2008 Presidential Election, Race and Racism
Professor Vernellia Randall
Speaking Truth to Power!

Even to a conservative, there's hope for a President Obama

 

Send Letter to Secretary Hillary Clinton:
United States Must be fully Participate in United Nations Conference
 on Eliminating Racism (Durban Review).

 

 

Home March 13,2008 Hillary Clinton and Gearldine Ferraro     February 26, 2008 - Tim Russert;     February 21, 2008 - Bill O'Reilly;       February 20, 2008 - Bill O'Reilly;          January 30, 2008 - National Organization of Women - New York;          January 15, 2008  - MSBNC, Brian Williams and Tim Russert Discussion Forum
This site focuses on one issue: racial inequality. It does not endorse or oppose any party or any candidate.

 

Home                                                    x
Worst Person                               x
Institutional Racism                                    x
Inequalities & the Election                                  x
Race and Racism                              x
Racial Groups                                       x
World Perspective                               x
NAACP Questionnaire                            x
Primaries and Caucuses                             x
Site Map
This website is always under construction please email me  relevant links related to any of the candidates or to race and racism and the election.
RACIAL GROUPS
African Americans                                         X
Asian Americans                                                   X
European Americans                         X
Latino(a) Americans                                          x
Native Americans                                 x
Pacific Islanders                                       x
 
UNITS
Institutional Racism                                     x
01 Race and Racism                                     x
02 Citizenship Rights                                     x
03 Justice                                     x
04 Basic Needs                                     x
05 Intersectionality                                     x
06 Worldwide                                     x
 
 
 
 

John O'Sullivan
2/11/08 Globe & Mail (Toronto Can.) A17
 

Barring a miracle - not a trivial qualification since Mike Huckabee believes in them - Senator John McCain will be the next Republican presidential nominee. Alas, almost any Democrat is favoured to win against almost any Republican in 2008.

Democrats are raising far more money than the GOP. Turnouts for Democratic primaries and caucuses have been twice as numerous. Polls on such matters as party self-identification heavily favour the Democrats. By these tests, even if Hillary Clinton would probably be easier to beat than Barack Obama, both are so favoured to win this distinction between them hardly matters.

What does matter, therefore, is whether there is an important distinction between them in how they would govern.

Some U.S. conservatives set aside their distaste for Ms. Clinton at this point and discover unsuspected virtues in her. She is tough, competent, experienced, and centrist. But while a practical politician who is prepared to compromise, she is also a principled liberal Democrat, and she knows how government works inside out. In other words, her compromises always move the status quo a little further toward statism and regulation. And Ms. Clinton is a finished product. She will not change politically.

Barack Obama, meanwhile, is a more tentative, ambiguous and even self-contradictory figure. He is running as a unifier who wants America to transcend race and ethnicity. His record of legislating has been firmly liberal on racial (as on most other) issues.

Republicans tend to discount his rhetoric while minutely examining his voting record. Usually, that is sensible, but on this occasion it may mislead.

Much of Mr. Obama is a work in progress. He is most clearly liberal on Iraq policy where he promises a 'drawdown' of U.S. troops that would be completed in 16 months. But Iraq is the issue on which American voters are most clearly liberal, and he has salted his commitments with escape-hatch phrases such as 'responsibly.' It is not hard to imagine a President Obama responding to a 'surge' in Iraqi violence by 'responsibly' stretching out the time-scale of U.S. withdrawal.

And while Mr. Obama proposes roughly the same higher tax plans as Ms. Clinton, he recognizes the need for countervailing measures to reduce what would then be a top tax rate of more than 50 per cent. His health-care plan is also cheaper than Ms. Clinton's and avoids imposing expensive mandates on workers and small employers.

It is on race and ethnicity, however, where the really revolutionary impact of an Obama victory would be felt. The mere fact of a President Obama would change both America and the world's view of America - just as the mere fact of a Polish pope undermined Soviet rule in Eastern Europe. It would demonstrate that the 'American Dream' - one of opportunity for all - is real and is being progressively realized.

