To The Undecided Voter
Never in those ten elections can I remember choices so stark and possible outcomes so perilous.
This election is my 10th. My 10th presidential election since I became a radio talk show host. My 10th election since I began spending more time than the average American thinking about, researching, reading about and talking about the choices voters faces. Look; I mean no arrogance here. It’s just that the average American doesn’t spend from 15 (then) to 22.5 (now) hours a week over the period of a presidential race talking about the candidates, the issues, the non-issues and the consequences of voter choice.
Never in those ten elections can I remember choices so stark and possible outcomes so perilous. For the record, over those 10 elections I voted for the Republican candidate six times and the Libertarian four. Never have I voted for a Democrat for president. I see no need to vote for a Democrat since I have no plans or desires to become a ward of the government. Somehow I don’t think 2008 is going to be the first time.
I’ve noted that some other “pundits” out there are starting to post, in columns and in their blogs, the reasons they are going to vote the way they are going to vote. I’ll make no attempt here to refute their (oh-so refutable) arguments here. Instead, I’m just going to put my thoughts and reasoning in writing just to cleanse my mind. If you can make some use of them; whether it is for laughter, talking points or intellectual consideration, have at it. Me? I’m just pulling the handle.
The Race Factor
Are many black voters going to vote for Barack Obama primarily because of race? Of course, many will. Surveys and polling have shown that the figure may reach 20%. I think it’s well more than that. Is race a sound reason to cast a vote? Probably not. Is it understandable? Absolutely. I cannot fault a black American for voting for Obama. It may turn out to be a negative vote insofar as their dreams and goals are concerned. It may not work out all that well for their children, especially if they’re ambitions and talented. But I don’t think many of us can absolutely say that we wouldn’t be casting the same vote were we in their shoes.
If you are a white American there is no way in the world you can look at this election through the same eyes as a third or fourth generation black American citizen. Several months ago a caller to my show suggested that Barack Obama’s ascendency in the presidential sweepstakes was Black America’s biggest accomplishment. I disagreed. Though I can’t remember the exact words, I said that, in a general sense, the shining moment for Black America may have been the show of patience and restraint shown by black men when they returned from putting their lives on the line in World War II and in Korea to a country with segregated schools, colored waiting rooms, whites only water fountains, beatings, lynchings, water hoses, police dogs and systematic discrimination pretty much every where they looked. The restraint showed by black Americans during the civil rights struggles of the 50’s and 60’s, though not universal, was something to behold.
Now .. try, though you won’t succeed, to put yourself into the mind of a black American. How can you experience or understand the legacy of segregation, violence and second-class citizenry your ancestors went through and not take pride in a black American on the verge of winning the presidency? How many black American voters do you think are uttering to themselves: “If my grandfather had only lived to see this.” It takes a great deal of maturity and a clear understanding of the possible future consequences for someone to put their racial pride aside and swim against the tide on this one. So, there will be no name-calling, at least not here, for people who cast their vote on the basis of race in this election. As I said, It’s understandable.
And Then There’s the Race Card
This really isn’t really a reason to vote for or against Barack Obama, but you do need to know what the next four years are going to be like with an Obama presidency.
During the campaign there have been some rather amazing charges of racism. Let’s see if we can remember a few:
• Using the word “skinny” to refer to Obama is racist.
• “Community organizer” is a racist term.
• Any reference to a connection between Obama and Franklin Raines, the former head of Fannie Mae is racist … that would be because Raines is black.
• All references to Jeremiah Wright are racist; that being due to Wright being black.
• Referring to Obama as “eloquent” is racist because it infers that other blacks are not eloquent.
• For goodness’ sake, don’t say that Obama is “clean.”
• This just in from The Kansas City Star: Calling Obama a “socialist” is also racist because “socialist” is just another code word for black.
And so it goes. We’ve also had several pundits, columnists and opinion-makers flat-out state that if you are white and you don’t vote for Barack Obama it can only be because he’s black. There is simply no other legitimate reason to deny this wonderful man your vote. Vote for McCain, you’re a racist. Simple as that.
Now let’s consider the next four years under President Obama. He is certainly going to introduce ideas and pursue policies that are pure poison to many Americans; especially achievement-oriented self-sufficient citizens. Whenever anyone dares to utter a word in opposition to any Obama position or initiative you can be sure that there is going to be someone waiting close by to start screaming “racist!” By the end of Obama’s first year in the White House virtually every white American will have been called a racist for one reason or another. So, what else is new?
“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”