Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Senator Obama, race, and the election

I think this guy over at NRO has it exactly right, when confronting the question: will Obama lose the election because of his race?

"...while there are those who will not vote for Obama in the general election because he is black, there are many who will be voting for him precisely for that reason. This includes, most obviously, many African Americans, who would otherwise vote for McCain or — probably more likely — simply stay home if the Democratic nominee had been a white guy with Senator Obama's credentials and positions. And it includes, again, many non-black voters who are smitten by Obama's race-driven charisma and especially the hope that he will, because of that, be a race-healer for the nation. It even includes, truth be told, those who fear that if he doesn't win the threatened racial recriminations will indeed come to pass; more positively, those who simply think it would be a good thing for race relations if a black man were elected president; and, more negatively again, those who hope that, with a black president, there will be less black complaining. For purposes of this posting, I'm not endorsing or condemning any of these motives (except voting against Obama out of racial prejudice, which of course I do condemn); I just think it's hard to deny that they are out there. Look at it this way: If Senator Obama magically became white, is it at all clear that at this point it would improve his electoral prospects?"

And also, think of this: how many persons will vote against John McCain solely because he's 72 years old? How many will vote for Obama solely because he's younger? Can anybody doubt that some ageism will creep into voter behavior? And how dumb is it to vote for someone or against someone simply because they assume younger is better?

Pretty dumb.
UPDATE: By the way, the above of course will never stop Democrats from blaming racism for, well, everything and anything:

"“Have any of you noticed that Barack Obama is part African-American?” [Kansas Governor Kathleen] Sebelius asked with sarcasm. “(Republicans) are not going to go lightly into the darkness.” Sebelius was responding to a question from the audience at the Iowa City Public Library about the tenacity of Democrats and whether they would fight for victory as hard as Republicans in the closing weeks of the election."