Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Only Issue That Matters In 2008

The mainstream media have chattered incessantly in this presidential race about what issues are the most important. Some would have you believe that experience is the issue that will decide who becomes president. Others say the war on terror and homeland security will be the deciding factor. Still others believe the economy will trump all other issues.

In another year, these would indeed be very important issues. But are they really the most important this year? I submit that they are not. Experience is really not as important as the media would have you think. America has shown many times in the past that they will vote for lesser experience if they like a candidate.

The argument can easily be made that Kennedy was not nearly as experienced as Nixon, but he won. The truth is that no one is truly prepared to be president, but those elected usually rise to the occasion. No one expected Truman to be a strong and capable president, but that was what he turned out to be. It is more important to be liked than experienced.

So how about the Iraq war and the overall "war on terror". I submit that this issue has already been decided by the public. The huge majority of the American people believe the Iraq war was a mistake, and the war on terror is being mishandled.

It took them a while, but most people now know it was a mistake to pull most of our troops out of Afghanistan before the job was finished, and invade Iraq (who posed no danger to us). They want to know why we attacked Saddam, when our real enemy was al-Queda. If this was really the most important issue, the Democrat would win with about 65% of the vote.

The same could be said for the economy. No matter how many times Bush says our economy is healthy, Americans know better. They also know the Bush presidency has been disastrous for everyone but the rich, and they know that all McCain has to offer is more of the failed Bush policies. Nearly 80% of Americans say America is on the wrong track economically. If the economy was really the most important issue, Democrats would win big.

And that's just what's happening in the House and Senate races. For months, huge majorities of the American people have preferred Democrats over Republicans (even though Congress itself gets low ratings). Democrats are poised to make huge gains in both houses of Congress.

The reason they are poised to do that is because the American people have already made up their minds about the economy and the war. They have already decided that the country cannot afford another four years of Republican policies.

So why is the presidential race so close? Since it is obvious that most Americans don't want the Republicans running things anymore, why are so many of them considering a vote for McCain? It is because there is one issue this year that far outweighs all the others in the presidential race.

That issue is RACISM. I know that some think we have gone beyond our racist past by nominating an Afro-American for president. But frankly, nothing has been proven yet. Obama was nominated by a coalition of blacks, liberals and young people -- the least racist elements in our society. It remains to be seen how the general population will vote.

Whether we want to admit it or not, there is still a LOT of racism in this country. Passing a few equal rights laws did not change the hearts of the populace. That is a harder and slower task. The question is has America changed enough yet? Or is the majority still racist enough to vote knowingly against their own interests, rather than vote for an Afro-American?

I can't help but think if a white male were heading the Democratic ticket, he'd probably be leading in the polls by 20%. (And don't bring Hillary into this argument. She lost, and there's no reason to think she'd do any better than Obama.) The only reason the race is currently so close is America's lingering racism.

If Obama loses, it will be because Americans are not yet mature enough to get past the race issue. I know most people won't admit it -- they'll come up with a variety of weak excuses to cover for it. But the truth is that with the overwhelming Democratic feeling in the country, the only thing that can defeat Obama is racism.

Don't get me wrong. I am an Obama supporter. I believe he is the best candidate by far, and I've waited most of my life to see a credible Afro-American candidate. I am very proud of the Democrats for nominating him, and I will vote for him proudly.

I just have this nagging feeling in the back of my brain that America has not progressed as far as we Democrats had hoped. I hope I'm wrong. November will be a test for America. Are we making progress, or is America still a very racist country? The coming election will clearly answer that question.


  1. I hope you're not saying that anyone who doesn't vote for Obama is a racist.

  2. Not 100%. I realize there are some people who would vote Republican if they ran a ticket of John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer.
    But if you vote for nearly all down-ballot Democrats and then pick McCain for president, then yes, I believe you're probably a racist.

  3. Everything you say is why I think he will pick Biden as VP. He needs an older white guy with foreign policy experience so the racists will have an excuse to vote for him.

    I have talked to some white people who won't vote for Obama because they are afraid of revenge. Sheesh! They are projecting their own small mindedness on him. Guilt much?

  4. But if you vote for nearly all down-ballot Democrats and then pick McCain for president, then yes, I believe you're probably a racist.

    Whereas I agree that at least some party-line Democrats who will vote for McCain might be racists, consider the following:

    By the time the "inexperienced" John F. Kennedy announced his bid for the presidency, he had already commanded a PT boat in combat, served two terms as a congressman, nearly won his party's nomination for vice president in 1956, and had been re-elected to the Senate. Is it possible that some Democrats consider Obama, who declared his presidential candidacy after serving just 143 days in the Senate, lacking in experience for the job?

