Friday, August 29, 2008

There May Be One Small Problem -- Us.

Obama said this campaign is not about him, it’s about us. He may be right, but not in the way he intended.

So let’s see, a young, charismatic presidential candidate with a fresh vision gives a fantastic, even historic, speech at the Democratic National Convention. He’s inspired record numbers of young people to register to vote. He’s a remarkable, self-made man who is the epitome of the traditional American success story. He’s exactly what the country needs after eight years of Bush/Cheney hell. The incumbent party has led us into two un-winnable wars and a recession. They’ve ruined our reputation abroad, erected torture chambers, and thirst for yet more war against Iran. The middle class is sinking into poverty while Exxon raked in over eleven billion dollars net profit last quarter. What’s more, his opponent is a stodgy old fart whose mind is rooted in the Cold War (He also has anger issues and his wife seems to have oddly brittle wrists. Just saying). This crusty old prick promises nothing but more war, more tax cuts for Exxon, more debt, a new Cold War with Russia, and thinks the fundamentals of our economy are strong. The stage is set for a slam dunk. Obama should win by a landslide. It’s a clear-cut contest of youth versus age, the future versus the past, dynamism versus leaden stagnation. Why even bother having an election?

Because there’s a slight problem, pithily summarized by a drunk redneck overheard last night in a liquor store after Obama's speech: “He’s the wrong color.”

I heard another moron offer up the following Oh So Funny Joke: “Obama’s pissed off because he’s half white but looks all black.”

There were also a few snickers about Obama’s middle name.

Now, granted, these are stupid redneck fucks in a stupid redneck town. But the fact that they feel absolutely comfortable making these remarks in public shows that they assume other&squo;s feel the same way, and I’m afraid they’re right. Just when I think this country has finally pulled it’s fat ass out of the primitive sludge of racial tribalism, I hear some stupid fuck make a remark like those quoted above. It’s disturbing in the extreme. This country is sinking into shit. It’s becoming a third world banana republic. One candidate clearly offers a positive change, the other advocates policies that will surely accelerate our decline, and yet the issue remains in doubt primarily because one of them is black. Full stop. I hope the above quotes are just isolated little anecdotes with no broader significance. I have my doubts. We’ll see.

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