Election Day: Voting against, rather than for
November 3, 2008
In the 1960s, when this observer was marching in the South for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I don’t recall any discussion of a black running for president. Our focus was to get the state governments in the South (all controlled by Democrats) to carry out the measures included in the Civil Rights Acts that President Lyndon Johnson (D) was pushing through Congress.
Fortunately, television came to our rescue. Americans outside the South were moved by footage of Americans, black and white, offering peaceful resistance to racist violence.
If I had known about him at the time and thinking about a black president, I would have favored someone like Dr. Thomas Sowell, the black conservative at Stanford University. Another prospect would have been Dr. Walter Williams, the conservative economist at George Mason University. My colleagues and I could not have imagined that an African-American, ultra-left winger (self-defined by his two autobiographies, his public pronouncements and the most liberal voting record in the U.S. Senate) would be the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in 2008.
Students of political science find the so-called “late deciders” tend to vote “against” rather than “for.” In this particular election, it would be a monumental miscarriage of justice to vote “against” Senator John McCain over the mortgage meltdown. In 2005, Senator McCain sponsored The Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act saying, “If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.”
Some might vote against McCain-Palin because the mainstream media convinced them that Governor Palin was given a wardrobe of fancy suits by the GOP. The truth is that Sarah Palin came down from Alaska to accept her VP nomination wearing the clothes she routinely buys from thrift shops in Anchorage. Some campaign weenie decided the GOP should loan her some expensive suits. The mainstream media made such an issue of her clothing (rather than focus on issues like better care for special-needs children), that Sarah Palin is back to wearing her Anchorage thrift-shop suits.
Some might vote against John McCain because he doesn’t do e-mail. In fact, an official Barack Obama campaign TV spot ridiculed McCain for not doing e-mail. It turns out that John McCain’s hands were tortured by the North Vietnamese so horribly that he cannot type on a computer keyboard. Even the pro-Obama media could not stomach that attack against McCain. The Obama campaign had to pull that TV spot off the air.
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Recently, a faithful reader in Reno, Nev., recounted the process he went through in 1957 to obtain a military security clearance. Years later, when he applied for and received a Nevada Gaming License, he said the process was much the same as obtaining a military security clearance. He opined that Barack Obama has already admitted to so much derogatory information that Obama might be ineligible for a Nevada Gaming License. Of course, that is just the opinion of someone who has experienced both processes.
Some might vote against McCain because they think he’s played the race card. Not true. For example, John McCain refuses to use the issue of the black Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Obama’s 20 years of sitting in church listening to Wright’s tirades against whites, Jews and America. The only “association” issue raised by the official McCain campaign has to do with Obama’s unrepentant, anti-American terrorist associate, William Ayers.
Will some vote against Obama solely because of his race? Yes. To paraphrase Dr. King, “Some will judge the candidates by the color of their skin rather than by the content of their character.” Ironically, those who vote for Obama solely because of his race are exhibiting their own brand of racism.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist and a featured commentator for USA Today, studied at Harvard’s JFK School of Government. Dr. Hamilton is a former assistant professor of political science and history at Nebraska Wesleyan University.
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