Third Party & Independents Archives

African Americans Won't Vote for Obama Because He's... African American?

Uummm… what? Read the above title again… I’ll wait here while you do… Ok… does that make any sense to you? Any sense whatsoever? Since I cannot actually hear your response I will just assume that you agree with me… you do, right? You agree that it’s preposterous, right?

I mean, it would be preposterous for anyone to not vote for Barak Obama because he's an African American, but... for an African American to do so? For that reason? Doesn't that just seem... well... silly? Not according to this article from the AP.

Before I go any further, I would just like to point out that I am white... as white as they come. If my name were Whitey White McWhiterson, and I were from Whitesville... or White Cove... or Whitingham... well, let's just say it would be rather appropriate. In fact, I'm so white that people often ask me if I'm feeling alright... "sure," I say, "Why?" "Oh," they reply, "You just look a little pale, that's all... you sure you're feeling alright?" In fact, I'm so white that I once... oh, I think you get the idea...

I guess what I am trying to say, before I go on, is that I totally understand that race relations in America are a very touchy subject and that there are things I cannot possibly understand about the African American experience... AND... why on Earth would someone... anyone... vote or not vote for someone because of their race? Especially someone of the same race? I have to admit here, this troubles me.

For those of you that chose not to read the embedded article (and to recap for those of you that did), the African Americans cited in the poll said that may not vote for Obama not because he is black, per se', but because they do not think white America is ready for a black president. My question is this: Who the hell cares?! Listen... no offense to you reading this... but when I place my vote for who I think is the best qualified person to lead the free world, I do not personally give a damn what you think... in fact... I give less than a damn. You know? I am going to vote for who I think is the best person for the job... and I do not really care what you think... you hear what I'm sayin'?... black, white, brown, red, yellow, purple, orange, burnt sienna, blue, green... it doesn't matter... well... maybe not blue-green... I mean, are you blue or are you green? Pick one! But I digress...

I guess, though, this is why I am forever doomed to be in the "Third Party and Independents" column of this esteemed website... because I actually choose the candidates for which I vote based on silly things like the candidates' stances on issues, their experience, how Libertarian they are... you know... silly, meaningless things like that.

We have reached a point in American politics where we pick the lesser of the two evils. We, as a collective nation, do not vote for the person with whom's views we have the most in common, but rather for whomever we think is somewhat aligned with our views that has the best chance of winning. We have become afraid to vote for the person we like the most. The cited article lists two reasons why African Americans in South Carolina would not vote for Obama. One is the popularity of the Clintons within the African American community... to me, this one is valid. If an African American is going to vote for Hillary because they like her... well... good for them! But the other is, in my humble opinion, not valid. They would not vote for him because they do not think he can win. This is defeatist thinking... and when you are defeated in your own mind before you even begin, you will never win.

I would like to close with a quote from Obama that I think sums it up rather well:

"Don't tell me I can't do something... I don't believe in this 'can't do, won't do, won't even try' style of leadership. Yes we can. Don't believe in that."

Posted by Doug Langworthy at July 30, 2007 1:18 AM
Comments
Comment #227842

Doug, my reasoning on this as follows assuming for argument I am a Black voter:

If I vote for Obama in the Primary election and he wins, AND I believe White America is not ready yet to elect a Black President, by default, my vote will be for the Republican candidate, because White America won’t elect a Black President yet.

If however, I vote for Clinton in the primary, (she too will represent most of my concerns) AND there is little doubt she WILL win against a Republican candidate, my vote will not be wasted or end up causing a Republican to be elected.

Therefore, in the primary race, I will vote for Hillary.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 10:01 AM
Comment #227847

David,

I understand that argument, and I absolutely disagree with it…

Again, let me re-state, an African American should not vote for Obama just because he is African American… no one should. I am saying they (we) should not not vote for him for the same reason. Also, if Billary most closely, among all the candidates, aligns with your views, then, by all means, vote for her.

David, I do not know if you are just playing devil’s advocate here, as generally, if I read your articles correctly, you do not support “lesser of two evils” thinking, or if you truly agree with what you wrote. Whichever it is, it is flawed, defeatist thinking. I do not have patience for “by default, my vote will be for the Republican candidate”. A vote for Obama in the primary is not a vote for the Republican candidate… it is a vote for Obama in the primary.

It is interesting to note that the article recalled how Jackson won SC in 84 and 88… was that because no one actually thought he actually had a chance at securing the nomination? So the vote for him in the SC primary was almost more of a protest vote than anything? And now, as Obama actually does have a shot at the nomination, voters are saying that if he wins he will lose? This is fascinating… Vote for the black guy when he doesn’t have a shot at winning… but not when he does. Hhmmm… interesting…

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at July 30, 2007 11:05 AM
Comment #227850

Doug said: “Again, let me re-state, an African American should not vote for Obama just because he is African American… no one should.”

What arrogance to say what criteria other voters should use in casting their vote. Last I checked, there is nothing in our laws or Constitution that restricts voters as to what criteria they use to select their ballot choice.

If Black Americans want to vote for or against a candidate on the basis or consideration of the candidates skin color, who are you to say they should not?

You cast your vote on whatever criteria you choose for yourself, and leave other voters to do the same. I am amazed at the arrogance.

It is a reality in America that race is, and has for our entire history been, a part of the political calculation in how voters vote. Amazing how Republicans accuse the Left of Utopianism and turn right around and use this kind of utopianism when it may work to their advantage.

Here is another political calculation. A family friend said he supports Obama in the primary, as this will help the Republican candidate in the general election. He’s White and an outspoken bigot in the Detroit area. I am not going to argue with him about his voter criteria and rationale.

