Experience With What?
It was about four on the Monday morning following Senator Hillary Clinton’s withdrawal from campaigning for the presidential race. I was watching one of the network television news programs. It was either ABC or CBS. The story was about how some Democratic Party voters were now going to switch their vote because Ms. Clinton didn’t win. The story included a few responses to the question to Democrats, who would you vote for in November. One respondent claimed that Senator Barack Obama just didn’t have the experience and it would be better for the country if Senator John McCain won the presidency.
I saw the same type of responses in a news article in Yahoo! News later in the day titled Racial Attitudes Pose Challenge For Obama. Some of the comments from this article are:
- “I don’t think we’re ready for either one [a female or a black man] yet”,
- “I don’t think our country is ready for a black President”,
- “A black man is never going to win Pennsylvania”,
- “His middle name [Hussein] bothers me a lot”, and
- “He doesn’t wear a flag pin. It seemed like code for, He’s not one of us”.
He’s not one of you alright! To me, that seems like code for, He’s not white.
A lot of people will add the fact that the way they feel has nothing to do with race. As in, “A black man is never going to win Pennsylvania, but it has nothing to do with race.” A lot of people don’t even bother trying to mask their hypocrisy these days.
One woman, with a husband who is currently in the military and stationed in Iraq, lamented the fact that she wants her husband home and safe. More than almost anything else she wants an end to the war. One of the few exceptions that she wants more than an end to the war is the defeat of Mr. Obama. The woman admitted that she could not bear the fact that Mr. Obama would win the oval office. Again, it has nothing to do with the fact that he’s black. He needs more experience.
Experience with what, being white?
Right now, one of the most experienced Americans for the presidency is the President, George W. Bush. With seven years and some change under his belt, the only person alive who has more experience would be former President Bill Clinton. However, since Mr. Clinton doesn’t have any war experience, it could be argued that Mr. Bush’s war experience is more valuable than Mr. Clinton’s peace time experience.
But with Mr. Bush’s approval ratings currently at cesspool levels and continuing to slide towards bottom feeder status, even if he tried, it is a sure bet that Mr. Bush couldn’t win the top slot at the local PTA. The fact is, finally, the American public sees via hindsight enhanced with bionic optics that Mr. Bush does not have the judgment, the god given common sense, and/or the shred of integrity needed to effectively run this country or any other country or the local PTA for that matter. Mr. Bush is capable of running the United States. But running the country into the ground is not a favorable outcome by most American citizen’s standards.
Now, many people say that the only factor that matters is experience. In fact, if the woman mentioned earlier whose husband is now serving in Iraq is any indication, people are willing to vote against their own interest to because they are so worried about Mr. Obama’s lack of experience. Race has nothing to do with it. People are so concerned about Mr. Obama’s middle name that they are willing to vote against their interest. People are so concerned about other people’s willingness to have a black President that they don’t think they should vote for the black President. And many of these people will claim that they didn’t even notice the fact that Mr. Obama was black.
On the other hand, according to the Yahoo! News article, seventy two year old Robert Miller thInks that the United States Constitution should be amended so colored people can’t run for the White House. Seventy one year old Dixie Pebley says the fact that Mr. Obama is black doesn’t bother her. But the fact that he is or was Muslim is unforgivable. She’s not prejudice against African Americans. Ms. Pebley is just prejudice against Muslim Americans.
I’m not a big fan of Mr. Obama, Ms. Clinton, or Mr. McCain by any stretch of the imagination. If I have a problem with any of these presidential candidates it is a problem based on a clash of ideologies that leads me to believe that he or she may not be the best candidate for the job. Regardless of who is chosen, I would like to know that he or she will be the best candidate for all Americans and not just for one particular group. The United States will only be as great as the least of us. Whether or not the candidates have good judgment with this particular concept happens to be my greatest concern.