It would undermine anti-Americanism abroad and the querulous politics of racial grievance at home, and perhaps launch U.S. politics on a new trajectory.

But what sort of trajectory? Despite his magnificent rhetoric, Mr. Obama has generally stuck to his party's line on racial preferences, immigration, and other issues tinged with race. At the same time, he has occasionally thrown out remarks suggesting he was unhappy with this. Thus he told George Stephanopoulos last May on television that preferences should also 'take into account white kids who have been disadvantaged '

All this suggests a deep ambivalence. How is it likely to be resolved?

In his fine study of Barack Obama, A Bound Man, author Shelby Steele traces this to a conflict within Mr. Obama's soul created by his upbringing. To oversimplify a subtle argument, Mr. Obama, in the absence of his father, sought a sense of belonging in his racial identity, joining the Black Student Society, and going along with arguments that blamed relative black poverty wholly on white racism, etc. But this quest for belonging through race afforded him little but psychological comfort - and sometimes psychological discomfort as when he assented to racist talk of 'white folks' that he knew to be false.

For Mr. Obama knew from his own life - and in his own autobiographical writings he fondly acknowledges - that his success is due to the habits of diligence, self-reliance and responsibility instilled in him by his loving mother and his (white) grandparents. These 'vigorous virtues' - as the philosopher Shirley Robin Letwin called them - are human virtues rather than racial ones.

Expressed in political terms, the contrast becomes: Should Barack Obama today urge young black people to seek advancement in racial identity, as both establishment America and the Democratic Party implicitly argue? Or should he urge them to develop the responsible virtues that have helped him to rise?

How Mr. Obama answers that question should - in logic at least - determine how he shapes policies on education, health, welfare, etc. But which answer he gives might well be shaped by how the election influences him.

If Mr. Obama is elected president - especially if by a landslide - he would undoubtedly owe his victory to the votes of crossover Republicans and independents as well as those of Democrats. He is already winning more white male votes than Hillary Clinton. And it is not fanciful to predict that he could be the first Democrat since Lyndon Johnson to win a majority of the white vote.

Political calculation alone would mandate that he govern in such a way as to keep the good opinion of these Republicans and white Democrats. But he would also know that these voters had placed their trust in him in an unusually serious way. They would be looking to him to govern in the spirit of a colour-blind national unity and to encourage the 'vigorous virtues' in all ethnic groups. Their support would reinforce the lessons he has already begun to draw from his own life.

It would be a very cold-hearted statesman who could resist the power of such hopes - but a very brave one who would risk the storm of fulfilling them.

Discussion Forum


 

This Page Last Updated:
Thursday, July 03, 2008  

You are visitor number
Hit Counter  
Since February 9, 2008

 

 

CANDIDATES
DEMOCRATIC                   x
Clinton                                                    x
Obama                                                    x
REPUBLICAN                            x
Huckabee                                                    x
McCain                                                    x
 
SELECT A CANDIDATE SURVEYS
Minnesota Public Radio                        x
WQAD  TV                             x
Australia - US Survey                                 X
Submit for Periodic Updates
Update List

 CANDIDATES
DEMOCRATIC                   x
Obama                                                    x
REPUBLICAN                            x
McCain                                                    x
THIRD PARTY
McKinney                                         x

This website is always under construction please email me  relevant links related to any of the candidates or to race and racism and the election.
SELECT A CANDIDATE SURVEYS
Minnesota Public Radio                        x
WQAD  TV                             x
Australia - US Survey                                 X

 


