Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Racism, Barack Obama, and Two Old Bags for Hillary

Just recently I overheard two older ladies talking about the contest between Hillary and Barack. They were both Clinton supporters and were asking each other how any white person could prefer a black over a white for president. One of them even suggested to the other that Obama was a possible Al Qaeda plant!

I know there is still a lot of racial prejudice among the older generation who grew up in less tolerant times, and they vote in larger numbers. However, it may just be that the excitement that Obama has generated among the young could translate into actual votes this time (younger people historically tend not to go to the polls in large numbers on election day) and that might offset that factor.

I started out this election cycle supporting Ron Paul. Obviously he is going nowhere in the Republican primaries, so I have decided that Obama is our best hope for some real change in American foreign policy and getting us out of Iraq. Even though I consider myself a libertarian, I would be willing to accept things like universal health care in exchange for ending the war and bringing our troops home. I really believe the overriding issue this year is restoring our reputation around the world and ending the American empire. Now, I don't expect any Democrat to actually close all our overseas bases and support a truly noninterventionist foreign policy, not even Obama is going to do that, but at the very least an Obama presidency will end the influence of the war crazed neocons (don't be too sure that a Clinton presidency would do the same). At this point, I don't hope for more than that.

If it finally does come down to Hillary Clinton Vs John McCain, then, as corrupt as I believe the Clintons to be, and as much as I don't want to see them in the White House again, I would have no choice but to root for Hillary. She may be reprehensible in many ways (in my opinion), but McCain is dangerous. He would likely lead us into war with Iran and start us on the path to a new cold war with the Russians. I'll take corrupt over dangerous any day.

Some Democrats hope for a "Dream Team" ticket of Clinton/Obama, and I don't really think it impossible, as Hillary may need Obama as running mate to unify the Democratic party and gain the enthusiasm of his supporters. If she doesn't have the Democratic base, especially African Americans, energized, she can't win. An Obama/Clinton ticket, however, would be less likely, as Obama, for a number of reasons, will probably choose a white male as his running mate

The American public, by all the polling, is fed up with the Iraq fiasco, so we have to hope that that trumps any racism among the electorate this year. If John "100 years in Iraq" McCain is the Republican candidate, that, along with the fact that many conservative Republicans can't stand McCain, may be enough for a Democratic victory.

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