“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
Those are some great words from a great man. I get a little sick of people who continue to insist that race plays a major part in American politics. Today I want to talk about people who still insist on playing the race card in 2012. I see it largely as “dirty politics” and I refuse to be shy about expressing and supporting that opinion. I also don’t believe I am in the minority here. I believe that most Americans agree.
Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of Barack Obama and I did not vote for him. Does that make me prejudiced? Some would say it does. After all my skin is not the same color as the president’s skin. So by choosing not to vote for him I must be prejudiced. It certainly couldn’t have anything to do with beliefs, ideals, or policies. It could not have anything to do with the fact that I am a die hard capitalist and my social beliefs are taking a back seat to my economic concerns now.
Accepting that rhetoric would imply that I had a brain full of real opinions and that could never be the case. Surely it is much more likely that I cast votes based on skin color. After all, if you listen to some bigots, that is what everyone does.
I played the race card myself at one time in life and I know how it can feel to be discriminated against. I was dating a young woman who was born in Korea. She was adopted as a girl and now lived here as a citizen of the United States. At any rate, I was young and I felt very much in love. Sue told me one day that her parents wanted her to marry a Korean man, and I said, “That’s prejudiced.”
I felt, all at once, that the world was against me. I felt discriminated against and I didn’t like it. After all, with all the wisdom of a 19-year-old, I felt totally in love with this woman. How unfair was it that her parents didn’t approve of me because of the color of my skin? That was in 1988. Sue and I eventually went our own ways and it wasn’t true love anyway, but for some time I felt just a bit of what it is like to be discriminated against because of the color of my skin. I didn’t like it and honestly I can not imagine what it is like to live an entire life feeling that way.
So can I blame a few people for being angry? Not really. I know I was mad. But in 2012 I think the very few still holding on to that anger are childish. After all, we elected an African-American in 2008. Let it go. It’s not about race anymore, it’s about moving forward.
Different exit polls will show different numbers but I am using numbers from The Atlantic Wire. If their numbers are in the ball park it would show us that whites did in fact vote for Romney over Obama by a ratio of 59-39. It also shows that blacks voted for Obama over Romney by a ratio of 93-6.
Look at those numbers carefully. I’m about to say something that a lot of people have wanted to say but are afraid to. Is it really the “White” voters who are prejudiced? If a black man votes for Obama is it because he is prejudiced against white candidates? Please keep reading my friend because I am going to try to prove today that race has ALMOST ZERO factor in presidential elections, well at least not in the 2012 presidential election, and even though I said it, I don’t really believe that race had anything to do with votes for Obama or Romney. I simply don’t believe a majority of American citizens choose to waste their vote on such petty things as skin color.
When you see that 93% of blacks likely voted for Obama, somewhere there is a white supremacist just begging me to take that number and run with it. But, unlike a few people who see what they want to see, I have studied the facts. I will get to the numbers later, but now I want to support the case that I think this is an example of dirty politics.
I believe any time you play the “race card” it is simply a political manuever. Leaders understand that playing this card might cause a few votes to swing, but it also a move that wreaks of desperation.
“Oh my, I better vote for Obama so I can prove that I’m not prejudiced.”
“Oh my, I better vote for Romney so white people will see me as open-minded.”
I don’t care who plays that race card in politics, that is the kind of reaction I believe they are looking for. They don’t want to talk about policies, they want to talk about the color of a person’s skin. They are looking to challenge people’s own belief systems to the extent that skin color comes before ideas. That is so wrong. Saying it will never cause the true bigots to switch votes, but it might cause a few people that are “on the fence” to cast their votes in a certain direction. I do believe it is only a few people, not a major block of voters.
Unfortunately it works on a small scale and that’s good enough for political scumbags to keep throwing it out there. It may not work on most people but it works on a few. It would be hard to quantify how many votes are swayed, but there are some people that will be swayed on such nonsense. Is it 1 in 1000? 1 in 100? I don’t know but I know that some people vote for crazy reasons that have nothing to do with policies. All I can base this on is the fact that I have a couple of crazy relatives and one crazy friend who told me they were voting for Obama because he was black. They couldn’t support their vote in any other way and I didn’t ask because I don’t enjoy arguing with closed-minded people. I don’t know what percentage of the population is swayed by these things but I feel like any time someone plays the race card, it is an attempt to guilt certain people into voting a certain way, regardless of the issues on the table.
I think it’s juvenile and I think the only messages of real racial hate are coming from the same people who bring race into the debate. I’m not totally sure if their intent is to sway votes by underhanded tactics, or if they really believe the shit that spews from their mouths. Either way it affects a few. Even if it is 0.1% that can make a difference. 1 in 1000 people may not seem like much but the job of the candidates is to fight for every single vote they can. The 1 person in 1000 that may be swayed has their own center of influence and 1 vote can snowball into hundreds, depending on the individual. Either way I think it is dirty politics because I think the American people have proven that they really aren’t as discriminatory as they are made out to be.