I think his decision may even backfire, but, how he decides his vote is his business, not mine.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 11:23 AM
Comment #227852

You said: “A vote for Obama in the primary is not a vote for the Republican candidate…”

That ignores the reality that the primaries affect the outcome of the general election. If I can control the slate of candidates in the primaries, I can control the outcome of the general elections. That reality is utterly ignored and missed by your comment above.

It is also true, that money controls the elections by controlling the slate of candidates the people have to choose from. Wealthy campaign donors exert control over voter’s choices by filtering out potential candidates unable to fund commercial advertising. This all but insures only the wealthy can end up on the slate for the non-wealthy to choose from for the Senate and Presidential races. Increasingly, this becoming true even for many House candidates.

Oh, yes, the primaries have a very real impact on outcome of the general elections. A vote for Obama in the Primary MAY in fact, prove to be a boost for the Republican candidate. Many white persons still today, will not vote for a Black candidate. Fortunately, I don’t think it is true that a majority of Democrat white voters would avoid voting for a Black candidate. But, then, most white bigots left the Democratic Party for the Republican Party in the 1970’s and 1980’s, after the Democratic Party climbed on the Civil Rights bandwagon, and embraced Nixon’s Affirmative Action law.

With 9 out 10 Black Americans favoring Democrats, is it any wonder that Republicans now champion a new rhetoric, Race should not matter. This rhetoric now champions everything from ending Affirmative Action to telling Black Americans how they should or shouldn’t vote. How transparent.

You are not a Republican, but, I have to ask, are you a conservative? Your argument somewhat favors Republican tactics.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 11:39 AM
Comment #227854

David… I do not believe I ever said, or even implied, the laws and/or Constitution should restrict why people vote for which candidates… your reference to that is just silly. Of course people have the right to vote for whomever they want based upon whatever they want. When one says people should do something, one is not saying they are advocating for absolute law… heck… people should eat healthier… people should read more books and watch less TV… people should call their moms more and tell them what wonderful, beautiful women they are… And just because I would advocate that people should do these things does not mean I would advocate that laws compel them to do so. Maybe I thought you intelligent enough to make that distinction on your own… my bad.

Have we already been reduced to name-calling so early in the thread? Geez, David… that kind of thing is usually reserved for a little further down the page by people not as smart as you.

Saying who people should vote for and why is not arrogant… it is why this website is up and running and gets so many visitors. By your own rationale, David, you spout nothing but arrogance every time you open your mouth about your Vote Out Incumbents Democracy, spouting off about how we should vote out incumbents… why, that’s putting a qualifier on why you think people should vote or not-vote for someone… how arrogant of you!

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at July 30, 2007 11:56 AM
Comment #227855

David… I am Libertarian… I am not socially conservative, no. Not even in the slightest. When I make arrogant statements about the fact that people should not consider color of skin when casting their vote, it is not because I have a hidden agenda to set the black man up for failure… I truly do hope you were not implying that I do…

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at July 30, 2007 12:02 PM
Comment #227860

Doug said: “Have we already been reduced to name-calling so early in the thread?”

What name calling? Where. Please quote? If none is available to quote, perhaps a bit less defensiveness is in order.

Doug said: “it is not because I have a hidden agenda to set the black man up for failure… I truly do hope you were not implying that I do…”

I didn’t imply anything. I asked: “You are not a Republican, but, I have to ask, are you a conservative? Your argument somewhat favors Republican tactics.”

Doug said: “Saying who people should vote for and why is not arrogant…”

It isn’t? I disagree.

If I were born Black in America, I would, as the Constitution contemplated, vote in favor of my own interests. That, for me, would mean voting for a candidate who has similar experiences and perspectives as I. I would therefore very much consider a Black candidate as more likely to share my interests and thinking than a White candidate. But, not necessarily. In the absence of any information to the contrary, however, I would vote for the Black candidate over a White candidate all other things being equal.

But, White or Black, I would not presume to tell another person how they should vote or by what criteria. I would suggest, as I often do, that this or that information is worth considering. But, its up to them to decide whether it is, in fact, worth considering.

I would consider the following wording more acceptable: “I think people should not vote on the basis of race”. This is different than saying “People should not vote on the basis of race”.

In the former, you take ownership of your opinion. The latter presents itself as a dictate, or objectively true statement regardless of whether or not it is your opinion, and is a high debatable proposition. It may appear to be a pedantic difference. But, the one presumes to tell others, and the other shares an opinion. Huge difference.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 12:21 PM
Comment #227861

I could care less if Blacks vote for Obama or not. Fact is I don’t think he’s qualified for the job. So I hope they don’t.
But not to vote for him just because he might not beable to win is down right stupid. If they think he’d make a good President then they need to do everything they can to get him the Democratic nomination. Then do what it takes to get him elected. And that includes voting for him.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 30, 2007 12:35 PM
Comment #227863

David,

You did imply it… you implied it heavily and I took personal offense to it…

“This rhetoric now champions everything from ending Affirmative Action to telling Black Americans how they should or shouldn’t vote.”

I never made one statement about any desire to end affirmative action. By putting it in the same sentence with something I did directly say you create a relationship between the two where none exists.

“Your argument somewhat favors Republican tactics.”

Again, you put ‘my argument’ and ‘Republican tactics’ in the same sentence, drawing a direct comparison and coming to an erroneous conclusion. My argument in no way favors Republican tactics.

“How transparent.”

This is your most direct implication as you imply that my saying people should not vote based on skin color is a ‘transparent’ attempt to further the conservative cause. Again, my transparecy aside, please do not insult me. By even asking me if I am a conservative after making all of these allegations against conservatives you imply my motivations are aligned.

