by John Hawkins | August 25, 2008 12:28 pm
People who are honest will admit that race is a double edged sword for Barack Obama. Yes, there are certainly racist Democrats and independents out there who will not vote for Barack Obama because he’s black. On the other hand, if Barack Obama weren’t black, he could have never gotten this far. A white man with his experience and abilities wouldn’t have even been considered qualified to run for the presidency, much less actually become the party’s nominee.
Moreover, Obama may have been talking about “change” and “hope,” but in reality, race has always been at the center of his campaign — although admittedly, in a different way than it would be in the case of a Sharpton or Jackson.
At the heart of Obama’s appeal is a Faustian bargain that has been subtly offered by his candidacy: “put Obama into the White House even though he’s not qualified to be President and we can have a post-racial era. America can never be called racist again — you — yes, you personally — can never be called racist again — but, if he doesn’t win, well, it just confirms that America is still a racist country, like in the sixties and that you personally, if you didn’t vote for him, are a racist!”
As we get closer to the election, expect the Left to become much more explicit about the deal. Take a look at these excerpts from the latest column from Slate’s Jacob Weisberg and you will see what I mean,
Yet Barack Obama, with every natural and structural advantage in the presidential race, is running only neck-and-neck against John McCain, a sub-par Republican nominee with a list of liabilities longer than a Joe Biden monologue. Obama has built a crack political operation, raised record sums, and inspired millions with his eloquence and vision. McCain has struggled with a fractious campaign team, lacks clarity and discipline, and remains a stranger to charisma. Yet at the moment, the two of them appear to be tied. What gives?
If it makes you feel better, you can rationalize Obama’s missing 10-point lead on the basis of Clintonite sulkiness, his slowness in responding to attacks, or the concern that Obama may be too handsome, brilliant, and cool to be elected. But let’s be honest: If you break the numbers down, the reason Obama isn’t ahead right now is that he trails badly among one group, older white voters. He does so for a simple reason: the color of his skin.
…Many have discoursed on what an Obama victory could mean for America. We would finally be able to see our legacy of slavery, segregation, and racism in the rearview mirror. Our kids would grow up thinking of prejudice as a nonfactor in their lives. The rest of the world would embrace a less fearful and more open post-post-9/11 America. But does it not follow that an Obama defeat would signify the opposite? If Obama loses, our children will grow up thinking of equal opportunity as a myth. His defeat would say that when handed a perfect opportunity to put the worst part of our history behind us, we chose not to. In this event, the world’s judgment will be severe and inescapable: The United States had its day but, in the end, couldn’t put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race.
And there you go: whether America is a racist nation or not depends entirely on whether we put an unqualified mediocrity into the White House just because he’s black.
Of course, when it comes to Faustian bargains, the devil always finds a way to welch on the deal.
In this case, the very fact that Obama has captured the Democratic Party’s nomination, has won almost entirely white states, and is a serious contender for the presidency should prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that America isn’t a racist nation.
Moreover, Obama ain’t no Jackie Robinson, folks. He hasn’t got the talent to compete in the big leagues — and will the Left really be content to allow the first black President to be seen as a hopeless, miserable failure who wasn’t up to the job? No, they won’t. So, if Obama gets in, you can expect his supporters to constantly play the race card to make up for his many failings. Why is Obama’s approval rating so low? Racism! Why is the media paying so much attention to his mistakes? Racism! Why don’t more Americans support Obama’s policies? Racism! That, along with an enormous lurch to the far left for the country, will be what the next four years will be like if Obama gets into the White House.
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