That is why John McCain will win the presidency next month. He is white, Barack Obama is black. The era of Bubba politics is far from over.
If Obama were white he would be leading by 15 to 20 points. His stance on the issues is good, McCain’s retrograde. This is really a Democratic year.
President Bush has been unspeakable during eight years in office. He went to war in Iraq with lies. He sanctions torture and violates the Constitution. His immoral policies destroyed worldwide belief in America.
His disastrous reign has seen the economy collapse into financial chaos and left the treasury $10 trillion in debt. He rejects the truth of science for reactionary ideology. He trashes the environment and packs the Supeme Court with troglodytes.
But none of that matters to boobus Americanus. Color does. Racism triumphs over issues, justice and decency.
American voters love military men. Seventeen of 43 presidents have been generals or fought in wars.
Navy pilot McCain was shot down in Vietnam and held prisoner for five years. This hardly qualifies him to be president but for too many voters it does.
Other factors point to a McCain victory: Rovian dirty tricks, swift-boating, demonizing Obama (middle name Hussein), Republican ballot-tampering and its success at keeping blacks from the polls.
Another depressing reality is that so many Americans vote GOP against their own economic interests. Union members voted in droves for Reagan and Bush II despite their hostility to labor. Reagan smashed the air controllers’ strike. McCain’s 45 percent support of union members is probably higher because of closet racism.
Then there is the factor of voter gullibility — not to say stupidity. McCain, the Great Same as Bush, is trying to pass himself off as a populist. Yet he supported the financial mess the nation is in. He boasted that he was a deregulator extraordinaire.
He backed Sen. Phil Gramm for president in 1996 because he was an archderegulator. McCain voted repeatedly against efforts to tighten regulation of the savings and loan industry. He was involved in the Keating Five S&L scandals, escaping with a reprimand by the Senate Ethics Committee.
His holier-than-thou positioning is as brazen as it is absurd. McCain declares that he takes care of veterans. Not so. He opposed the new GI Bill of Rights. The Disabled American Veterans give McCain a 20-percent rating compared with Obama’s 80 percent. The Iraq and Afghanistan Vets give McCain a D, Obama a B-.
McCain is a warmonger and a fearmonger. He constantly sees “light at the end of the tunnel” in Iraq but in reality that war and the war in Afghanistan are unwinnable. As Talleyrand said of the Bourbons: McCain “has learned nothing and forgotten nothing.”
And what about the straight talker? McCain is a phony, a hollow man lacking in character. His integrity is nil. No wonder Mike Green, Nevada historian and astute political observer, calls McCain “the biggest whore in American politics.”
McCain confessed that he lied in 2000 about his hooraying for the Confederate flag. He admitted he knew little about economics then denied having said so. He proclaimed the fundamentals of the economy strong as recession clouds gathered.
The St. Petersburg Times calls McCain’s so-called straight talk “a toxic mix of lies and double-speak.” He fibs when he says Obama would raise taxes on all Americans. The Obama tax plan would cut taxes on 80 percent of households and raise them on those who make more than $227,000 a year.
McCain implies that Obama is a traitor for not supporting the Iraq war. He blames him for high gasoline prices. He calls the centrist Obama a tax-and-spend liberal, a flagrant leftist. The absurdities are obvious.
McCain made a grossly irresponsible choice for veep, picking an ignoramus. His dash to the Right is frantic. As a maverick he supported Roe. Now he is opposed. He once called tax cuts for the wealthy wrong but now he favors them.
And what about that military background? He finished 894th in a class of 899 at the Naval Academy. He was such a lousy pilot that he crashed five planes before being shot down in Vietnam.
Newspaper people learn never to make predictions in print. Nevertheless, the feeling is inescapable that McCain will win.
Many blacks wept tears of joy when Obama won the nomination. The fear is that they will weep again after Obama loses, tears also shed by millions of Americans of all parties, all races, all colors and all creeds.
Jake Highton teaches journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.