Many Americans will vote against Obama because he is black.
Anecdotal evidence abounds. A customer tells a Reno barber that he will never vote for a “nigger.” A man at a San Francisco BART station, asking directions from a black newspaper vendor, addresses him as “boy.”
More solid evidence: 17 percent of white voters in the Pennsylvania primary said “they wouldn’t vote for a black.”
Unspoken but real is white fear. This sort of illogic: “If Obama wins what will blacks want next?” Or, “If Obama wins, blacks will think they are running things.”
A black first lady? What an absurdity!
The rebarbative Joe Lieberman, asked on Fox News if Obama is a Marxist, replied that he would “hesitate to say” but that some of his positions “are far to the left” of mainstream America. (Untrue.)
The GOP smearmeisters will say Obama “lacks American roots.” His middle name is Hussein, isn’t it?
McCain will tout his foreign policy experience while declaring that Obama has none. McCain will cite his military experience while declaring that Obama has none.
The troglodytes on radio and TV talks shows will shrilly denounce Obama, calling him an appeaser, too willing to talk to “rogue” leaders.
Fact: American voters usually pick the worst presidential candidate. Look no farther than the White House incumbent.
Here is why Obama must win:
He is right on most of the issues. McCain, a Bush clone, is usually wrong.
Obama wants to pull out of Iraq. Warhawk McCain will keep troops in Iraq “100 years or 1,000 years or 10,000 years” just as long as there are few U.S. casualties.
McCain, the son and grandson of admirals, has that military mindset, a mindset that says war is good, peace is bad. He loves the U.S. empire with its 1,000 bases spanning the globe.
Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone writes that McCain believes war is “righteous and necessary, a tonic for the national soul, intrinsically noble.”
McCain wants to solve problems with force. He admits: “There’s gonna be other wars.” He declares defiantly: “Bomb bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.”
What a stunning contrast with the view General Grant expressed in his great Civil War memoir: “This war was a fearful lesson and should teach us the necessity of avoiding wars in the future.”
McCain invokes the GOP ghosts of yesteryear. He uses fearmongering. He says Obama is naïve, weak on national security and soft on terrorism. All are bogus arguments but play well with boobus Americanus.
McCain, the soi-disant Mr. Clean, was involved in the Keating Five scandal concerning the collapse of Lincoln Savings and Loan. He has cozied with the K Street lobbyists.
Asked what he had been reading lately, McCain said he was inspired by the books of Texas pastor Joel Osteen, who preaches the gospel of greed. “God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny he has laid out for us,” Osteen says.
McCain is a champion flip-flopper. He first opposed tax cuts for the wealthy but now he not only wants to make them permanent but proposes more tax cuts tilted toward the rich.
As a tortured prisoner of war, McCain once opposed the barbarous practice. But now he favors it. He once denounced Jerry Falwell and Rush Limbaugh as “agents of intolerance” but now the religious right is OK. McCain once favored abortion but now is strongly opposed. He once favored gay marriage but now is opposed.
Indeed, McCain may be the only politician to oppose positions of two bills that bear his name: campaign finance and immigration reform.
McCain’s lust for the Oval Office leaves him devoid of principles.
Political writer Taibbi put it scathingly in another article: “The media-manufactured ‘maverick’ has remade himself into a dumbed-down Republican Party stooge.”
McCain belongs to the Grand Old White Party, which pushes capitalism and corporatism at the expense of most Americans. He voted against the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. He wants to drill for offshore oil although he knows it will be of little help at the pump.
McCain voted against limiting the CIA to the Geneva Conventions. He backs Bush wiretaps without warrants. He opposes a new GI Bill. McCain would stuff the federal courts with right-wingers.
The Brave New World of McCain offers the same dreary world of Bush.
Jake Highton teaches journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.