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What is Your Perspective on "The McCain Campaign" or "Obama Drama?"

Like most people that I know I am also fascinated by the presidential campaign that is currently underway. Obama and McCain, Palin and Biden, Democrats and Republicans (where are the other political parties?), debates and polls, MSNBC and Fox News, do we receive any of them without a spin?

While some of the above I can’t begin to engage or unpack, I may have insight into some aspects of Barack Obama’s reality at a level that most of my local readership may not have even considered. For example, people want to paint him with a broad brush stroke because of some of his prior affiliations, more specifically, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. I find this quite intriguing and relate it to some aspects of my life and my thirst for knowledge of self. As an African American who struggled with finding images of myself in the media and accurate depictions of my history within U.S. history, I was deeply angered when I discovered a history of Jim Crow, Negro Peonage, the Convict Lease System, the failing of the Freedman’s Bureau, the nadir of race relations, and an unbridled legacy of lynching that further added to an understanding of an unjust justice system. Obama, as a bi-racial person, very well may have been introduced to many of these details through the educational system instead of through any type of oral history as he was evolving, especially since his father was African and probably didn’t have much experience with American racism. Like many bi-racial people, Obama may have gone after an understanding of, or context for his blackness within the context of American society with a fervor, somewhat overcompensating for a lack of acceptance by many black folk because he simply wasn’t black enough for them. Oddly enough though, as we are still finding today, he is too dark for many non-blacks.

Many people are taken aback by Obama’s affiliation with his infamous pastor. However, like Malcolm X’s thoughts on Black Intelligence (concisely articulated in the Spike Lee film) that challenged a hegemonic perspective on Black folk defending themselves from American hypocrisy cloaked as American democracy, it very well could be the case that Obama had a young inquiring mind that was attempting to understand a culture he just didn’t know. However, in American society if you are a member of the underclass you must accept the ongoing legacy of American hypocrisy quietly or you are adamantly painted as a radical. What a joke. How is it that various White Americans could be voted into governorships and senate seats over and over again, but socially conscious Black Americans must whisper their observations about America as a flawed country or they are painted as unpatriotic? Sadly, because I am writing this in an attempt to challenge thought, I now flirt with the reality of being painted with similar broad strokes. Understanding that many people can’t de-center themselves long enough to process this dimension of the American reality, perhaps I should stop. I don’t think so! Instead, let me end with a couple of other things for you to consider.
I am very much a fan of Hillary Clinton and am one of those that would have enjoyed seeing her on the ticket with Obama. I am disappointed that Sarah Palin didn’t recognize what her continued veiled suggestion that certain types of Americans are more American than others actually said about her. I am thoroughly intrigued by the possibility that McCain “may have” committed the most sexist of acts by choosing a running mate primarily for her gender only. And yes, I am concerned that Obama is so overtly fixated about not playing the race card that he has chosen, albeit strategically, to avoid some opportunities to challenge his opponent in ways that are very real.

While there is something intriguing, perhaps even troubling about the fact that Obama’s campaign finances have enabled him to put a down payment on the presidency, it is none the less also a statement about how invested American citizens actually are in his endeavor to change our country. Just as intriguing though is the fact that while McCain wants to take Obama to task for taking advantage of the campaign financing, I hope McCain recognizes the unearned advantages that he has simply by being born White. Yes, Obama has probably lost as many votes simply because of his being born biracial (but looking Black) as McCain may have lost due to Obama’s campaign financing far exceeding McCain’s.

What are your thoughts on the McCain campaign or Obama drama?

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Comments

I enjoyed reading your comments and I agree with most of them; however, it is probably better that I express them to you vocally when I see you as I take great exception to a lot of things that have gone on during the presidential campaign.

The expectations some white Americans have of Black Americans is so ridiculous I get very upset just thinking of them. I would not have lived to be an adult had I been born during slavery.

JW-

10 quick comments before I head out trick-or-treating with my kids...

1. I too have been entralled with this Presidential Race.

2. Full disclosure...I will vote for McCain on Tuesday.

3. I like Obama. He excites me...gets me geared up...and challenges me to look for ways to improve our country.

4. I don't feel that passion and excitement ALONE are enough to lead. And although Obama has an impressive background, and the beginnings of a Presidential resume, I'm not willing to chance a vote for him without seeing him gain some more experience.

5. I'm glad you qualified your remark about Palin. The most sexist act would be to assume the worst of someone else's motives in regard to race and/or gender. It would be just as easy to say Palin was chosen because she's the most popular Governor in America. She's a conservative...and she appeals to the base. And she's got unique experience with regard to some of the critical environmental issues facing the country. If her name was Bob...with the same credentials...we wouldn't be having this discussion.

6. Honestly, despite the comments above...I too think Palin's gender was a reason she was chosen.

7. I also think Biden was chosen for HIS gender and race.

8. Pick a third candidate and combine Obama's passion and eloquence with McCain's sense of duty, commitment, and life experience, and that person would have my vote.

9. I think Obama will win Tuesday night.

10. The last poll I saw stated that Obama would receive 93%-94% of the African American vote. If I took a poll asking if the world was round, I bet I wouldn't get 94% agreement. 94% of any group agreeing on any topic is almost unheard of. Race is an issue. Let's just hope what he gains in increased turnout of African Americans can negate the losses from those cretins who vote against him because of race.

The color I believe is most influential this election is green. Between an unpopular outgoing president, an unpopular war, and the housing and Wall Street meltdown, the stage was set for a democrat in the White House.

