Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Wrap your brain around this one for a moment: America doesn't really know how it feels about a black man and a woman running for president.
It's hard for me to believe that this country is ready for diversity in government. Yes, we've made strides. We have a woman Speaker of the House. You can even make the case that race and gender relations are decidedly different in this millennium, but c'mon! The realist in me lacks the faith to think I will see a black or woman president in my lifetime.
Now, some pundits would have you believe it's not Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's race or gender, respectively, but their politics that will doom them in the next election. In my opinion, Obama's and Clinton's views fall more in line with what a majority of our citizenry want than the Republican platform. It's the Democrats' game to win or lose, but even with numbers in our favor, the writing on the wall is clear.
I can see it now. A die-hard Democrat, good-ole-boy "Dixiecrat" steps into the booth in 2008. Sweat drips profusely from under his John Deere hat, his hands are balmy, and his pulse races as he prepares to cast his vote. The prejudice of decades wells up inside him as reality slaps him in the face. He has a choice: Either vote Republican, or vote for a woman or a black man (if either wins the nomination). He can either stay loyal to his prejudices or loyal to his party. The touch screen lights up, and he casts his vote for ... Rudy Giuliani!
Folks, that's only a story. And of course, not all Democrats are prejudiced, so save your e-mails and letters. However, I say that this country simply isn't ready. Not just because of bigotry, but because of flat-out ignorance. Not just because of racists or chauvinists, but also because of African Americans who say that Obama isn't "black" enough, or women who don't "like" Clinton because she forgave her husband. I'd like to think this country has matured, but politically and socially, we're somewhere between elementary school and junior high.
I'll leave you with this thought: Imagine the precedent it would set if the nominated Democratic candidate and the runner-up joined forces in 2008 to lead this country into a new era for blacks and women. (Provided that Al Gore doesn't jump in and screw things up.)
I hope to see all of you Friday at Hal & Mal's. You'll see diversity in action there, and maybe, my best George W. Bush tirade, yet. And that's the truth ... sho-nuff.