cut on the bias

keeping an eye on the spins and weirdness of media, crime and everyday life

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's not about race - Part II

I still think there is a solid chance that McCain will win. In fact, if I had to lay money on it, I'd take McCain. How much of that is wishful thinking? I don't know. But I don't think even most of it is.

However, there is also a good possibility that Obama will win. He's got a lot of people buffaloed. I think an Obama presidency would be a very bad thing for this country. I think he thinks he's a lot smarter than he is, which is always dangerous. Deeply arrogant people who also think more highly of their skills than evidence warrants* generally make big mistakes. And Obama as President Obama will be on greased skids to a downfall. For our sake, I hope it isn't irreparable.

The purpose of this post, though, is to make this point: Regardless of how Obama does, if he's elected, his success or failure won't be because he's black. Yes, his race informs his views. But race is not a pivotal or causal factor in a person's capabilities, temperment and ego.

I'm concerned that if Obama becomes president and makes a mess of it, as I think he would, it would sour the electorate on black candidates for a while. That would be a shame. There are a lot of men and women who are black, Hispanic, etc., who would be - and are - wonderful leaders for our country. In fact, I think that judging Obama on his race rather than his behaviors, leadership (or lack thereof) and political philosophies (the real ones, not the win-this-election ones) is what got us in to this position.

Race needs to come off the table. It just isn't important as a selection criteria. We're moving ever closer to a time when that will be accepted practice, and I hope it's fully realized soon. In the meantime, I hope that Obama's presidency, if it occurs, doesn't do more harm than good.

* Some people are deeply arrogant but also extremely competent. Surgeons, concert pianists and Olympic-level athletes come to mind. Their confidence is part of what allows them to do very difficult tasks with great success. I think Obama has the arrogance without the competence.

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