And finally… if you place that much power in my words when I say people should or shouldn’t vote for whatever reason, that when I say such things I am dictating… well… thanks, but I think you overestimate me.

I agree that semantics are important, how we say things give great meaning to the words we use. So… when you wrote on July 9:

“Act now, call your representatives and demand a new bill to secure our borders…”

How arrogant of you to presume that people should be dictated to in such a way. Maybe you would have been more effective if you had said:

“Perhaps you should, if you want, take action and call your representatives and ask for a new bill because I think we should secure our borders.”

That may have been more effective because, as you said it best, “the one presumes to tell others, and the other shares an opinion. Huge difference.”

Huge difference indeed.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at July 30, 2007 1:37 PM
Comment #227864

Ron… thanks… my point exactly.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at July 30, 2007 1:39 PM
Comment #227867

Doug said: “You did imply it… you implied it heavily and I took personal offense to it…”

Please quote. Shouldn’t be difficult if what you say is true. And thank you for taking it from name calling to implication. That’s an improvement. Now, quote the implication. Back up your assertions.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 3:58 PM
Comment #227868

“Your argument somewhat favors Republican tactics.”

I stand by that statement. To me, your argument appears to favor Republican tactics.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 4:00 PM
Comment #227870

How transparent referred to the Republicans as contained in that same paragraph.

If you want to read into what is said more than what is said, that’s fine. But, I have no control over what you project into my writing. My writing says what I mean. If I wanted to say, Doug, you are a Republican goofball, I would say, just that.

But, don’t take being put on the defensive out of disappointment that someone doesn’t agree with you, as a personal attack on you. I don’t even know you personally. I responded to what you wrote and disagreed. I pointed out that Republicans hold similar views on how Blacks should vote.

All pertinent to the topic of your article. Defend your position, but, don’t accuse those of disagreeing with you of making it personal. They have that right here on WB to disagree. Take their words for what they are.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 4:06 PM
Comment #227872

Ron, 9 out of 10 Black Americans consider a Republican win against their interests. Hence, it is perfectly logical for them to consider the odds of their primary choice in terms of the general election outcome.

People bet on elections every cycle. That requires considering the odds. Place your bets on your best odds, is what most saavy betters do. I suspect that is what some Black voters will do in consideration of whether to vote for Obama or not in the Primary.

I have yet to see another rational explanation for why many Black Americans polled are not supporting Obama. The policy differences between the candidates so far are hard to find.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 4:13 PM
Comment #227874

David,

You called my viewpoint arrogant. I did take offense to that… not simply because you disagree. There is plenty about which I disagree with you, and I do not take much of it personally. I do take it personally when it is singled out and called arrogant.

And, not to get too far into detail… but… the implication to which I refer above is not on the name calling part, so your last post made no sense on that front… no, the implication to which I refer is the bundling of me and my views up with the “bigots” (your word) in the Republican party… and if your response to that will be “but I didn’t call Reps bigots, I just said the old bigots joined the Reps”… well, the implied seed is planted… why even mention it in the same breath if that is not what you meant?

OK… so, moving on… if you truly did not mean to imply that I am an arrogant bigot (I have now officially moved to the “just kiddin’ around” part of my narrative, so please do not take offense to that)… My question to you is this…

You seem to advocate people voting for the lesser of two evils… i.e.: a Dem should (woops… being arrogant again, sorry… let me re-word)… A Dem might want to think about voting for Hillary in the primary over Barak, even though they more closely align themselves with Obama, just because Hillary has more of a chance to win. This just does not seem like you.

In your bio you claim to have voted for Nader in the last two elections… It seems to me (and I am assuming much here, so please correct me if I am wrong) that between Bush and Kerry, you would have probably rather Kerry have won… so, wasn’t your vote for Nader, by default, a vote for Bush? If I am correct, this is in direct contradiction to what you say above.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at July 30, 2007 4:44 PM
Comment #227875

And another thing… in one of your recent articles, a very good one, you mention (and I am paraphrasing from memery here) how Dean was done unfairly by the media when they turned his excited yell into more of a spectacle, an unelectable spectacle, than it was. The result was that Kerry began to lead in the polls and he eventually tied up the nomination. Dems voted for Kerry in the primaries because the media told them he was more electable than Dean.

Based upon the points from which you argue above, this should have been fine by you as Kerry was seen by the party and by voters as being more electable than Bush than was Dean.

So, on one hand we have a white guy not getting votes because he is not as electable as the other white guy and that’s, according to you, foul play. But four years later we have a black guy potentially not getting votes because of his perceived un-electability in favor of a white lady, and that’s Ok because the black guy wont win anyway so let’s make sure we give someone the nomination who can win. I find this interesting.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at July 30, 2007 4:58 PM
Comment #227882

Doug said: “You called my viewpoint arrogant.”

Absolutely correct. Critiquing the message is entirely permitted and fair. And I will continue to call any argument that presumes to tell others how they should and should not vote, an arrogant one.

“I did take offense to that… “

Your responsibility, not mine. If you choose to put your arguments in a public forum, you should expect those arguments to be critiqued, as I did.

I am not responsible for whether you choose to take offense at criticism of your argument. That is entirely yours decision to choose to engage in or not. My arguments have been criticized here for more than 3 years, I can tell you from my experience, I find it best to choose not to take offense when my arguments are characterized and critiqued.

