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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Politics: Election 2008 - Fear of a black president

It strikes me that there is a tremendous amount of fear in the establishment right now on both sides of the political spectrum. The reason for this fear? A movement, if it can be called thus, spearheaded by Barack Obama. Others (particularly on the Democrat side) have picked up his clarion call for change, but Obama was there first, and I suspect will be there after the others fade away (regardless of whether he wins his party's nomination).

The fear is so deep that Hilary Clinton has called out her husband to attack and engage Barack Obama on the campaign trail. She is using the weight of the former president's opinion to try to sway the minds of voters who are at least intrigued by Obama, while she stays out of the fray. Obama brought a tough fight to the primary process, one that was not expected by the Clintons. When it got tough, Hilary backed off and let her husband do the difficult work. If this is what we can expect from a Hilary Clinton presidency then we have much to think about.

On the other side of the spectrum, I heard Sean Hannity the other day comparing the cult of personality surrounding Barack Obama with those that brought to power the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Mao Tse Tung. Mr. Hannity's perspective is that we need to be very careful getting on the train for anyone with as much personality as Obama. He as much as stated that Hitler, Stalin and Mao all rode similar oratory skills and excitement to power, and then used their powerful personalities to inspire their countries to do horrible things. The equation of Barack Obama to three of the most ruthless and murderous dictators of the 20th century is preposterous, and reeks of desperation and fear. Any thinking individual can make valid arguments against any political candidate given time, thought and facts, but this kind of fear mongering indicates an establishment in fear of what it doesn't understand.

Everyone saw Obama coming from the 2004 Democratic National Convention on, but no one took him all that seriously. The conventional wisdom for a long time is that a black man couldn't carry enough white voters to win the nomination for his party, much less the presidency. In 2008, the Iowa Caucuses turned that idea on its head. Suddenly the inevitable Clinton machine was scrambling to fight off this threat that was never anticipated for an inevitable candidate.

The Clintons figured out that Obama might just be able to beat them. The Republican establishment is afraid of the same thing.



Anonymous said...

Wow - your insight is right on target. I've actually volunteered for the Obama campaign as I believe his global thinking is what we need going forward. The lines have blurred when it comes to nations - we are all so interconnected now that anyone who doesn't understand that concept yet has missed the boat. There is no longer a "Them or US" it's just "Us". I think Mr. Obama has the brains, the desire and the ability to take us to the next level. Hillary Clinton has become a member of the old "boy's club"" and has lost touch.

Thanks for your commentary.

Wildy said...

I tend to agree. When Anne Coulter is saying she'll vote for Hilary over John McCain because she always votes for the more conservative candidate you know there's a problem.