Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hey Don't Ask Me (What America Thinks)

One of the best political articles I've read on Slate in recent memory is called "Who's Afraid for Obama: What the claims that a black man is unelectable say about the rest of us." Written on Tuesday, before the author could have known that Obama would actually go on to lose the New Hampshire primary (d'oh!), the piece is nevertheless still quite intriguing. It takes as its target people such as myself, who feel that they themselves are perfectly fine voting a black man for president, but remain convinced that the rest of America wouldn't be. To summarize two pages of scholarly and rhetorically sound analysis, he concludes that people like myself don't really know what the hell we're talking about. And you know what? Based on my experiences in 2004, I would have to say that he is right. Don't ask me who America is willing to vote for and who America isn't. Hell, if people were willing to vote for George W. Bush right after he'd just done all that crap that he did, then clearly I understand the American electorate about as much as I understand the lyrics to "Tumblin' Dice." But personally, I don't care if a guy has three nipples, a lazy eye and a goiter. I'll vote for anybody.

3 comments:

ninquelote said...

I'm not to sure about the goiter.

yoggoth said...

The argument in question never made any sense to me. The analysis in that article is fine but it seems targeted at a fairly small liberal audience that worries about a lot of made up things. The reason that the argument doesn't make sense in broader application is that it assumes there is a large population of people that would support a Democrat but wouldn't vote for a black man. It often further assumes that they would be willing to vote for one of the Republican candidates. Who are these people? Do I not know about them because I live in California? Are Midwestern union members incredibly racist?

The other problem is that the 2 other front runners are a woman and a trial lawyer. So now we are arguing that a sizable portion of the voting public would vote for a Democrat, wouldn't vote for a black man, and would vote for a woman or a trial lawyer. That seems ridiculous to me.

herr zrbo said...

Obama FTW!