Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Barack On Track

So, no surprise to learn that Barack Obama is forming a committee to formally explore a run for President. This has been on the cards since he spoke extremely well during the 2004 campaign. Many are describing this as Hillary Clinton's worst nightmare, but there are a number of reasons (highlighted here in October by Our American Cousin) that make it unlikely that Obama will win:

1) Senators never get elected, so it's a pointless discussion (the only one in the past hundred years was Kennedy, and his dad called in a few favours for that one). This applies equally to Hillary and was almost certainly at the root of John Kerry's problems at the last election.

2) Not proud to say it, but how does a guy whose last name is one letter away from Osama and whose middle name is Hussein get elected in a post-9/11 invading Iraq America? Forget black-white issues--will this country be enlightened enough to elect a man with an Arabic name (even if he happens to be a Christian raised in Hawaii and a descendent of Jeff Davis)? I'd like to think so, but we are talking about the same electorate who was easily convinced that a winner of the silver star and three purple hearts was a coward while a draft-dodger who didn't even complete his service in the Texas Air National Guard was some kind of war hero.

3) Everyone gets very excited about the chance to have the first African-American president, but, racial labels aside, I don't think that distinction really counts until the direct descendant of a slave is elected. As Thomas Sowell, among others has pointed out, basing racism on the color of skin alone often overlooks a cultural bias against "American" blacks in favor of relatively recent Caribbean and African origin. So in a country where a black kid is six times more likely than a white kid to go to jail for the same crime (and with the same record), we ought to be very careful about what is real racial progress and what only appears to be racial progress. Interesting also to note that the typical civil rights leaders such as Jesse Jackson have pointedly chosen not to support Obama with much gusto.

4 comments:

Out From Under said...

Obama was raised a Muslim. He converted to Christianity.

SJS said...

this american cousin you reference sounds like a smart, smart man.

Praguetory said...

Hi D&B. Any views on Tim Ireland's campaign to impose his code of blogging ethics on the community?

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