I think a few bad seeds make all of us look bad. I am not about to say that without backing it up with some numbers.
In 1992 white voters favored Bush over Dukakis by a ratio of 60-40. That is very similar to the 59-39 ratio enjoyed by Romney in 2012. The only problem is that Dukakis is not African-American. 20 years later we see roughly the same result.
But what about the black vote? Surely it wasn’t the same in 1992, was it? In 1992 black voters favored Dukakis by a ratio of 89-11. That’s not a lot different than 93-6 in 2012.
The only argument I can find to support racial voting in America is if Michael Dukakis is secretly black. What we need to accept is that people vote more likely by class and not by color. Certain candidates can reach across those class and party lines and some can not. Would it surprise you to know that Obama actually won the vote in 5 of the 6 richest counties in America in 2012? He did, it’s a fact. That tells me that he was able to reach across “party” lines better than Romney. Certain candidates do that and it usually accounts for decisive victories. Reagan was a good example of this. Reagan found a way to reach beyond the Republicans. For better or for worse people loved Ronald Reagan and they also have an affinity for Barack Obama.
That doesn’t mean that I love Obama, but I am just one vote. My vote is no more important or less important than yours.
I think a lot of people out there need to get over themselves. The hate many people see is just their own hate and it is not reciprocal. They are delusional. They tackle their own issues of prejudice by thinking that everyone else thinks just as they do. It’s like an idiot who stares into a mirror and sees nothing but an ugly reflection.
The truth is that black voters tend to vote for Democratic candidates and white voters (by a smaller margin) tend to vote Republican. That’s all it is. I would conclude that it is more about financial and social inequity than the color of a candidate’s skin. It is no secret that many minorities are still struggling to climb the economic ladder in this country. That doesn’t mean they hate Romney because he is white. It means that they support a different political philosophy.
Most women voted for Obama. Does that mean that women are prejudiced against white men? Come on people, grow up.
You can’t say that people in this country are making choices based on color. There is just not any real evidence to support it. Blacks were voting democrat before Obama, and whites were voting Republican before Obama as well. Sure some bigots probably do vote like this, but when we make bold statements that gain national air time it is really about nothing more than dirty politics and a desperate attempt to swing a few votes or simply make excuses.
It disgusts me. The reality is that Romney didn’t speak to the middle as well as Obama did. I don’t have to like that but it is the truth.
I don’t like Obama and don’t see that changing soon. You will hear me argue his policies regularly. But please don’t ever tell me that I don’t like him because he is black. The truth of the matter is that I don’t like Romney either. Maybe I’m just prejudiced against all people. I can live with that tag. I’m an equal opportunity hater.
As for playing the race card…I think it is a card only played by people who are themselves racist, and I think it’s unsportsmanlike. What does sportsmanship have to do with politics? Exactly. Politicians don’t tend to be cut from the finest cloth when it comes to morality and sense of fair play.
I will say this for America and its fine people… Race was actually less of an issue in both 2008 and 2012 than I believed it would be. Most responsible leaders do realize that it is not ethical to mention these things for they are no longer as pervasive as they once were. My problems are with the few political and media figures who keep bringing it up. I am sick and tired of it.
With that said, I would love to see a black republican running against a white democrat. I think it would validate the point that race really isn’t the issue that some people think it is. In the end a black republican would probably lose the black vote. Just a guess but I would love to see the results.
That is beside the point. Obama won this election because more American people believe in him. I don’t appreciate being called a racist because I did not vote for him. I dislike his policies and really don’t care what color his skin is. I did not vote for Romney either but that doesn’t mean I hate white people. I thought Romney was a weak leader who was convinced that 47% of people would never support him, rather than reaching out to them and trying to be a real leader. It was again, not about color.
Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a day when these things would cease to be issues. I believe that that day is here and I am proud of the American people for that.
If you want to make it about race then you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Like it or not, no one wants to continue hearing about bigotry that is rooted in history and not the present. The American people want to move on, and the majority have moved on.
American people will disagree with each other but they are good people. Enough of the hate.
I’m not racist against Obama because of his color! I don’t like his white half either! lol
Chad I know you are busy but the whole premise of the article is that roughly the same number of whites voted republican, and roughly the same number of blacks voted democrat, as always. It really doesn’t seem to matter that Obama is black. It seems to be the same old stalemate between conservatives and liberals. I just get sick of hearing the race card played. So I vented for awhile.
