A sociology colleague of mine sent me the following email last night. I know I’ve been more political than usual lately (for obvious reasons), but I’m hoping this is seen as more sociological than political, even though it is politically biased:
Subject: What if…
Obama/Biden vs McCain/Palin
What if things were switched around?…..think about it. Would the country’s collective point of view be different? Could racism be the culprit? You decide… Ponder the following:
- What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?
- What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
- What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?
- What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?
- What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?
- What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while he was still married?
- What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?
- What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?
- What if Biden couldn’t complete a coherent sentence and didn’t have a clue regarding any national or international policy issues?
- What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five? (The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)
- What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?
- What if Obama couldn’t read from a teleprompter?
- What if McCain had been a professor of constitutional law at a prestigious university and Obama had been a politician his whole career?
- What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing five planes?
- What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem?
- What if Michelle Obama’s family had made their money from beer distribution?
- What if the Obamas had adopted a white child?
You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are? This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.
As a final thought, look at the candidates educational backgrounds:
- Columbia University- B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations.
- Harvard – Juris Doctor(J.D.) Magna Cum Laude
- Universityof Delaware- B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
- Syracuse University College of Law – Juris Doctor(J.D.)
- United States Naval Academy – Class rank: 894 of 899
- Hawaii Pacific University- 1 semester
- North Idaho College- 2 semesters – general study
- University of Idaho- 2 semesters – journalism
- Matanuska-Susitna College- 1 semester
- University of Idaho- 3 semesters – B.A. in Journalism
Education isn’t everything, but this is about the two highest offices in the land as well as our standing in the world. You make the call.
(Ryan again…) The interesting thing about this election is that, had John McCain not turned toward the Republican base, this would have been a much tougher call in my opinion. McCain had a record of breaking with Republicans on a number of issues that made him more of a moderate. Obama is also running as a centrist/moderate, just on the other side (liberal vs. conservative). But in order to get the support of his party, McCain has given up his Maverick ways and pandered to the Republican base, alienating many along the way.
Last thought… Debi and I had to pick up a few items from Sam’s Club yesterday. Our Sam’s Club is in South Tampa. The quickest route from University of Tampa to South Tampa is via Bayshore Blvd., which is a beautiful area, but also the wealthiest part of town. Here are some home valuations courtesy of Zillow.com:
As we drove Bayshore Blvd. we saw dozens of campaign signs. Take a guess who they were for?
Of the probably 50+ signs we saw, only 2 were for Obama/Biden. The rest were for McCain/Palin. And one of the Obama/Biden signs was on the most rundown house we saw. The take home lesson: A vote for McCain/Palin is a vote for inequality and wealth concentration. The wealthy know this. I just wish more poor and middle income people would realize it.
Anyway, even if you don’t agree with my politics, please read up on the issues and the candidates and vote. What good is a democracy if over 50% of eligible voters choose not to exercise that right? Our politicians reflect the views of a minority of the population, and that shouldn’t be the case.
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