Today Alex and I voted at our local polling place (Kroger) and, after absolutely no deliberating whatsoever, chose the black guy. Now, we may not be the most informed voters in the world, but neither are we ignorant fools. We don't vote for a candidate based on one issue, and we like to think ourselves above voting for skin color. But let's face it: Obama's candidacy is important because of his skin color, and his victory will be important because of his skin color. Why? Because the fact that an African-American candidate for president can be leading in the polls so late in the game tells us that we have come so very far since these degenerates held political sway:
Obama's rise is important because it means these guys didn't die for nothing:
Obama's imminent victory is important because it means there is hope for this couple, and maybe not just in Massachusetts, California and Connecticut:
And it's important because civil rights are about gender too. Let us not forget that black men had the right to vote in this country before white women did, and let's never forget that this year's Democratic primary was truly unprecedented, boiling down to Obama versus:
In terms of politics, I'm ambivalent about Barack Obama. I believe what the world needs more than anything is for the United States to take a hard tack to the left. I also understand the need for moderation and mass appeal during election season. I hope he's a little more liberal than advertised, but I'm not getting my hopes up.
In one respect Obama is fortunate; his presidency abuts directly that of George W. Bush. Whoever is elected is bound to look pretty good next to eight years of unmitigated failure. Ultimately, though, the shortcomings of one administration cannot be a measuring stick for future ones. History will decide. Obama's presidency will be judged by how much he did to combat global warming and poverty, on how well he repaired the situation in the Middle East, on whether health care became accessible to everyone, and on how he handled an economy that is hanging on by a thread. Times are tough. People compare Obama to Kennedy. I want FDR.
Yes, policy is paramount, and I can't imagine myself voting Republican, no matter if the candidate is black, brown, yellow, red, white, or green with antennae and tentacles. I'm just saying: Obama's racial makeup is important. In light of that fact, we must remember that we cannot accurately call Barack Obama black. His mother, after all, is white. Obama is something of a hybrid, and for that reason he may just be the symbol of our time. Will Obama be one of those rare galvanizing symbols that are common in fiction but sorely lacking in reality? Hard to say, especially in an age when reality has become so sensationalized. I'm hoping that the word he has uttered over and over again from the start, the word he has made the centerpiece of his campaign, is not as empty as most campaign slogans (anyone remember "compassionate conservative?"). Change is needed. Barack knows it. Can he deliver it? In a way he already has. I just hope he doesn't lose because of his skin color.
PS: Is this post a little corny? I hope not.
Pictured above: Alex votes for president for the first time ever.