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I was impressed by the Democrat numbers for Dukakis, as I DO believe that Blacks as a bloc vote according to racial lines quite often. Doesn’t trump voting Democrat, apparrently – but my life events DO make me think that race plays a role. Attended school in suburban NJ (Rockaway, Denville; mostly white, middle class), and West Orange (mostly white, middle and upper-class), and Washington, D.C.; Newark, NJ; Madison, NJ. Newark and D.C. were obviously “non white.” I liked exploring, I give off a vibe of “not lookign for trouble, willing to kill you though”, so I was usually left alone – but there were places white boy just don’t go, ya know?
That’s local, though, not national. Seeing the Dukakis numbers made me rethink the national scene, at least. Doesn’t answer the allegations of fraud int he latest (or prior) elections, but at least makes the percentages believable – until 105% of the eligible voters voted, or 100% of voters voted for the Democrat (black, in this case) candidate. (Thinking POTUS, ignoring the more local – though IIRC, there were questions about those this time around, too. Black candidate, an incumbent IIRC, LOST. No one blinked…)
I’m not so sure about “reaching across class lines,” though. My impression (biased, I admit) or Demorats is that they tend to BE elites – “leaders” of a sort, but in the higher social stratums – if they were in lower stratums, they’d be used car salesman. But in the higher echelons? Used Care Salesman + Mass Media + Agenda = Politician. So they reach out to the (M)Asses, most of whom are under and un-educated, and HAPPY that way (Can’t blame them for that – wish I was still ignorant sometimes). They paint a happy little picture, and the ignorant eat it up, and vote for the Freebies they’ve been bought with. Color doesn’t come up – except, perhaps, in absence. Most black middle-class are seen as “Oreos” or “Uncle Tom’s” by other blacks. (Oreos = “white on the inside”, and why Uncle Tom applies I don’t know: My understanding is that “Uncle Tom” as a literary character was beaten to death for NOT revealing the whereabouts of runaway slaves… How is THAT betraying ANYONE? )
Republicants (Use a different vowel…) are, unfortunately, RE-active in their politics and policies. They don’t value change for the sake of change (as progressives seem to). They don’t see “anywhere but here” as valid. I agree – if it ain’t broke, DON’T FIX IT! But that means there is no breaking the Democrat/Socialist/Progressive OODA loop. There’s no way to commandeer the dicsussion and frame it FOR conservatives. PLUS, Republicans are painted as the party of “Big business” and “Wall Street”, and are always seen as chasing the bottom line without regard to cost. Hard to break that image, but these days, they don’t even try. You can’t out-pander a professional pimp (demorat). To extend the use car salesman analogy, The Democrat has perfect skin, nails, hair, and an expensive-looking suit. He’s selling a hot new Mazda RX6 with only 2,000 miles on it (The odometer’s been turned back, but we’ll keep that to ourselves. And the seats have mildew, but there’s an air freshener to hide that, and there WAS a thunking in the engine, but some KARO syrup fixed that RIGHT up…) So it’s a BARGAIN… It’s a STEAL – 30 pieces silver, and a deal is a deal… (Apologies to Alice)
At the same time, on the competing lot across the street, is our Republican used car salesman. He has a 2006 Subaru WRX, which has had the transmission rebuilt, and the radiator’s been replaced twice, and there’s some damage to the headlights due to the company no longer making the conversion kits. He’s fat, eats badly, balding, has glasses and bad skin, and is wearing an obvious off-the-rack suit from Macy’s or such, which isn’t tailored to his specific shape. All the facts about this Subaru are RIGHT THERE, on the sheet – service records are in line, accidents, repairs, gas mileage recorded, bought the car from the original owner.
Which one gets sales? The dishonest Democrat, because he LOOKS good and sets people at ease. And when you come back and ask about the engine problems, he just tells you the solution is to put MORE KARO syrup in the engine… And SMILE, and it’s a wonderful day, and how are the kids….
IF the Republican gets A sale, and there’s a problem with the car – he takes it in, has the mechanic look it over, tells people what went wrong, and depending on what the terms of sale are, either makes good, makes repairs free of charge, or tells us the estimated repair cost, and why. (IE, putting KARO syrup in the engine does more than just stop the knocking… Stops the enigne. That’s NOT covered under warranty of ANY kind.) But he’s all business, all straightforward, no unicorns farting rainbows… And so, Democrats win in under-educated and uneducated areas, and places where appearrance matters over substance (Hollyweird?) while Republicans (more often conservatives, but R & c trend together) get screwed unless there’s honest accounting of what’s happening, WHY it’s happening, and HOW to change it.
Just my thoughts on how that might be playing out, I write too much. 😉