Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A New Day

So I read a bulletin on MySpace questioning whether or not Barack Obama was the best man to be President. It was a thoughtful entry written by a high school student who wondered if perhaps Obama would not have won if he was not an African-American. Here is a part of my response to that young patriot.

I believe that Obama would have won this election anyway for at least three reasons.
  1. We are suffering from Bush overload. There have just been too many mistakes, misjudgments and missteps in the last eight years. You may be too young to remember (although I am sure you know this), Bush never had a strong mandate from the electorate. He lost the popular vote in 2000 and barely won in 2004. Because USA was never fully behind Bush, his policies were scrutinized more closely. Between the two wars, the economy and the erosion of civil rights, coupled with the increase in executive authority, almost any decent democrat would have won this election.
  2. Barack Obama is won of the most inspiring and eloquent speakers we have seen in a long time. He causes people to believe that we can be a better place, a better people, a better country. No politician has done this since Robert Kennedy in 1968. (I don't remember that, but I have read about him.) If Obama was a white man with the same gifts and beliefs, I think he would have won the election.
  3. He did get a lot of votes simply because he was black. Our problem, as middle-class white people, is that we have no clue how significant that is for African-Americans. We have always had candidates who looked, acted and talked just like us. Obama's victory was as large as it was largely because he became a symbol for African-Americans and minorities all across America.
I think that most people who voted for Obama truly believe that he is the best man for the job. These other factors support that idea.

1 comment:

FEC said...

Well written response. The first I've seen that isn't antagonistic towards conservatives.

I agree that too many people are hung up on the race issue and have a complete lack of understanding of how African-Americans are feeling.

Now, of course, I voted for him because he was the Democrat (I am what they used to call a "Yellow Dog Democrat" ... I would vote for a yellow dog before I would vote for a Republican) but even the most hardcore conservative has to admit that people were just fed up with Bush.

Interestingly, my mother, who is now a Republican (she has voted McGovern, Carter, Reagan, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Dole, Bush, Bush since '72) said McCain lost her vote when he picked Palin.