HAHA! Gotcha!! My nephew Ryan and I are currently engaged in a fabulous political “conversation”. I do not call it a debate, because I am ill-qualified to argue many of the points he raises. What makes it so interesting is that, if you are into applying labels to people, he would be the liberal, and I the conservative. Ryan is an exceptionally gifted writer (yes, Aunt Cathy is allowed a certain bias here!), and has a way of intriguing me to learn more about politics and social issues, to become better able to articulate my own thoughts, and to examine those policies with which I disagree, as well as those with which I agree. If you’re interested, you can follow our “conversations” here and here. And, following the format of the post originated on his site, I’d like to offer:
The Number One Reason Not To Vote For Obama:
Because he is black. Okay, now… before you call Jesse and Al, hear me out on this one. (I am laughing because anyone who read those words is probably in need of the Heimlich maneuver about now.) You may recall from an earlier post I related that at the tender age of barely 18 (by a three-week margin), I cast my very first vote for President in 1976. It just so happened that a Georgia peanut farmer was the Democratic candidate. Now I’m a native-born, peanut-lovin’ southern girl through and through. Of course I voted for Jimmy. What was the rationale behind my vote? Well, he was a good ol’ boy from Georgia, of course!! Why would I vote for a yankee Republican, when I could vote for a home boy? Well, now that rationale makes no sense at all to me. It’s kind of like watching Dancing With The Stars. The very first season, first few episodes, it was fairly obvious that Kelly Monaco wasn’t a Dancin’ Queen. However… she was one of the leading stars, at the time, of the soap opera General Hospital. I daresay, without her huge following of fans, who loved her General Hospital character, she would have left the show within the first several weeks. But are we all not guilty sometimes of rooting for that person with whom we identify the most, regardless of their talent, their expertise, their knowledge and/or experience? A year or so after each season, who can remember who won Dancing? (Even though I rarely missed an episode, and loved Kelly as “Sam” on General Hospital, before writing this post, I couldn’t remember her real name and had to look it up!) Who can remember the details of the bridal gown, or the reception menu at a wedding you attended two years ago? Can you recall the name of Miss USA from three years ago? From last year? Nah, probably not. Where am I going with this? I am concerned that many black people, so excited to have a black candidate, will vote en masse, simply to put a black man in the White House. Because They Can. I’d venture to predict that the black turnout will be far greater this year than ever before. Let me be perfectly clear. I have no problem with a black President. There are two black Republicans for whom I’d be far more excited about than I am about John McCain. The color of his skin is not an issue with me…. Except for how it will be an issue for previously uninterested, uninformed black voters who will make it an issue. White people are accused of racism on a daily basis, sometimes merited, sometimes not. Will not these black voters to which I refer be executing their own form of racism? I will firmly state that I respect the vote of every citizen who does even a slight bit of research, who at least watches the news or reads the newspaper. Black America- exercise your right to vote, and vote for the candidate of your choice. But please do not vote for Barak Obama simply because he is black. You may be surprised to learn that some of his liberal policies are not in your best interest. Support him if you understand what you are doing. I have no problem with that. Just know that, unlike the (forgotten) lovely wedding gown or the (forgotten) winner of the Miss USA contest, four or even eight years from now, our vote will STILL matter (if it ever truly matters in the first place), and we will not forget for whom we voted.
By the same token- to you southern-born “good ol’ boys”, I implore you not to vote for McCain with the sole purpose of defeating a black man. Do your homework. The mentality that you don’t want a black man for President is the mentality that could one day elect a Hitler, or worse. A few of you might even find you agree more with Obama than with McCain- though I suspect you will have difficulty seeing beyond his race enough to fairly examine his platform. I voted for Jimmy because he was from Georgia. I will have to excuse that to immaturity. 1980 found me a bit more cautious with my #2 black pencil when I entered the booth and found I could no longer vote for the good ol' Georgia boy, no matter how much I love peanuts. So, my mantra for this election continues to be: Get off your keesters, do some reading, watch the news, watch the debates, and then vote for whomever you agree with the most (or disagree with the least!) Remember, though, that voting for Obama because he is black makes about as much sense as my voting for Jimmy in '76, or women voting for Hillary just because she is a woman, or Baptists voting for Mike Huckabee simply because he is a former Baptist minister. These are indeed tough days in which we live, and I think we all agree that change is long overdue. Okay, I promise to take a break from all things political for the next few days and find something else to talk about. :-) Happy Friday!!