>Well, thank god that is over. Since I was out of commission when it actually was news, I’m a bit late to the game, but it’s worth discussing for a bit.
Obama is the nominee. Full stop.
Shockingly enough–barring some huge scandal–he’s likely the one to win in November.
I don’t know exactly how I feel about this. It is extremely surprising to me to realise that before I turn 30, I stand a good chance of actually witnessing the first African-American president–I would’ve preferred Carol Moseley Braun, Shirley Chisholm, or even Jesse Jackson, but that’s for parallel universes to hash out.
Then I start thinking about several things:
- This is going to be a thankless job. Obama is going to have to clean up 8 years of Bush II missteps and only 2-4 years to do it, meanwhile a significant and vocal group is expecting manna from the heavens and peace to reign from shore to shore upon his election.
- The Obama supporters have been some of the most childish and arrogant people I have come across ever since I voted in my first stateside election (2000). I don’t think the campaign thought that by engaging the youth vote, they would also have to hold their hand when the campaign suffered a setback.
- It’s funny how the subject of race goes in and out of the Obama campaign. Some white and black Obama supporters have been thoroughly surprised that I was not behind Obama during the primary, as if my vote was a given because of his racial background. I’m a moderate Socialist, Obama is to the right of me. Hillary was a little less to the right, and Edwards & Gravel even less. I’m going to vote for the candidate that matches my views not my skin colour. (I supported Governor Doyle of Wisconsin because his policies match my views, not because his sons are black.)
- The identity politics also give me pause for thought. If some people assume that because of his race, I support Obama, then by extension, the same small-mindedness may automatically make all blacks a scapegoat when Obama fails. I certainly hope that is not the case, but if you look at how “change” occurs in this country, then it does make one worry: Only last year did we have the Jena 6, the race-triggered murder of James Byrd was only 10 years ago, the heavily biased media coverage and government response to Hurricane Katrina was only 3 years ago, and only 44 years ago did the government agree to help prevent me being discriminated against due to the colour of my skin, but I have yet to have the same protection extended to me in regards to sexual orientation. Quite honestly, I have to wonder whether American society is prepared to have these conversations, and I can only hope that having them will not leave any further casualties.
- Remember that we, as Americans, do not ever vote directly for president under the current system in place. It may seem like a minor detail, but psychologically, I reckon, the fact that our vote is merely a suggestion for our representatives in the electoral college as to who to vote for, provides us with little impetus to choose someone to solve our nation’s problems, and a major reason to enshrine our apathy and “right” to complain.
Good luck, Mr. Obama. I’ll vote for you without reserve, but I certainly don’t envy your position.