Same level:
The Obama Bargain ] Barack Obama’s Speech on Race ] What Made Obama's Speech Great ] The Obama version of 'we shall overcome' ] Obama, Imperialism and the Paradox of Plenty amid Poverty ] Bringing race to the forefront ] If President, What Do White People Think Obama Will Do To Them? ] Obama's racing the wrong way ] Obama: The Attacks Have Only Just Begun ] Obama Race Speech Analysis by 14 Blackcommentator.com ] Can Obama avoid being the 'black candidate'? ] Defying Conventional Wisdom on Race and Politics ] Obama's rhetoric, American realities ] Barack Obama: Can he deliver? ] Obama Beer  (VIDEO) ] Obama: An Emotional Escape Hatch from the Bush Era ] And Now Obama? Critical support ] Obama's real fairy tale ] The Obama Effect: challenging the rules of race and politics ] Obama should be a colour-blind president ] Holding Barack Obama Accountable ] The Obama Messiah Watch ] Barack Obama's Messiah Complex ] Obama the Magic Negro! ] Gay Inclusion - Obama Playing Us Stupid ] Obama’s Identity Crisis ] Barack the Magic Negro ] [ Even to a conservative, there's hope for a President Obama ] O'Reilly: "I don't want to go on a lynching party * *  * unless * *  * ] Presidental Racism (VIDEO) ] Seismic Shift in Racial Politics ] Michelle Obama thesis was on racial divide ] Where is the Critical Thinking in this Campaign 2008? ] Race affects politics ] Obama’s White Male Voters ] Capitulation is the order of the day ] Obamarama: Is it a Movement? Or is it Marketing? ] Obama: "Wall Street's Presidential Brand" ] Obama Chastise Blacks to Allay Jewish Concerns ] Obama denounces pastor's comments ] Obama's Backpeddling is Just Starting ] Obama, Fractals and Momentum Politics ] Obama Played the Race Card ] Deeply troubled by Obama  racial politics ] The Political Wonder That Is Obama ] Barack: Back and Forth Voter ] What Obama Means By Unity ] Pundits blind to Obamas America ] Which bias runs deeper in the American psyche? ] Obama offers U.S. a chance to do its racial laundry ] Obama as "Honorary White Man" ] David Brooks on Republican Support of Obama ] West, Bennet, Ogletree on Obama (VIDEO) ] Seeking Unity, Obama Feels Pull of Racial Divide ] Do some people think Obama is an honorary white man? ] The dynamism and the danger of Obama ] Barack Obama and the Euphoria of Madness ] Jewish Leader  to Obama : ‘Confront Your Pastor’ ] Obama Photos Album ] Community Activist, Obama and the Few Bad Apples ] Analysis: Obama's Health Care Plan (VIDEO) ] Obama: Bamboozling America ] Obama a Contemporary Don Quixote? ] Obama, Fat Tuesday and the Big Hangover ] Obama vs. the Phobocracy. ] VIDEO - Obama Speech in Kenya ] Playing the Race Card ] Putting faith in Obama ] SubPrime Obama ] VIDEO - Yes We Can! ] What to Expect from an Obama White House ] Why Republicans Like Obama ] Fox Attacks Obama! ] Obama And The Bigots ] Let's face the music: there is an Obama in the GOP's future ] Obama's black support shows its limits ] Obama: Black president or “irrational exuberance”? ] IS endorsing Barack Obama the new cool? ] Tennesee GOP Backs off statement ]
Child Level:
Home ] Up ]
Parent Level:
January 2008 ] February 2008 ] August 2008 Updates ]
Units:
[Race and Racial Groups] [Citizenship Rights]  [Justice and Race] [Patterns of Basic Needs] [Intersectionality Issues] [Human Rights]

Always Under Construction!

Always Under Construction!

Copyright @ 2008
Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved

 
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, some material on this website is provided for comment, background information, research and/or educational purposes only, without permission from the copyright owner(s), under the "fair use" provisions of the federal copyright laws. These materials may not be distributed for other purposes without permission of the copyright owner(s).

 


Last Updated:
Tuesday, April 07, 2009  

You are visitor number
Hit Counter  
Since January 9, 2008

 

Submit for Periodic Updates
Update List

 CANDIDATES
DEMOCRATIC                   x
Obama                                                    x
REPUBLICAN                            x
McCain                                                    x
THIRD PARTY
McKinney                                         x

This website is always under construction please email me  relevant links related to any of the candidates or to race and racism and the election.
SELECT A CANDIDATE SURVEYS
Minnesota Public Radio                        x
WQAD  TV                             x
Australia - US Survey                                 X

 