When my arguments are logically or factually corrected, I thank folks for pointing out my error. When the logic and facts of my arguments are sound, I defend my arguments. I find this approach leaves my blood pressure in a healthier state while engaging in public debate.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 6:21 PM
Comment #227883

Doug said: “You seem to advocate people voting for the lesser of two evils…”

It may seem that way to you. But, I have always advocated expressly for voters to vote in their own best interest. To ascertain which candidates will best yield for them the governance they believe will be best for themselves, their children, and the nation their children will grow up in.

If at the polls the only choices available on the ballot are greater evil and lesser evil, then, it would be counterproductive to vote for the greater evil, seems to me. But, I believe voters should insure they have better choices on the ballot than greater and lesser evil. That is why I voted for Ralph Nader twice. It wasn’t likely he was going to win the first time he ran, but my vote with many others encouraged him to run a second time and that was in my best interest.

There are many Democrats who would argue what you propose, that my vote for Nader in effect, became a vote for Bush. But, you see, my crystal ball doesn’t work very well, so, I vote for the candidate that will best represent my criteria for a good or great president, and to this day, I know that neither a Democratic nor Republican candidate will best represent me if someone like Ralph Nader is running.

I have written reams here in the archives as to why that is true for me, so, I won’t rehash it here.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 6:31 PM
Comment #227885

Doug, you are transposing the ownership of my arguments. I believe I spoke of how the Republicans demonized with the help media, the Dean Scream.

I don’t know why Democrats didn’t vote in greater numbers for Dean in the Primaries, and I don’t think you do either. It was safe to say however, that some Democrats and a fair number of Independents were likely influenced by the constant reiteration of the Dean Scream morning, noon, and night on the news for quite some time. The media covered it because Republicans were blogging it, Conservative Radio was hashing it, and the Scream itself had an attention getting factor all by itself, which media is drawn to in a political race like gnats to rotting fruit.

You said: “Dems voted for Kerry in the primaries because the media told them he was more electable than Dean.”

I don’t think there is convincing empirical evidence that that statement is true. Though it may be. I have not seen convincing evidence one way or the other. I think Dem’s voted for Kerry over Dean for many reasons, and for some, the Dean Scream may have been one of those.

You said: “Based upon the points from which you argue above, this should have been fine by you as Kerry was seen by the party and by voters as being more electable than Bush than was Dean.”

No, it is not fine by me. What would have been fine by me is if Ralph Nader won. I have said on more than one occasion, that I don’t think Kerry’s president would have been much better in the long run than Bush’s. I didn’t want either one.

Upon reflection at this moment, however, I believe Bush’s presidency will prove to have served the country better than Kerry’s would have in the long run. Bush’s presidency has awakened voters to how bad things can get when they don’t look past the politics, at the record and qualities of the candidate before electing them. Voters got complacent. They have paid a dear price for it.

In that way, I think Bush’s presidency has done the country more good than a moderate Democrat’s would have.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 6:45 PM
Comment #227887

David,

Interesting bit about Bush being better in the long run… and I have no argument against it. With your permission, I’ll probably quote you in the future on that point… it’s a good one.

d

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at July 30, 2007 6:57 PM
Comment #227888

David,

Let me ask you this, then… why was it not OK for the media’s constant rehashing of Dean’s scream to deter voters, but it is perfectly acceptable for the media to constantly rehash the issue of Obama’s skin color? The more we hear about how unelectable Obama is simply because he is black, the more unelectable he becomes. Again, this is defeatist thinking.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at July 30, 2007 7:00 PM
Comment #227889

Doug said: “So, on one hand we have a white guy not getting votes because he is not as electable as the other white guy and that’s, according to you, foul play.”

Here again, you are transposing pronouns. I didn’t say I think it is foul play. You have evolved what I said into something not even closely resembling what I said.

Here is what I said:

“Doug, my reasoning on this is as follows assuming for argument I am a Black voter:

If I vote for Obama in the Primary election and he wins, AND I believe White America is not ready yet to elect a Black President, by default, my vote will be for the Republican candidate, because White America won’t elect a Black President yet.

If however, I vote for Clinton in the primary, (she too will represent most of my concerns) AND there is little doubt she WILL win against a Republican candidate, my vote will not be wasted or end up causing a Republican to be elected.

Therefore, in the primary race, I will vote for Hillary.”

Note I said this is I would view it IF I were a black voter. How you morphed that into what you think I believe about two white candidates running against each other is beyond me. Try understanding what I said, instead of evolving what I said, into a fact set of your own, and then trying to assess what I think about your fact set. It makes for muddled and confusing dialogue.

Note that I didn’t say this is what Black Voters are thinking. I wouldn’t presume to tell you what they think. I offered a logical possible explanation of why the polls show Black American support for Clinton over Obama.

And the logic is sound. Whether it accurately explains the polls or not, would require more polls on that very question. If I were black, and I feared another Republican Presidency, and I believed that the White vote would not permit Obama to win, I could easily find myself supporting Hillary, who has much the same policy platform as Obama, and believing the White vote won’t carry Obama, my vote for Hillary would be in my best interests.

Those IF’s are crucial for the logic to be valid, and should not be lightly passed over. That is how I would see it if those IF’s were valid for me.

I hope this clears up any misunderstanding on your part as to the meaning of my first comment to this article. To extrapolate my argument to other contexts is going to lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretation of what I actually said.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 7:03 PM
Comment #227891

David… yes… Kind of like when you brought in the whole bigot Republican thing and started comparing their “transparent” “tactics” to what I was saying, when in fact I never once mentioned Republican strategy. It had never entered into the discussion until you inserted it and directly compared it to my viewpoints, even going so far as to ask if I was a conservative because my views are apparently so inline with their transparent ones. How you came up with that, I have no idea…

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at July 30, 2007 7:13 PM
Comment #227892

Doug asked: “Let me ask you this, then… why was it not OK for the media’s constant rehashing of Dean’s scream to deter voters, but it is perfectly acceptable for the media to constantly rehash the issue of Obama’s skin color?”