    The populist Harry Truman, who never even attended college, was from the heartland of America and practically invented "straight talk." Is it possible that blue collar Democrats might find Ivy League educated Obama, whose "nuanced" political positions and his tendency to look down on people from "small towns" who "cling to their guns and religion," aloof at best and condescending at worst?

    Could party-line Democrats from states like Texas, where state and local candidates tend to be more centrist, find that Obama's positions on abortion, universal health care and taxation are not in synch with their own views on those issues?

    And finally, could Democrats, who have been blamed (along with Republicans and Independents) for every racial injustice from slavery to the Jena 6, take umbrage at the guilt trip laid upon them for considering experience and policies rather than skin color, and vote for McCain just out of spite?

    Just askin'.

  5. As a right-wing Republican, it doesn't surprise me that you would be quick to propose and defend all kinds of weak excuses for racists to not vote for Obama.

  6. Does that make you a woman-hater for voting against Hillary?

  7. I hope you are incorrect, JA, but I fear you are probably right.

    In addition to racism, whether covert or subliminal, it seems to me that the numbers really started to change when McCain began chanting, "Drill, drill, drill".

    My cynical side believes that the middle class will vote for anyone who promises them cheaper prices at the pump whether that plan has any chance of actually working or not. To hell with the environment. To hell with global climate change. To hell with doing the actual WORK of changing our lifestyles to fit a sustainable energy plan. At this point I think they'd even vote for four more years of George Bush, if it would be possible to do so, provided he promised them cheaper gas by drilling. McCain is the next best thing.

    McCain claims to advocate an energy plan that utilizes any and all energy production that is based here in America but he really pushes a plan that relies on additional drilling for oil. This allows people to delude themselves into believing the status quo can be maintained if we just drill more. This allows people to ignore climate change as a problem for the future and I believe Americans will do almost anything to be able to keep their heads planted firmly in the sand.


  8. rufus-
    If Hillary had been the Democratic nominee and the only other choice was a Republican (McCain), then it probably would. But that wasn't the case, was it?
    My point (since you obviously missed it) was that a large majority of Americans have made up their minds that they want the Democrats back in power. Since that is true, why is the presidential race so close.

  9. MM-
    I think the "drilling" issue is just one of those weak issues that's being used to cover for the racism. You notice it is not helping the congressional Republicans - only the presidential race is affected. Why?

  10. I think the "drilling" issue is just one of those weak issues that's being used to cover for the racism. You notice it is not helping the congressional Republicans - only the presidential race is affected.[Emphasis added]


  11. Did you read the link embedded in the word "Really?"

  12. Yes, I did, and I wasn't impressed. If you think this issue will save congressional Republicans in November, you're going to have a long and unhappy election night.

  13. Say Curious, if you are using military experience to measure readiness for the Presidential office, consider McCain as El Cid: A Corpse on a Horse

  14. txsharon,

    As far as whether I use "military experience to measure readiness for the Presidential office," I think that it can be, but there are other kinds of experience that develop ones leadership skills. As a 20-year veteran of the United States Army, I'd be the first one to admit that my service in no way prepared me for any political office, much less the presidency.

    Despite my ambivalence about the relevance of military service, I decided to follow your link anyway. I found it to be one of the more thought-provoking analyses from the Left that I've read in quite some time. What I found very refreshing is that Grand Moff Texan was able to make his point without once using the buzz words "McSame," "McShame" or "Rethug."

    That being said, there are a few of the author's points I'd like to refute:

    "You won't see McCain at an analogous liberal event." I guess he must have missed McCain's appearance at the NAACP convention.

    Regarding the 2000 campaign as being the tipping point for McCain voting "more and more with Bush," what about McCain's opposition to the Bush tax cuts in 2002, and more recently, his opposition to Bush's strategy in Iraq and support for the Surge at a time when no one thought it would work?

    I didn't have the time to read all of the "Republicans know that their cattle are stupid enough to fall for this" links, but based on the ones I did read, you can rest assured that this Republican isn't stupid enough to fall for them. There are plenty of legitimate reasons for not voting for Obama (policies, inexperience, arrogance) without having to resort to these kinds of lies. I recently refuted the "Obama is not an American" lie posted at Panhandle Truth Squad by a fellow troll, much to the surprise of some of the regulars who know me to be a conservative.

    As I also mentioned at PTS, I wish I had someone to vote for in this election. Based on the dirth of positive pieces about Obama, compared to the number of negative ones about McCain, I'd say I'm not the only one who has this problem.


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