Friday, November 07, 2008

One last thought on the election....

It's a couple days after the election, and still sometimes during the day I'll suddenly remember that Obama is going to be our next president and get all excited again. The thing that has struck me since election night is this whole theory that America has moved on past race by electing a Black president. Sorry, I don't think so. This country is still as racially fucked-up as ever. The reason Obama won is that the GOP fucked things up so badly that even a Black guy could get elected. Hey, even the Onion is saying it:

"Today the American people have made their voices heard, and they have said, 'Things are finally as terrible as we're willing to tolerate," said Obama, addressing a crowd of unemployed, uninsured, and debt-ridden supporters. "To elect a black man, in this country, and at this time—these last eight years must have really broken you."

The continuing arrogance and incompetence of the Bush administration and the vile campaigning of McCain and Palin was finally just too much for most citizens to handle. If McCain had shown the graciousness he displayed in his concession speech at any time during the campaign, there may have been a different outcome. But his whole-hearted pandering to the religious right and the neocons and whatever intolerant nutjobs exist in the Republican "base" doomed him.

We all liked and respected the old McCain. Most liberals said, hey, if it comes down to McCain, it's not so bad. Of course, that was before the campaign got ugly. LIke a lot of people, I lost all respect for the man this year. And even if I thought, well, maybe, it's just the campaign, he could still maybe be a good leader, the selection of Palin as his running mate quickly killed that thought. As I mentioned in the previous post, the thought of Palin running with a 72-year old cancer survivor was unacceptable to the American people.

I'll never forget the moment this past summer at the Obama rally in Portland when the implications of him actually winning hit me. Standing in a crowd of 70,000 people, the idea that an African-American could be elected president choked me up. It just seemed unbelievable. Looking around at the sea of people, I knew that his election would go a long way to healing some of our racial divisions, and offer a genuine hope to young minority children. And I still feel that. But you're not going to convince me that the majority of people were comfortable voting for someone of color. They just couldn't stomach four more years of Republican hell.

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