First, I make no judgments about whether it is OK or not OK for the media to cover, or reiterate coverage of political events. Our media is the best in the world. It ain’t perfect. The consolidation of ownership poses a real and tangible threat to America’s future, but, I think the more media covers political events and provides political and governmental information, the better.

I don’t think ignoring race as a political component is going to erase race from voter’s minds. If race is a factor in people’s minds, as evidenced by polling, and it is for many, then I think race is fair game for media coverage. Ignoring it will not enlighten. Discussing and debating the issue potentially can enlighten voters on the race issue.

One very important thing about media, if their content doesn’t interest, advertisers withdraw dollars. It is pretty safe to say, that if race is being covered by media, it is because the voters have an interest in the issue and media ratings are dependent upon media coverage of what the audience is interested in. This is one of the weaknesses of our profit driven media system, but, a necessary weakness and trade off for preserving the freedom of the press guaranteed by our Constitution.

At least until the people take control of their publicly owned transmission spectrum and demand non-profit media coverage, of politics and governmance, or demand C-Span type coverage by all media in exchange for licensing to corporate media investors and management.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 7:19 PM
Comment #227893

Doug, I apologize if I contributed to the impression that I was equating you with a Republican. I have read Republicans make a similar argument about race, that it should not now be a factor as they argue against Affirmative Action.

I saw the similarity of conclusion: Race should not matter, and simply introduced the Republicans use of that conclusion for their own agenda’s benefit. I did though ask, if your agenda was the same. I did not declare it was.

I just find many folks trying use race to further ulterior motives, on both sides of the argument of whether or not race should be a factor in this or that. I find it disingenuous where other agendas are obviously motivating the argument. As in the case of 9 out of 10 African Americans siding with Democrats motivating Republicans to argue race should not matter. It sure as hell matters to them at each and every election in this country. The hypocrisy dwarfs skyscrapers.

It was not apparent that this was what you were doing, though your were arguing the same same argument Republicans have, race should not matter. Which is why I asked.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 7:35 PM
Comment #227894

Yes… unfortunately, race is a factor in determining elections… both negatively and positively. I personally do not think it should be a factor (especially negatively), but that is not exactly a profound statement, is it?

I will say that it astounds and worries me, though, that responsible citizens would not vote for someone they feel is the most qualified because they are worried about how I will vote. Don’t take my vote into consideration when deciding upon for whom you will vote… that should have nothing to do with it. But, again, I guess that is why I am forever doomed to be in the Independent column here… but you know what? I like the view from here.

I’ve said this before in other threads and I will say it again… people should (arrogant?) vote their hopes, and not their fears.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at July 30, 2007 7:39 PM
Comment #227895

David… yeah, equating me with a Republican is about the worst insult you could give me… about the same as equating me with a Democrat! It just makes me feel so… dirty…

You are correct… people play the race card too much on both sides of whatever argument they are trying to advance. It is unfortunate. I, in no way, align myself with the race relations of the Republican party… there is certainly a reason why so many minorities (not just blacks) choose to not identify with the GOP. I will also say this… it is, in my opinion, unfortunate that so many choose to align themselves with the Dems… as they, as a party, have done nothing of note lately to earn that loyalty. Greens and Libertarians, each in their own and very unique ways, have so much more to offer…

But, the lesser of two evils is what prevails…

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at July 30, 2007 7:46 PM
Comment #227897

“I’ve said this before in other threads and I will say it again… people should (arrogant?) vote their hopes, and not their fears.”

It has a nice ring. But, elections affect people’s lives in very concrete ways, and IF one’s best interests are to be the decider, then there is a real world calculus that must be taken into account. By Democrats calculus, all third Party or independent candidates that might attract Democratic or left leaning Independent voters is a threat to be removed if possible.

If voters know this, there is a real world calculus that dictates that the money and campaigning against the 3rd party or independent candidate will be fierce and large. Causing voters to weigh whether their vote will be wasted or not on a 3rd party/independent candidate.

I am with you. I vote for the candidate that will best represent me IF elected, regardless of their chances to be elected. If I don’t vote this way, I cannot HOPE that a 3rd party/independent candidate can one day win and represent me. For me that is in my best interest, to keep hope alive.

But, for others, what happens in the next 4 years could possibly make or break their dreams for their and their children’s future. Weighing the wasted vote, then becomes more important than the long term goal of keeping HOPE alive, and settling for the best they can realistically get this next election.

If more voters do take the longer view, and can afford the patience to build momentum over several elections by avoiding the lesser of two evil approach, I think the 3rd Party/Independent future will be much brighter.