Same level:
The Obama Bargain ] Barack Obama’s Speech on Race ] What Made Obama's Speech Great ] The Obama version of 'we shall overcome' ] Obama, Imperialism and the Paradox of Plenty amid Poverty ] Bringing race to the forefront ] If President, What Do White People Think Obama Will Do To Them? ] Obama's racing the wrong way ] Obama: The Attacks Have Only Just Begun ] Obama Race Speech Analysis by 14 Blackcommentator.com ] Can Obama avoid being the 'black candidate'? ] Defying Conventional Wisdom on Race and Politics ] Obama's rhetoric, American realities ] Barack Obama: Can he deliver? ] Obama Beer  (VIDEO) ] Obama: An Emotional Escape Hatch from the Bush Era ] And Now Obama? Critical support ] Obama's real fairy tale ] The Obama Effect: challenging the rules of race and politics ] Obama should be a colour-blind president ] Holding Barack Obama Accountable ] The Obama Messiah Watch ] Barack Obama's Messiah Complex ] Obama the Magic Negro! ] Gay Inclusion - Obama Playing Us Stupid ] Obama’s Identity Crisis ] Barack the Magic Negro ] [ Even to a conservative, there's hope for a President Obama ] O'Reilly: "I don't want to go on a lynching party * *  * unless * *  * ] Presidental Racism (VIDEO) ] Seismic Shift in Racial Politics ] Michelle Obama thesis was on racial divide ] Where is the Critical Thinking in this Campaign 2008? ] Race affects politics ] Obama’s White Male Voters ] Capitulation is the order of the day ] Obamarama: Is it a Movement? Or is it Marketing? ] Obama: "Wall Street's Presidential Brand" ] Obama Chastise Blacks to Allay Jewish Concerns ] Obama denounces pastor's comments ] Obama's Backpeddling is Just Starting ] Obama, Fractals and Momentum Politics ] Obama Played the Race Card ] Deeply troubled by Obama  racial politics ] The Political Wonder That Is Obama ] Barack: Back and Forth Voter ] What Obama Means By Unity ] Pundits blind to Obamas America ] Which bias runs deeper in the American psyche? ] Obama offers U.S. a chance to do its racial laundry ] Obama as "Honorary White Man" ] David Brooks on Republican Support of Obama ] West, Bennet, Ogletree on Obama (VIDEO) ] Seeking Unity, Obama Feels Pull of Racial Divide ] Do some people think Obama is an honorary white man? ] The dynamism and the danger of Obama ] Barack Obama and the Euphoria of Madness ] Jewish Leader  to Obama : ‘Confront Your Pastor’ ] Obama Photos Album ] Community Activist, Obama and the Few Bad Apples ] Analysis: Obama's Health Care Plan (VIDEO) ] Obama: Bamboozling America ] Obama a Contemporary Don Quixote? ] Obama, Fat Tuesday and the Big Hangover ] Obama vs. the Phobocracy. ] VIDEO - Obama Speech in Kenya ] Playing the Race Card ] Putting faith in Obama ] SubPrime Obama ] VIDEO - Yes We Can! ] What to Expect from an Obama White House ] Why Republicans Like Obama ] Fox Attacks Obama! ] Obama And The Bigots ] Let's face the music: there is an Obama in the GOP's future ] Obama's black support shows its limits ] Obama: Black president or “irrational exuberance”? ] IS endorsing Barack Obama the new cool? ] Tennesee GOP Backs off statement ]
Child Level:
Home ] Up ]
Parent Level:
January 2008 ] February 2008 ] August 2008 Updates ]
Units:
[Race and Racial Groups] [Citizenship Rights]  [Justice and Race] [Patterns of Basic Needs] [Intersectionality Issues] [Human Rights]

Always Under Construction!

Always Under Construction!

Copyright @ 2008
Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved

 
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, some material on this website is provided for comment, background information, research and/or educational purposes only, without permission from the copyright owner(s), under the "fair use" provisions of the federal copyright laws. These materials may not be distributed for other purposes without permission of the copyright owner(s).

 


Last Updated:
Tuesday, April 07, 2009  

You are visitor number
Hit Counter  
Since January 9, 2008