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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Friday, October 17, 2008
Vote for Obama or the Country Gets It

Man did I step in it yesterday.

I rarely engage in political discussions with strangers. That doesn't mean, however, they won't discuss politics with me. One day while buying milk, I was accosted by a stranger. I had paused in front of the cooler that held the 2% since I was trying to remember what my wife had asked me to do after I left the store when someone mistaking my pause for growing anger exclaimed to me that he agreed with my outrage over Bush and rising milk prices.


Yesterday at the gym, the woman on the bike next to me was discussing politics with two people on the other side of the room. Given the distance between the parties, the discussion had to be held at a volume loud enough to include everyone in the room. I had to listen to her litany of complaints about the McCain campaign, but I leave each to their own; until she said this:

"The only way McCain can win is if the racists vote for him"

Sorry I wasn't going to let that stand because what got me about the woman's comment was its implicit corollary, "The only way Obama can lose is because of his race."

The racial aspect of the Obama candidacy has always been two-sided. On one hand it offers voters a chance to be part of a truly historical moment, to put a member of an oppressed minority group in the White House and to help somewhat heal the ongoing racial divide in this country. On the other hand, it always offered the danger of increased racial animosity if the Obama candidacy was rejected. Certainly you could argue a man with a very thin resume, suspcious past associations, and a set of policies which looks to be to the left of McGovern could be rejected for the normal reasons.

However in post-segregation America, the issues of race and racism exist in the implicit and in the subconscious, in the taboo, and political correctness. No matter what reasons people would have for not voting for Obama, the danger was that race would be hauled out as one of the reasons. You have already started to see that occur with the peieces from the AP calling attacks on the Ayers-Obama connection "racially-tinged," uncorrobroated news reportsthat people at McCain-Palin rallies have been yelling "kill him" in regard to Obama and we have one of the living icons of the Civil Rights Movement liken John McCain to George Wallace.


Look it's been a roller coaster 8 years. We have had 9/11, concern about coitnuing terorist or even WMD attacks on American soil, and public concern about energy coupled with looming environmental catastrophe with a dash of fear driven by the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. On top of that we have a sharp and growing blue/red divide within this country with people seeing the other side as just not wrong, but evil and corrupt. Put it altogether and we've spent the past 8 years weakening the foundations of our society and our Republic.

Back to the woman in the gym...

I said very quietly and firmly "You cannot say that because what you are stating is that if McCain wins the White House, it would be racists who put him there and who wants to support a man like that? We would live in a country so divided and full of hatred that it would make the past 8 years look like a love-in."

Well that went over like a turd in the punch bowl but you know what? Enough is enough.