I can appreciate how someone who grew up black in the USA of 90 years ago would feel a sense of triumph when voting for a black presidential candidate. I understand how that creates a symbol of rising above the muck that has entrapped your culture for centuries.
But I can’t shake the fact that I’m disturbed when people are more excited about voting for someone because they are a black person or an estrogened person or a left-handed person than whether or not that particular person will be the best leader of the Executive Branch of the United States of America.
I’m torn because I really want to feel like this is some grand moment where we as America move ahead and into some brave new world that has such people leading it. But I can’t help feeling more like we are in some sort of adolescent proving ground where surface characteristics like skin colour and gender matter more than policy. It’s wanting to date the quarterback so you can wear his letter jacket. It’s wanting to drive a BMW when you go down to Brentwood so you don’t feel out of place in the parking lot. It’s wanting to prove to the rest of the planet Earth that we aren’t just a bunch of naive gun-loving upandcomers and we ARE cosmopolitan enough to pick a black president.
I know a lot of people like the policies proposed by Obama. Good for them and I hope they get what they want. (I say that knowing ahead of time that they won’t. High Office politics are an ugly business that corrupt the most earnest. Three years from now when the Democrat Idealists become as business as usual as the corrupted Republican incumbents I fully expect that those who rejoice at this proposed Democratic victory will be as damned disappointed in the dregs they’ve got as the fiscally conservative among us are right now. The White House is painted in the blood of the better angels who were slaughtered on the path to residence there.)
I personally will cry after leaving a voting booth when I get to vote for a third party candidate who has a prayer of dialing back the power game in Washington. Who isn’t owned and owing to special interest groups. Who didn’t have to barter for his presidency with corrupt preachers and worldly wise men and photographers. Who didn’t have to trade his character for his chance at leadership.
That’s when I’ll cry. Now I just look for the new boss resignedly. You know what they say about him…