. It is just so much easier to feed people’s biases than it is to try to challenge them. But it says something more about the White House and about the Beltway mind-think as a whole than it says about the rest of us. The elites believe that a noticeably high percentage of us are bigots, who fear anything that is unfamiliar to us. Even worse, they believe that we are uneducable; only those whom they associate with are smart enough to not engage in such silly prejudices; yet they are the ones who feed these feelings rather than reject them.