But, I defend any voter’s right to decide for themselves whether the short term or long term approach will best meet their needs. For a parent hoping for assistance for their student to enter college in the next 5 years, voting for a 3rd party/independent candidate would not be in their best interest if it weakens the Democratic win chances and strengthens Republican chances for President in 2008.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 7:57 PM
Comment #227898

Yes, yes, yes… of course I would also defend any voter’s rights to choose whomever they want for whatever reason they want… whether it’s because Romney presided over a state that enacted the first universal healthcare in the country, Obama came from humble roots as an African American and rose to prominence, or Fred Thompson has an attractive wife… whatever the reason, in the political marketplace, it is valid…

And… what people have the right to do in our free society and what they should do to help maintain our free society are, in my opnion, often very different.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at July 30, 2007 8:06 PM
Comment #227910

Barak Obama creates quite a problem for Black Democrats. For the longest time civil rights leaders in the Democratic Party have claimed “no gain” when it came to race and racism. The Democrats have echoed that sentiment especially during election years trying to garner a large Black vote at the polls on some conjured or contrived issue like Black Church burnings in the 90’s. However, if Barak Obama were to get the nomination, what would the Black community do?
His nomination, and even a close Presidential race, or possible victory would destroy the civil rights activists’ arguments regarding so much racism in the country. Because Blacks alone do not have enough votes to propel Obama to the top. He would have to be voted in by a majority of whites. Therefore, Blacks believe this is not possible. But, what if it happened? Or, should I state it, “What if the Democratic Party allowed this to happen?
There is much more danger to the Democratic Party if he did win. In fact, it would be detrimental to the Democratic Party even if he lost but made a really good campaign of it. Where would that leave the civil rights activists out there that have helped the Democratic Party secure 90% of the African American vote based on constant cries of racism? Where would be the cries of a glass ceiling if the top office in the nation was held by a Black man?
This is why I have said for a long time that the Democratic Party is not ready for a Black Presidential candidate. It would take too much away from their strategy of continually characterizing African Americans as victims of racism.
So, one has to wonder if the Democratic Party is simply pushing their candidates to the front of the line in predominantly Black Districts, but then refusing to take them seriously when it comes to national elections! Is Barak capable of breaking the national glass ceiling in the Democratic Party. Or, will the Democrats tell him, like the Jackie Robinsons of yester-year, “maybe they’ll let you play in the big-leagues next year!”

JD

Posted by: JD at July 30, 2007 10:33 PM
Comment #227918

David
There’s the problem. Most folks vote in the primaries only for who they think is most electable and not for who’s the best qualified for the job. And that’s why we’ve been getting the idiots from both parties that we’ve been getting.
If both parties would run only the best qualified we just might see some well qualified folks on both sides running. Now wouldn’t that be refreshing?

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 31, 2007 12:00 AM
Comment #227919

JD said: “His nomination, and even a close Presidential race, or possible victory would destroy the civil rights activists’ arguments regarding so much racism in the country.”

Pure Hogwash and wishful conservative thinking.

Just because a plurality votes in a Black President demonstrates nothing about racism by those who didn’t vote for him/her. Then there is the tolerance factor. Many folks could find reason to vote for Obama, but, would never consent to their son or daughter marrying outside their race or a race of opposite color. Prejudice doesn’t end with the election of a President of color or a woman President. Such an election signifies progress. That would certainly be true. But, it would not spell the end of racism or prejudice played out in many communities around the country in many subtle and no so subtle ways.

But, hey, if it comforts you to think Obama’s election will end the Affirmative Action in this country or knock the knees out from under the 9 out of 10 African Americans supporting Democrats, go for it. Wishful thinking or fantasy are insufficient to change reality however.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 31, 2007 12:07 AM
Comment #227921

Ron said: “If both parties would run only the best qualified we just might see some well qualified folks on both sides running.”

I couldn’t agree more, Ron. The parties existence was justified by their filtering and screening process to insure the best available candidates. Their record has been spotty of late (last 55 years).

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 31, 2007 12:10 AM
Comment #227987

David,

You do not understand. The Democratic Party could not continually harp on the plight of African Americans with one of their own in the highest office in the land. The only hope that they would have is if he would happen to be criticized to the extent of which the present President has been so vehemently criticized. Then, they could probably chant racism and bigotry. Otherwise, harping on America’s racism would be simply a grand hypocrisy within the Democratic Party. People would begin to wonder when the Democratic Party and especially those Democratic Congressional Black Caucus members would ever actually be satisfied, if they can not even be satisfied with a Black man in the office of the President of the United States.

But, the point of my argument is whether or not Barak can break through the glass ceiling of the Democratic Party, which is predominantly what this post has been talking about.

JD

Posted by: JD at July 31, 2007 7:14 PM
Comment #228011

JD said: “You do not understand. The Democratic Party could not continually harp on the plight of African Americans with one of their own in the highest office in the land.”

Of course they could. The notion that one man in office can eradicate racism in this country is preposterous on its face. Your argument lacks any merit, at all. Democrats are far more facile than you give them credit for.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 31, 2007 10:05 PM
Comment #228039

David,

My point is that Democrats have always had trouble getting elected when Blacks feel they are doing well; when they are upbeat about their futures. This is why it was imperative to portray Ronald Reagan as a racist when he helped drop Black unemployment over 8% in the 80’s. The rise of Barak Obama is not going to help the Democratic Party if African Americans begin to feel that they are doing pretty well.

Black Enterprise (BE), released the top ten areas deemed best for African Americans in the U.S. recently. None of these areas were anywhere near the liberal bastions of Boston, Massachussetts, Los Angeles, California, New York, New York, or Lord, help us, liberal New Orleans, Louisiana. No, the list was as follows:

1. Washington, D.C.
2. Atlanta, Georgia
3. Raleigh, North Carolina
4. Houston, Texas
5. Nashville, Tennessee
6. Dallas, Texas
7. Charlotte, North Carolina
8. Indianapolis, Indiana
9. Columbus, Ohio
10. Jacksonville, Florida

Of these areas, Republicans maintain:

Georgia- both U.S. Senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, majority in both the State House of Representatives and the State Senate, and the Governorship

North Carolina- both U.S. Senators Richard Burr and Elizabeth Dole

Tennessee- both U.S. Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, and a split State Senate

Texas- both U.S. Senators Kay Hutchison and John Cornyn, majority in both the State House of Representatives and the State Senate, and the Governorship

Indiana- one U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, majority in both the State House of Representatives and the State Senate, and the Governorship

Ohio- one U.S. Senator George Voinovich, majority in both the State House of Representatives and the State Senate

Florida- one U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, majority in both the State House of Representatives and the State Senate, and the Governorship

Of the states listed, the Democrats only control the State Governments of North Carolina and Tennessee., and of course, the mostly liberal Washington, D.C.

