Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Let me be among the first to congratulate Barack Obama for becoming our new president elect.

Quite a story, isn't it? The first major party minority candidate wins the election. Think about what has happened in the arena of race in the last 100 years?

Quite an historic day. Quite a day indeed.


Lori said...

If we are truly going to end racism in this country, why does it matter whether Obama is black or not? What if I said I voted for John McCain because he was white? That would most certainly make me a racist.

Why is is different with Obama?

Lori said...

And if I see one more old lady crying on TV I am seriously going to throw up.

Nick said...

Wow, Lori.

I have been deeply moved by hearing the stories of the old black ladies crying while standing in line to vote. We are too young to realize what went on just 40 years ago, when black were still getting lynched in the south. You realize that it was not until 1965 that blacks had real equal rights to vote (that played themselves out fairly).

You figure that if a certain lady is 80 now, she would have been in her 30's when that law was passed. So that means that she grew up in a world and lived the most formidable years where she was not allowed to vote because of the color of her skin (if she lived in certain places in the south). For a lady like that to live to see the day where we have progressed as a nation to the point where a black man can become president...it has to be pretty amazing.

It would have been awesome in a similar way if Palin would have become vice president (or Hilary president) because of the history of women's rights.

I think Greg Boyd said it best: "All politics aside--Today is a good day."

Lori said...

I politely disagree.

Lori said...

I think it is shallow and detestable to vote for someone based on their personality, charisma, color of their skin or nature of their genitalia. It is certainly permissible - but I actually think there are good and bad reasons to vote for someone.

However, as an informed voter, I am more concerned with a candidate's character, integrity, ability to lead and the stances they take on the pressing issues at hand. Apparently, I am in the minority in this day and age. That is sad.

Nick said...

1. Despite saying you are being polite, you sound more angry and condescending. I know you are not like that, so I hope I'm wrong.

2. I voted for Obama, so are you including me in that harsh rebuke?

3. I think issues are important too. I agree with Obama's stances more than McCain's. does that make me your enemy?

4. I agree that many people voted for Barack because he is black. but, a lot of people did not vote for him for the same reason. you dont seem to be be as outraged over that second issue. what gives?

5. When you get outraged and want to throw up over an old lady becoming overwhelmed and crying because of progression and justice, something is wrong. When you criticize that old lady, having never been anywhere close to being in her shoes, it is in very bad taste to say the least.

6. I think you are upset with the election results so you are blaming it on these other thing. Dont make that mistake, okay?

7. If you are really upset about people voting for charisma and other dumb reasons, why start to vocalize that only this year? That has been an historical problem in both parties. Every election people uncritically vote party lines because they always have (I'm certainly not putting you in that category). There is plenty to get upset about, but lets do it for the right reasons.


Nick said...

Lori, if that last post sounded too harsh or too personal, I'm sorry. Since tone of voice does not come over in posts, please know that im not trying to be angry or sharp, though it probably sounded that way.

Please accept my apology. I dont want this to be a personal feud, just friends sharing different political opinions.


ZZMike said...

Congratulations are in order, as they would be for any President-elect.

The election certainly proves that the events of the 1960s (which, incidentally, were driven and directed by that same Democratic Party) are well and truly behind us.

Far too many voters went for Obama because of his image. I've seen more than one report of someone asking an Obama supporter what they could say about his policies, and not being able to get a straight answer. All they could do was mumble incoherently about "hope" and "change".

lori knows what I'm talking about.

All we really know about Obama is that he is the most inexperienced candidate ever to achieve that office. (OK, there may be one or two others.) Never run a business, never had to meet a payroll, served less time on the floor of the Senate than anybody else (again, there may be one or two others), voted with his party 96% of the time (does that show any sign of independent thought?) and that only includes the few times he did come in to vote, ...

(Go down this list of votes and look at the number of "Not Voting" entries:

Obama Votes

Now that he's in, let's give him a chance. Let's see if there are enough pieces of the country left after four years to put back together.

I'll also say that we (conservatives) should give President Obama the same gracious courtesy and respect that his side gave ours over the last eight years. I'm hoping, though, that we can rise above that.

Cineaste said...

Hi Nick!

I'm proud that Americans chose Barack Obama. I haven't been this optimistic about our country in a long time. I do worry about the flaming wreck of an economy and the tattered international reputation the republicans have left him though.

Cineaste said...

To Lori...

You’re wasting the opportunity of a lifetime.

No, I haven’t swallowed the hope pill. I have no illusions about the Obama administration, the Democratic party or electoral politics. But whatever pill *you’ve* swallowed must have been awfully bitter, because it’s sure left you with an ugly look on your face.

I’ll agree from the start, Obama won’t deliver the change we want. He’s an establishment candidate who’s risen up within the ranks of the machine. It’s not enough that he’s better than the alternative- the hope he’s sold millions will sooner or later be dashed.

But wait. Look at that last sentence. Maybe you’ve missed the crucial word: millions.

The essence of political change is mobilization, and Americans are mobilized now like they haven’t been for a generation. Right now, thanks to Obama, they’re fired up. They feel involved, like they have a personal stake in the process. They want change, and they’re willing to pitch in to make it happen.

Do you believe change comes from above, or from below? If it comes from above, if we’re all just pawns of the ruling elites, then by all means, sit in your armchair and gripe. If Obama can’t rescue us, then there must be no point, right?

But if change comes from below, if you think that the actions of “ordinary” people matter, then your place right now is among the hopeful and the idealistic. Stop scorning them for having stars in their eyes, and start organizing.

There are countless people out there right now who want to do their part. Will you tell them that they’re fools and they should go back to sleep? Or will you join them, teach them their own power and guide them into standing on their own?

