Monday, November 3, 2008

My 11th Hour Political Post

Current mood: excited
Category: News and Politics

Leave it to me to wait until the very last minute on this historic election eve to post something about it. but the anticipation and excitement is so palpable that I can't go without saying something about it.

What An Obama Win Will Mean for "Us"

In the last two years, Barack Obama has become more than just a political candidate. He has become our leader for the new century. Not since Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have we as Black people had such a positive, forward-thinking, charismatic figurehead. (I mean really, who counts Jesse or Al as true leaders of the Black community?) He now represents all of the positive traits that we knew we possessed all along, but that were marginalized in mainstream media. Our children now have a new role model to whom they can look up. A Black man has captured the nation's attention and for once he is not grabbing a ball, gripping a mike, or going to court. A win for Obama could be just the spark that so many of our people need, the boost to show America and the world that we have never been second class, that we are indeed intelligent, talented, and powerful beyond measure. This may just be the revolution that so many people have feared. I, for one, am happy to see it come about.

If Obama Loses

Not a possibility I want to dwell on, but:
1. Some will deepen their conspiracy theories about corruption in our government. I may be one of them.
2. Many will feel that all-to-common helplessness and let themselves finally think the thought they refused to all this time: "ultimately it was bound to happen."
3. There will be blood. Okay maybe not really, but still possible. Definitely a lot of hostility though. Actually this will probably be true regardless of who wins.
4. Canada and other countries will eventually tighten their requirements for citizenship.

The Return of the Real White Folks

This campaign season has brought out some of the worst in people. It has been a while since white folks have acted a fool en masse as they have in the last several months of this political campaign. They have hung efficacies of Barack from trees, depicted him as a monkey, spread lies about him being a terrorist ("because its in his blood," as one old bat from Ohio put it), dragged his name through the mud in whatever way they could. And somehow they are of the opinion that this is okay. So many of them feel a sense of entitlement to this position that they cannot stand to see someone who is not "one of them" take the helm of this great country, when just a few years ago he wouldn't even be allowed to sit next to them. And I'm sure some of them are thinking that not that long ago he would have been their property. Yes, a lot of people who would have been ashamed to publicly display the twisted, bigoted actions and ideas expressed in private, but fear and hatred have emboldened them. At least the mask comes off, but what we see is still ugly.

Race, Gender, Religion and the Emotional Connection to this Election

Anyone who says this campaign has had nothing to do with either of these things is seriously delusional. Of course they should not be the main factor in choosing candidates or political parties, but lets be real, it does play a part. As far as race is concerned, I am estatic that I will not only be voting for the best man for the job, but that I will be voting a Black man for the job. And as far as those who claim people are voting for him just because he's black, I would hope they take that same stance against those who won't vote for him for the same reason. I won't hold my breath though. For the gender issue… It is bittersweet, because we finally have a woman who is running for one of the highest positions in the land, but she is such a disappointment. What a sad note in our history that she is the first woman to make it this far in our political process… I don't want to discuss her because I get irritated thinking about it. I like to compare this to the episode of Futurama where Leela becomes the first female blurnsball (sp?) player, but she absolutely sucks at it. Although she was completely horrible, she inspired those who were actually good to get in there and show what a woman could truly do. Hopefully this is the case here too. Religion… I don't have to say much on that. We've seen people attack Obama because "He's a Muslim." Now it has been stated over and over again that Obama and his family are Christians, but I pose this thought: So what if he wasn't? If he was a Muslim, that doesn't automatically mean he's a terrorist. It doesn't mean he's anti-American. It doesn't mean he's a bad person. There are millions of Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. living in this country living the same as those who claim Christianity. Personal religious beliefs aside, his choice of religion should have no bearing on the election. Hello, those that "founded" America came here to escape religious persecution. How are we perpetrating the same thing centuries later? Another thing about religion: if I was not already a Christian, seeing the attitudes of these so-called "Christians" who say all these hateful things about Obama ("the Blacks would take over," "I can't see myself voting for a president with the name Obama," "he's a terrorist," "kill him!") would not persuade me. I will stop there because that really pisses me off to an extent that needs its own post.
With all of that said, of course this is an emotional election for many. I have gotten teary-eyed several times over the thought of casting my vote. (I will try not to cry tomorrow at the polls, but we will see!) I'm even emotional now, so I guess that's my cure to put this on ice until tomorrow…