The overwhelming issue during the debates has been the economy. Many didn't see the housing collapse coming, let alone the Wall Street debacle. As a result, many Americans have seen their retirement accounts plummet in value, their jobs hanging in the balance, and the equity in their homes gone.

Change is the obvious mantra in a climate of this kind, as McCain desperately tries to distance himself from Bush, while Obama offers a vision of a new direction for America to lead us back to economic prosperity and world-wide respect.

In a recent ABC poll, a majority of people claimed that race didn't matter in their choice of president. That may be true, but without the economic crisis we are currently experiencing, I am not sure that would be the case. Most people place green above black and white, and Tuesday's election will likely reflect that fact.

If the failure of the Bush administration wasn't as spectacular as it was, or if the economy was doing better, I believe race would play a much greater role in the election. Many "red states" are now undecided, which is a strong indicator of how much anxiety exists in our country at this time.

So, between all of the colors being discussed, "red," "blue," "black," and "white," I believe "green" will have the biggest effect on the outcome. When Americans hear McCain claim that he intends to buy back unstable loans with federal dollars from Americans who cannot afford their house-payments, white people in red states see their green being spent on what they consider to be socialist doctrines. Ironic, isn't it, given the charges of socialism that are being flung about?

But on November 4th, Americans will almost certainly vote its first biracial president into office. The pressure on Obama to turn things around will be intense, given all of the damage that needs to be managed.

But don't get me wrong, race matters! Unless more pressing issues take precedence, many people in the U.S. care about whether the candidate is black or white, male or female, Christian or non-Christian. We still make choices based on features that should not be part of such an important decision.

With the economic turmoil, ecological imbalance and the plethora of other dilemmas surrounding our national politics, the election underway is definitely full of drama. My eyes have been glued to my computer screen checking the latest polls and reading relevant articles. But no matter how much I try to distance myself from both candidates in order to be objective, I have this natural reaction when I hear both Obama and McCain. I struggle to see myself in McCain yet some of my identity comfortably reflects some of Obama’s ideas. I think this is so because of the disdain for politics I grew up experiencing. Even if I come to agree with McCain, he still symbolizes the same picture that has represented policies that have marginalized my community. But, even though McCain’s policies are antithetical to mine, I can respect him as a leader. His scars as a veteran show a commitment that I myself wouldn’t make for this country. But I’m still disappointed with the fact that he has seen the ravages of war first hand and yet he is somewhat inclined to continue the war in Iraq. I understand that there are some logistical issues that need to be taken care of before we bring back our troops, but to remain there for an undetermined period of time further endangers our troops and tarnishes our already tainted international reputation.

As for Senator Obama, his vision for change and detailed policies on establishing Smart Grid cities that will renovate the infrastructure for our energy consumption lure me to vote for him. I see his ability to connect with so many different people . inspiring a whole new generation of multicultural leaders. Communities that have been historically left outside the White House can now dream of seeing themselves in there some day if Obama makes it.
But I am intrigued by his politics even more when I look at the positions he takes. The middle class is his main focus. The working poor are rarely mentioned and the rich or the top 1% will be taxed the most under an Obama administration. This allows him to, on some level, to play it safe. It reminds me of Aristotelian ethics. Virtue lies in the mean between the extremes. His focus on the middle class gives him enough elbow room to not be deficient in terms of helping underrepresented communities get more opportunities, while keeping him away from the excess of supporting corporate and upper class greed. This leaves a bitter sweet taste in my mouth but as a potential president, I prefer a leveled head. Whatever the result is on Tuesday, we will be living in a different country from then on.

All I do is think and think about this campaign. I begin each day reading the Huffington Post and New York Times with NPR in the background. My days at work are filled with conversation about the election and the possibilities, while colleagues and friends email articles and text thoughts throughout the day. When I get home, MSNBC is turned on and I’m back on the computer pouring over polls, op-ed pieces and sending emails. I’m completely consumed and overwhelmed. It’s taken me three days to write this post because I’m so engrossed and restless. I’m afraid I’m going to have major withdrawals once the election comes to a close. I’ll finally be able to breath once it’s over.

Having admitted to my obsession with this campaign season, my optimism for a Obama victory are often tempered by the reality of a conservative agenda that is fixated on negative spin and bowing to the status quo. What’s fascinating about the McCain campaign is how it began to unravel as quickly as it reached its pinnacle with the Palin pick. It was a brilliant choice that turned sour. His hope was to secure the conservative, religious-right base. Palin’s Pit Bull persona suits her well. She speaks little about the issues, focusing more on inciting and playing to peoples xenophobia’s; likening Obama to a terrorist, being anti-American, a socialist: “not like you and me” It’s troubling. She has incensed and alienated the “Women for Hillary”, wants creationism taught in our schools and to be able to dictate what books fill the shelves of our libraries. Not to say, she’s overtly against the clean water act in her own state and is a fervent supporter of drilling in the Alaskan National Reserve. Palin has been every political satirist’s dream. As a result she has dragged down the GOP campaign. They are consistently sidetracked with having to not only cover-up her faux pas’ but also McCain’s uncanny awkwardness and erratic behavior.

And so I try not to think about a McCain-Palin Administration. And then…….

I think about having the real opportunity to put an end to the suffocating Bush years.

I think about an Obama-Biden Administration that will put an end to the war in Iraq, provide health care for every American and make a college education attainable.

I think about Women’s Reproductive Health Rights safeguarded.

I think about economic security for the middle class and jobs remaining in the US

I think about environmental conservation and ingenuity.

I think about the historic nature of this campaign and that my daughter was able to be a part of it………abv
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