How is it that Blacks are doing so well in these areas dominated by the Republican Party, when Democrats rage over the racism of the Republican dominated Midwest and South? Why are not any of the top ten areas in the “John, Bobby, and Teddy Kennedy” Northeast with the exception of Washington, D.C.? This is something that the Black community may want to ponder a bit! The Republican Party is ready to accept African Americans with open arms, but African Americans have to first be willing to give up their dependence upon the Democratic Party rhetoric that is intended to keep them down!

JD


Posted by: JD at August 1, 2007 1:35 AM
Comment #228083

JD said: “The rise of Barak Obama is not going to help the Democratic Party if African Americans begin to feel that they are doing pretty well.”

You forget a political reality. Most children vote their parent’s party most of their lives. It is a correlation that has had a high degree of predictability and reliability over many, many decades of political stats.

Yes, it fluctuates, but, in case you hadn’t noticed, the liberals have a lot of wealthy people in their camp. Affluence does not directly correlate with party identification, except at the margins - a few percent either way. For the African American community, a few percent doesn’t make much of a dent in 9 out of 10.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 1, 2007 5:06 PM
Comment #228089

JD

The Republican Party is ready to accept African Americans with open arms,

Of course they are. They will except anyone that is willing to parrot their lines and vote for their candidates.


but African Americans have to first be willing to give up their dependence upon the Democratic Party rhetoric that is intended to keep them down!

It’s not the Blacks dependency on the Democratic Party that keeps them down. It’s their dependence on a Government that’s telling them that they’re not smart enough to do for themselves that keeps them down. And it’s keeping a lot of White folks down too. And keeping folks dependent on government is the goal of both major parties.
In order for anyone of be independent of government they have to first start excepting responsibility for themselves. Conservatives know this and encourage folks to do for themselves and be independent of government. And that’s why Blacks do better in the places ya listed (except DC). These cities (except DC) are in conservative areas where folks are encouraged more to do for themselves and be less dependent on government doing for them. Despite that fact that a lot of these places (like Atlanta) have a city government that’s so far left that Uncle Ho looks like a reactionary. And not because the Republicans have the majority in the state government.
DC is a different story. If ya check it out I’ll bet you’ll find that most the Blacks that are doing for themselves are employed by the Federal Government.


David
While most folks do vote the same party as their parents I think that might be changing some. With the inception of the Internet (thanks Al):), more information is being made available to the public. And a lot of this information is on political websites like this and VOID. Folks are getting differing opinions and are changing their way of thinking when they read something that makes sense to them.
I don’t know if this will change the fact that most folks vote like their parents or not. But I believe that the percentage of folks that do is dropping, and will continue to drop. But only time will tell.

Posted by: Ron Brown at August 1, 2007 7:14 PM
Comment #228131

“You forget a political reality. Most children vote their parent’s party most of their lives. It is a correlation that has had a high degree of predictability and reliability over many, many decades of political stats.”
Posted by: David R. Remer at August 1, 2007 05:06 PM

That is exactly right, David. Instead of looking at truths and real social and economic success during the Republican Administrations, and in today’s Republican run states, African American voters overwhelmingly vote according to the rhetoric of “Daddy’s Party”, as you say! However, African Americans are not being told and educated in the truths about the Reagan years and the unprecedented advances of the African American community while under Republican Administrations, State and Federal.
If someone is continually and deliberately barraged within their culture with cries of Midwestern and Southern Republican racism, while African Americans are doing much better in those Republican-run states and so-called racist areas, I think that is some of the most perverse deception that could possibly be perpetrated upon a culture, which is primarily being done by Black civil rights leaders, the leadership of the Democratic Party, and in part by the MSM.
With all the talk in the Democratic Party about anger over being lied to, you would think that some of this anger would have certainly surfaced within the Black community toward the Democratic Party and those who have been lying to them for the last twenty-five years. Yet, it almost seems as though, (and certainly in agreement with your above premise), African Americans would rather be deceived.
African American issues have been a major concern of mine for decades, and I have been called nearly every name in the book by Democrats, including having had KKK fingered in the dust on the back of my unwashed car after having written several letters to the editor of my local newspaper discussing just such issues as these. I grew up in a predominantly Black neighborhood in a very liberal city and county of Democratic-dominated Illinois. I’ve pretty much seen it all, and know how liberal Democrats react when a conservative Republican talks about African American issues.
Perhaps, African American issues are not discussed by Republicans much simply because many Republicans don’t have the intestinal fortitude to be called racists over and over again by the Democratic Party for simply bringing to light truths within the African American community.
This has been a great Democratic strategy that has been practiced repeatedly.
My thanks to Doug for bringing up this issue of the Democratic glass ceiling being practiced toward African Americans. In my opinion, it is about time someone noticed that Democrats do not necessarily have the African American’s best interest at heart.

Ron Brown,

I agree with most of what you said above, and certainly the part about D.C. African Americans working for the government. But, mind you, I would venture that most anyone living in D.C. works for the government in some way or another. But, by your comments, you seem to be agreeing with me that conservativism is healthy for the Black community to practice, because it teaches self-reliance. I am not sure whether you are an African American or not, but if you are, I’m thankful you seem to have an open mind. That is certainly not the typical response I get to such discussions in the predominantly liberal area in which I live, and such open-mindedness regarding conservativism is appreciated and encouraging!

