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Recently there has been talk of race and how, or if, it will affect the race. But no one is talking about if SEX will affect the race. Are there people who will vote for Obama if there was a woman is on his ticket? I doubt it. But there are a lot of people who will definitely vote against their life long commitment to the Democratic party because a black man is on the ticket.
Between the two campaigns only one side has overwhelmingly made the case that their attacks were based on how their candidate was born. The Democrats have had a woman and black man to fight through the primaries with tons of sexism and racism leveled at them but for what ever reason they didn’t say a word. We definitely can’t say that about the Republicans. They didn’t play any games at all. It was their first time in history breaking a social barrier at that level and they were sure going to let us know about it and if you forgot they were going to remind you. This is something the Democrats didn’t use as much at all. But now that the race is coming closer to an end and Obama has a large lead people getting skeptical of the closet racist and just how accurate can these polls be.
1. Race. “The idea that Obama was going to win in a blowout was always preposterous,” says former Nebraska senator and onetime presidential hopeful Bob Kerrey, an Obama backer. “A big piece of this, of course, is whether white people are going to support a black guy. … If (Obama) is a tall, skinny white guy named Paul Jones, it’s a different story.”
Obama is running nearly neck-and-neck with McCain among white voters in most polls, a major cause for optimism considering that John Kerry lost the white vote by 17 points and that Al Gore lost it by 12 points. Among whites, he does well with women, the affluent and college grads but fares poorly among low-income earners and Catholics — key swing groups that handed Hillary Rodham Clinton stunning blowouts in both West Virginia and Kentucky.
Pat Buchanan spars with Chris Matthews about Race in the primaries. They touch on a lot of untouched relevant issues.
When Sarah Palin was first introduced, some of her defenders wanted to talk about policy now that the same policies of John McCain has a new pitch woman, but wasn’t that the case before Palin got here? The style of the urban legends, which have probably shattered records for a presidential candidate are no coincidence to Obama’s policies. We all have had plenty of time to raise hell about his policies. I have seen and read policies of his which have almost had me pass out. But no one was talking about it. Lets not try to fool ourselves. I know it’s embarrassing to think of the amount of people who were polled in West Virginia exit polls and in the AP/Yahoo poll who either made it clear that race was a factor or that they feel negatively towards Blacks. The amount of people who feel this way that resulted in someone actually being honest should give someone something to think about when it comes to the people who would be ashamed to admit that this is the reason they aren’t voting for the black candidate but keep quiet. This is called the “Bradley Effect”. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_effect) But for the first time we have had “The Reverse Bradley Effect” where people claimed they were voting against Obama and secretly went and voted for him.
A lot of people wanted to find a way to hide behind their racism by blaming it on some of the purely debunked urban legends or other racial related fairy tales which couldn’t be possible by any stretch of the imagination. Evidence of this is the reasons one race gives for not voting for Obama versus the other one. I’ve seen black people online, black people who were interviewed at the RNC and black people who were interviewed at the DNC and none of them peddled their reasoning for not voting for him on some illogical connected urban legend. Almost all if not all of the people you see online or sending these emails,bloggers, posting comments and hosting the hate websites of these urban legends of past and present are all white. Ask yourself. Has a black person who is not voting for him claimed that they aren’t going to vote for him because he is a Muslim, has some radical connection, or because he is a racist? If these same people who want to claim that they have the moral authority to disqualify someone because they feel they are a racist where were they all of these years? And why is it an issue now?
The Clinton Years
Where we these high moral Republicans and Democrats when Bill Clinton was running?
Bill Clinton worked as an intern for Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright who was a segregationist and an avid racist. Bill Clinton has written in his book that Fulbright was his mentor and they have remained close since the 60s. He even gave Fulbright an achievement award in 2002 and a 7ft statue honoring him. It is very, very easy to find some hateful policies that Fulbright stood for. While Bill Clinton was a Governor the Confederate Flag flew nice and high above his state building, (not to say that there is anything wrong with the flag, but many remark that it is a symbol of racial oppression). Why didn’t these same republicans who were supporting George Bush senior or Bob Dole raise the argument that Bill Clinton isn’t fit to be president because he may be a racist? Is it because their candidate could have been a racist or had links to a racist as well? (which is almost a lose, lose situation for a black voter) Whoops! We can’t use that tactic now can we?
