Monday, November 3, 2008

What If?

Election Day is tomorrow.

I've become a fanatic about watching CNN, checking out NPR's electoral map configurations, and even occasionally reading the one-sided networks of MSNBC and FoxNews just to see how each of them can twist a story to fit their narrow minds.

I've heard a lot about the fear of "The Bradley Effect" which, in a nutshell, says that white voters are too bigoted and prejudiced to elect a black person, but they are afraid to say that to someone, so they tell the pollsters that they will vote for him.

I don't worry about the Bradley Effect. Our nation has come a long way in the past 25 years and I think people don't see race as having nearly the stigma it used to. That, of course, is only true when comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges. If you have someone like Richard Pryor going against someone like John McCain...yeah, you'll notice the race issue. But Barack Obama is just like all of the other Harvard graduates.

So...assuming America is no longer the prejudiced society that wouldn't REALLY for a black man even though they said they would back in 1982, let's play a little game of "What If?"

What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage including a three-month-old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?

What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?

What if Barack Obama finished 5th from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain had only married once and Obama had been divorced?

What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident when she no longer measured up to his standards of beauty?

What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair with her while he was still married?

What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to painkillers but who stole them from her charitable organization?

What if Cindy McCain had graduated from Harvard?

What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five? (The Keating Five were five U.S. Senators accused of corruption in 1989 igniting a major political scandal as part of the Savings and Loan Crisis in the 1980s and 1990s.)

What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

What if Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter?

What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing seven planes?

What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly his serious anger management problem?

What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer distribution?

What if the Obamas had adopted a white child?

If these things had happened, would Obama be anywhere even near McCain's 44% in the polls? No. He wouldn't have even been nominated. He would have been "too black."

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes, and minimizes the positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.

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