JD

Posted by: JD at August 2, 2007 12:30 AM
Comment #228135

JD, the fallacy your party will never be able to hide from African Americans, or most Democrat White or other ethnic races, is trickle down economics, a hallmark of the Reagan administration, and both Bush’s administrations.

The idea that to lift working people’s living standards by $50 per week, requires the wealthiest 1% increase their living standards by $5000 per week, is never going to sell to these communities. Combine the “trickle down” myth for non-affluent working people with Republican’s uniform opposition to minimum wage increases, and universal health care, it is not hard to understand why 9 out of 10 African Americans, and a majority of non-wealthy urban workers, won’t buy into the “virtues” of the Reagan era, or the Republican Party as a whole.

The Republicans had them second guessing though with that Compassionate Conservative rhetoric in the 1990’s and cutting their taxes to make them wealthier. But, Republicans never followed through to make good on the rhetoric (save Medicare Rx drugs which doesn’t affect most working Americans) (Katrina, Iraq, fighting min. wage increase, and allowing illegal immigrants to come in to compete for their jobs).

So, your party has lost them for another generation. I think it was Lincoln who said, you can fool all the people some of the time, some of the people all the time, but, you cannot fool all the people all of the time. Your party tried, and died in the last election.

What is really going to sting for the next 20 to 40 years, is the fact that no matter how poorly Democrats govern, they will continue to be viewed as the lesser of the two evils. Your party did that to itself, all by itself, by failing to live up to its promises in the Contract for America, and smaller government, lower taxes (they actually raised taxes on the working people’s children through the more than 3.5 Trillion dollar addition to the national debt, another shell game that didn’t go unnoticed).

Frankly, my guess is, most African Americans would read your comment above as an insult to their intelligence. They know what was promised and what wasn’t delivered by Republicans. To try to blame Democrats at this point is an insult to the intelligence of most Democrat supporters.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 2, 2007 1:00 AM
Comment #228150

“The idea that to lift working people’s living standards by $50 per week, requires the wealthiest 1% increase their living standards by $5000 per week, is never going to sell to these communities. Combine the “trickle down” myth for non-affluent working people with Republican’s uniform opposition to minimum wage increases, and universal health care, it is not hard to understand why 9 out of 10 African Americans, and a majority of non-wealthy urban workers, won’t buy into the “virtues” of the Reagan era, or the Republican Party as a whole.”
Posted by: David R. Remer at August 2, 2007 01:00 AM


David,

Your understanding of trickle down economics is ridiculous. The only reason it was even called trickle down is that the wealthiest were paying up to 70% of their income in taxes at one point in this nation’s history. Reagan felt tha this burden was completely unnecessary and therefore, reduced the percentage to levels which were more comparable to the levels which others pay in taxes. Reagan felt that reducing the burden on these “Americans”, yes, they are Americans too David, would help to spur economic growth which would help everyone. It worked, and it worked extremely well! You have been talking about Affirmative Action programs which were typically formulated ideas of the Kennedy/Johnson era. Johnson would never have had the money to do anything in his War on Poverty if it was not for the Kennedy tax cuts that were initiated previously, bringing in more revenue to the government than it had ever seen before. Tax cuts spur growth and create revenue for the government; revenue which can be used to help the “poor”. The poor, meaning those who really need it. Not universalized “everything”, including healthcare, David, which is what the Democrats would like to have, in order to buy votes by making everyone dependent upon them and big government. Reagan didn’t cut Black unemployment over 8% in only eight years with racist policies, regardless of how you would like to fraudulently characterize them here. It is not a coincidence that Republicans rule in the areas which are rated best in the United States for Blacks, either.
One more thing, David, how could Republicans have raised taxes on the “poor” by means of the national debt when the poor do not pay any taxes anyway? Unless, of course, Democrats gain control of the White House, raise taxes on everybody, turn the economy South and put hundreds of thousands of people out of work just like Carter did before Reagan, which climbed Black unemployment up to over 19% in the first place, David. Blacks have an opportunity to keep history from repeating itself. I hope they can see through your thick liberal rhetoric clearly enough to keep that from happening!

JD

Posted by: JD at August 2, 2007 2:21 AM
Comment #228166

It seems the idea that Obama is less electable than Clinton is horse-hockey, as evidenced here.

The above referenced article shows that Obama is actually more electable, at this point in the campaign, in the general election than is Clinton… so much for the idea that white America isn’t ready for a black prez…

But hey… let’s ignore the real data and just go with our gut that there is no way a white person will ever vote for a black guy and not even give the guy a chance to run. If we don’t try, we can’t lose.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 2, 2007 11:42 AM
Comment #228217

Well said, Doug! Success comes from trying, and trying, and trying some more. That is, if, as Reagan believed, the government know-it-alls that hold people back would just get out of the way!!!

JD

Posted by: JD at August 2, 2007 10:56 PM
Comment #228254

JD… thanks… I really wanted to get the last word in on this thread… and for a while there it didn’t look like I would… turns out I was right all along… but you and I already knew that, didn’t we?

I look forward to disagreeing with you in the near future… ;-)

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 3, 2007 11:51 AM
Comment #243956

OBAMA is not black. As long as his mother was white he can’t be black. Obama’s choosing to identify himself as black speaks of volumes of his character. Rather than stand up and acknowledge his being biracial, he’s a coward and takes the easy way out. It takes one person to stand up and say no to the injustice of Jim Crow and to checking boxes.

Posted by: Hali at January 27, 2008 12:50 AM
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