I didn’t intend this new blog to be an angry platform, but we’re in the last week of the election and I have to get this off my chest.
This post may have been more appropriate a few weeks ago. Maybe a month ago. Now it appears that we may be on the verge of electing the first African American a president of the United States. That hasn’t happened yet, and anything can happen. Including some dangerous things as we found out today. But a week from today Barack Obama will likely become president-elect.
A few disclosures first. I like John McCain. I’m politically equidistant between John McCain and Barack Obama. This is the first presidential election where I was sort of enthusiastic about BOTH candidates. For different reasons of course. So this post is not an anti-McCain diatribe. For that matter, I wouldn’t have any major problem with John McCain being the next president of the United States. Like Colin Powell, I believe both candidates are qualified, excellent candidates.
What got me concerned was that I heard for the umpteenth time that someone (a white person) wasn’t going to vote for Barack Obama because 1) “he’ll be only for the blacks” or 2) “if he’s elected, blacks will think they own the place”. I’ve heard this all A LOT…much too often. It wasn’t about issues – health care, Iraq, education, the economy, global warming. It had nothing to do with John McCain – he wasn’t even mentioned in these person’s points. No, it wasn’t anything related about substance.
It was strictly about race.
I got to thinking about these people and the way they think. From the way they talked, most of them seemed to be the types who usually vote how either most in their area vote or how the nation was trending as a whole in that particular year. In other words, they weren’t really centrists…they lack a political compass. But what struck me was what they wasn’t.
They weren’t “Republicans”. Republicans were already voting for John McCain. Political party didn’t play a role in their thinking. In fact, they were likely to be anti-Bush at this point and, thus, vote for the nominal Democratic candidate.
They weren’t “conservatives”. If someone is conservative then they are likely going to vote for the candidate who most likely shares their values, be it on abortion, on tax policy, on national security. That candidate is McCain.
They weren’t “McCain supporters”. That’s because “McCain supporters” logically supported McCain. Many somewhat enthusiastically. They hadn’t considered voting for Obama. They wouldn’t have voted for Hillary Clinton.
That doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been any Republicans or conservatives or McCain supporters that’s used race or at least was wiling to use race or religion against Obama. Not at all. Some of them were all to eager to forward vicious emails or help spread rumors. But remember, we saw that some Hillary Clinton supporters did the same thing.
And this certainly also doesn’t mean that most of those who vote against Obama are doing it because of race. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to vote against him – just like there is of any candidate, including John McCain. Concern over experience or worldview or temperament or key policy points.
In fact, the people I’m talking about don’t vote by political philosophy. They’re not intelligent enough to be able to formulate one. So let’s take a look at what these people then are.
These people are “racists”. Plain and simple. They are fully basing their vote strictly on race and nothing else. They don’t look at the candidates’ stances on issues, they look at the amount of pigment in the candidates’ skin. They aren’t voting for McCain because he is white. Their choice is to be AGAINST Obama because he is black. They are “racists”.
These people are “bigots”. They’re the type who will believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim even though it has been proven time and time again that he is not. They choose to believe a falsehood to justify their bigotry.
These people are “morons”. They don’t seem to be able to understand that the issues at hand, such as national security and peace coming from the Middle East, or the long term stability of the economy, or energy independence that is environmentally sound, are or at least SHOULD be of prime importance. No, they’re not intelligent enough to think of those things. That’s not a swipe at John McCain and his stances on those issues. These people haven’t considered his stances on these things. They don’t have a clue as to where McCain stands. Or Obama. But they’ve made their mind up whom they’re going to vote against.
These people are “anti-American”. There. I said it. They’re “anti-American”. That is if you believe that this country was founded on the principles of equality for all. That is if you believe in the concept of individual freedom – a bedrock of much of Republican thought by the way. If you believe in essence of America as being a “shining city upon a hill”, a term used by former president Ronald Reagan, then I’d say shining cities don’t have people that tarnish it by disparaging those who “don’t look like them”. By doing so, they hurt the country, make it more divisive, and, frankly, make it shine less. They are going against what I see as the core of America.
These people are “false patriots”. Oh, they may feel patriotic. And they may love this country. But their patriotism is tarnished as they seemingly view the concepts of freedom and liberty as something that need not be fully extended to all, lest those that it may be extended to become too powerful and cocky. And that’s the case no matter how much they pat themselves on the back about their supposed patriotism.
These people are “cowards”. They see race and they see fear. They see differences that can’t be overcome. They see a loss of imagined societal power when the power that they imagine exists never really existed in the first place. They foresee a new societal structure where 12% of the population, an often disadvantaged 12%, will somehow rise up control everyone else. Another factor in them being “morons”.
These people are a detriment to this country. These people will cause the continuance of division and lack of national unity. Their prejudiced hearts poison the spirit of America. Their mentalities deny and/or stall the great progress this country has made over the past 50+ years since Brown v. Board of Education. They denigrate the lives lost in this great national struggle. They are too stupid to see beyond someone’s middle name. They can’t think independent thoughts because they reject the critical analysis that’s so often necessary to formulate intelligent opinions. Many choose to get their information from or automatically agree with false Christian ministers who spew bigotry or big fat idiotic drug addicted radio personalities or mysteriously written emails that come out of nowhere that are specifically designed to take advantage of their stupidity.
Believe that this is an anti-conservative/McCain diatribe? Not at all. Think again. These people do no service as to whether or not the surge has worked (it has) or whether or not it’s wise to raise taxes on the wealthy – i.e. those who can more easily start spending money to stimulate an economic recovery – during a recession (it isn’t). This isn’t the freedom to bear arms (which I’m usually for) or partial birth abortion (which I’m usually against).
None of that’s important. Instead, they fear, what?…that Barack Obama will paint the White House black?
OK, sure. If Obama is elected, we’ll hear from some a couple pro-Obama lefty fanatics that any vote opposing his policies is a sign of racism. Just like we’ve had some Rovian righties tell us that it’s unpatriotic to oppose Bush’s war and anti-terrorism efforts. That will suck, but that’s politics.
My concern is that there are enough of these people in this country – or more specifically, enough of them in key swing states, that their votes will sway this election, delegitimizing what both I believe both John McCain and Barack Obama stand for.
Special shout out to Lawrence in DC for giving me the final push to write this article.