Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What Year Is It In Your World?

For months, we've hear everyone from Rush Limbaugh to CNN talk about the supposed "Bradley Effect", in which people tell pollsters they'll vote for a candidate of color, then don't.

We've heard questions put more directly: will Americans vote for a black man for President?

We've heard Barack Obama claim not to look like other candidates, not to look like the guys on the money.

We've heard Barack Obama warn us that other people would tell us that he's black.

The white Americans I know are sick of talk about people's skin color, especially when that talk is designed to make us feel as though it's still 1958 and the intervening 50 years never happened.

Look, white America is largely over the race thing. We got it a long time ago: people are people, some looking one way, some looking another. But still the Obamas of the world drag race into every discussion as if Governor Wallace (D-AL) were still standing in the doorway of the schoolhouse.

As for the Bradley Effect, I think it's a more general question of Ouija polling: the pollster asks the question and gets the desired answer.

But what do I know -- I think it's 2008 already.


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2 comments:

KnightErrant said...

Racially you are right. Economically it is 1929.

Anonymous said...

There are some parallels with 1929, but the key to the Depression -- responding to the stock market crash by protectionism coupled with government micromanagement of the economy -- is still before us. Will Obama be allowed to raise corporate taxes, continuing the flight of business away from the U.S.? Will anti-immigration sentiment translate into nativism (on the one hand), protectionism (on the other), or both?

Interesting times, these.

-- Loren

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