Their time of disappointment will come. Their hero will certainly fail them, and if he doesn’t himself, the system he represents will. When that happens, the hopeful can go two ways. The first choice is to sink back into apathy or despair.

The second choice, however, is to keep on fighting, and that’s where you come in. If the hopefuls rely solely on the institutions of liberal reform, then there’s nowhere for them to go. But if they have access to good radical thinking, from people they trust through working together, then there’s a path forward for them. And that path starts to veer in the direction of real change.

We like to say that we act not out of hate, but out of love. I’ve been having a hard time seeing it lately, though. Too many people right now can do nothing but criticize. We are old and bitter. We attack the very people who should be our future base.

But look at them, the hopeful millions. They want something better from our country. Their eyes shine with enthusiasm when they say “Yes we can.” If these people aren’t our future, then we probably don’t have one.

So pick an issue and get to work. Choose something that you believe in, but also something that meets people where they’re at. Don’t regard the people you work with as dupes or saps. Remember back to when you first became politically aware- you probably didn’t build your cynical shell overnight. Remember what it felt like when you thought you could change the world. You still think you can? Then that’s the first thing you all have in common. I’m sure you’ll find more.

It’s been forty years since there’s been such a movement of optimism and hope in America. We can wall ourselves into our activist ghetto and become more old-fashioned every day, or we can rejoin the world and starting tearing down walls instead of building new ones.

Hunter S. Thompson said that the high water mark for America was 1968. The tide’s gone a long way out since then, but now it’s coming back in. There’s no telling how high the water will rise this time, but I’m betting it’ll climb higher with us than without.

- Dysnomia

Anonymous said...

Lori was right with her first blog. Point well said Lori. If i voted for John McCain and my only reasoning was that it's because he's white, then i'd be racist. But if you voted for obama because hes black, your not a racist? what? dude, i work in a warehouse with a bunch of tatooed up obama supporters, and none had a viable excuse for voting for him other than the fact that he was black and we needed change. Barack Obama has never specified what "change" he is going to bring. - Nick- : you said a lot of people didn't vote for him for the same reason, i disagree. what reasoning did you hear? - Josh Boyer

Cineaste said...

"If i voted for John McCain and my only reasoning was that it's because he's white, then i'd be racist. But if you voted for obama because hes black, your not a racist? what?"

Think about it this way, Josh. Take the example of the 109 year old daughter of a slave who voted for Obama. Would you accuse her of being a racist because she voted for Obama based upon his heritage? Considering what she has seen and experienced over the past century, I hope not. Do you vote for your favourite sports team simply because they represent your city? The vast majority of people do. So, why begrudge blacks the chance to vote for someone who they feel represents them?

Anonymous said...

Ok, i'm not trying to rip on the elderly lady in the article, but i think i have a good point of view to suggest- if i'm 109, i don't have to long until i'm gone. Who cares about all the other issues at hand,because well, i'll be dead soon, so i'm gonna vote for Mr.Obama because we have the same color skin. I know how that sounds, but i'm not wrong. It's unwise to elect anyone to an authoritive position based solely on their skin color weather your 109 or 18. If you listened to this mans plans for running the country, and liked it enough to give it your vote then great, you thought about his ideas and concluded they were good and his plans should run the country. Well done, thats the way to do it. But weather your 18 or 109, if you vote for someone without hearing their point of views for how their going to run the country, but vote for someone based on the color of their skin its shallow. And from what i understand, thats what most voter's did. What about the other steaks in the fire- healthcare, taxes, war in iraq.
What does Barack Obama represtnt about this woman- Her political point of views or her skin color?
-Josh B

Cineaste said...

"Who cares about all the other issues at hand,because well, i'll be dead soon, so i'm gonna vote for Mr.Obama because we have the same color skin."

I think you've misrepresented the old lady's position as well as black voters. You're saying that the reason blacks voted overwhelmingly for Obama was because of his skin color, right? Well, didn't the overwhelming majority of blacks also vote for the white guy Bill Clinton, when he ran? So, since black voters are overwhelmingly democratic in the first place, is it really surprising that they would also vote for the democratic nominee? I can guarantee you that had Obama run as a hard core conservative republican like Alan Keyes, who is perceived as being against the issues important to black voters, that Obama wouldn't have gotten the black vote. This also applies to when he ran against Hillary. So, blacks are indeed voting the issues and not solely skin color, though of course Obama's biracial background is a positive influence in their deliberations.

Another point: if you are a Christian, would you tend to vote for Christians over Muslims? Atheists? I'd say that most Christians would. Why? Because Christians identify more with fellow Christians than they do with Muslims, atheists, Hindus, etc. Is it bigoted to do so? Is it bigoted that blacks identify with other blacks with shared experiences such as a past that included slavery? The answer is no in both cases.

What I think it comes down to is this: you are NOT a racist if you vote FOR someone because of their skin color but you ARE if you vote AGAINST someone solely because of their skin color. So, the white guy who votes against Obama solely because he is black is a racist. The white guy who votes for McCain because he feels whites are under-represented as president is NOT a racist. Conversely, the black guy who votes against McCain solely because he is white is a racist. The black guy who votes for Obama because he feels blacks are under-represented as president is NOT a racist.

I can easily understand why the 109 year old woman was so excited to vote for a black candidate for the first time in a century. How could she be a racist when she's voted many times for white candidates beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt? This tells me that she did indeed vote on the issues and not solely on how much melanin Obama's skin has.

Anonymous said...

Well said, your points are really good and right. I am corrected. I hadn't thought about the issue that way. Good analogies! I agree with them. Thanks for the insight's, and i apologize for coming off so abrasive. I just never thought about it that way, but when you explain it more like how you did, it totally makes sense. Thanks again for the analogies and the insights Cineatse. I enjoyed our blog talks.