Some of their claims of opposition to Obama were the same issues which were plain and clear the same with all of the past white candidates male and female and even the current one now. Once one raises this point they just ignore it and continue to accept their candidate and devote themselves to pot calling kettle black concepts with no shame. Usually when someone points out that the identical boogieman is in both closets on an issue it is dropped and everyone finds something new to attack on. But to ignore it for the white candidate but claim it is an issue for the Black candidate begs the question. “Is it an issue because he is black?” or are we singling this one guy out because he is black?
I hate to admit that even Ron Paul has some radical racial associations and his excuse was almost as bad as some felt Obama’s was. Yet even still some of his supporters were on the “point out the other guy is a racist” bandwagon while knowing that their guy was arguably one as well. Maybe it is merely a tactic for some. But the passion of the hate for some people was just obviously more deeply rooted.
One of the usual rebuttals is that Obama has 90% of the black vote so aren’t those people racist? Well Bill Clinton and pretty much most of the democratic candidates for years have been getting numbers like that. Now if Alan Keyes, Clarence Thomas or Condileeza Rice were on the Republican ticket would you think they would get 90% of the black vote? And if they did it would be a sure indication that race is the reason because the usual amount of Black people who vote Democratic would be totally voting against their interest.
When the primaries first began Hilary had the entire black vote, even well after Obama was announced. When blacks were polled many said they weren’t sure about Obama because they didn’t know anything about him. Well as time went on everyone got a chance to know who Obama was and an all white state like Iowa gave him the nod and by South Carolina Hilary still had a nice chunk of the black vote. But as time went on and Obama was being vetted things changed. Now you have two candidates: one, a White woman, and the other a Black man with identical stances on issues. Being that the issues are the same it would be quite natural for some democratic white women or women in general to go towards Hilary. And it isn’t a sin for a Democratic Black person to notice how lock step they are with each other and decide on Obama because of his race. Both of these types of voters would normally have voted Democratic. And the vast majority of them said if their candidate didn’t win they would still vote democratic.
Let’s not play games. Those are not the people we are talking about. The people we are talking about are the people who are going to vote against the platform they agree with for a platform they strongly disagree with simply because of race. The idea that John McCain is most likely to deliver and Obama cannot is not a logical reason to vote against your best interest. You would be no better if Alan Keyes, who is an extremely conservative African American, decided he is going to vote for Obama because he wants him to be the first black president. Imagine that! Because if you were against the Republican party’s platform or stances that they hold now are you are willing to vote for the guy who is most likely going to deliver those promises you disagree with in exchange for the guy who actually represents your ideas and views simply because he is Black? Well, if so, you are the person the pollsters need to contact so that they could collect their data.
Could you imagine if Obama or his supporters were to cry racism? They cannot. Just like Blacks all though history who were trying to get ahead they have to play it cool and ignore it out of fear of being viewed as an angry black man. We can drag up all the things Palin is getting a pass on that Obama surely did not but this is not the point. The false or legit cry of sexism is much more acceptable in society than the false or legit claim of racism. But if the same people who are crying were the moral monsters they claim to be they would have raised the same point when it happens to any person in this day and age in American and not just the person whom they like (or who they look like).
So race is a factor in this election no question about it. The unknown question is if it will be an overwhelming factor or just a small one. Like the above article mentioned you have no way of polling this factor but let’s not pretend that this unknown factor can’t have a little impact or a very large one. It is a nice sign that our country has come a long way from the dreaded days of 40 years ago and Obama is an obvious symbol that the new generation of people don’t have the same prejudices as the days of old. But he also helped bring to light that we still have a lot of work to do.
Dreadsen is a regular commenter and guest commentary author for YouDecide2008.com