Obama wins

Obama won the election, just as many have predicted.
Mike, told you so. McCain made just too many mistakes and shot his own foot. The US media establishments were generally   supportive of Obama, and I believe this as a very important factor that is often ignored. In a way, it is a walkover victory for Obama.
Now that Obama is going to be President Obama  next year, can he change US for good. I really hope he can deliver what he promises, but  real change for the better US and World, is unlikely. Here’s what someone called Platypus in Asiawind forum says about this matter:
Obama will have the shortest honeymoon of all newly elected presidents.

The Democratic Party, now in firm control of both the executive office and congress, would likewise be treading on thin ice.

This victory is sweet, no doubt. But expectations are high, unrealistically high, which means that the chances of a letdown are greater than usual.

Obama promised change, but we all know that in the real world, real change–and real change for the better–just doesn’t happen very often.

May be Obama could really pull this off–that we’ll just have to wait and see, and I hope he succeeds. But if he doesn’t, we all know the hyeanas are circling, and waiting to move in for the kill. Not even three years’ time, and it will be presidential election season all over again……..

My friend Mike reasoned that the Whites in US will overwhelmingly votes for McCain, and thus there is strong possibility that MCCain could win.Thus he put a wager on McCain. Well, actually he is not wrong on this matter, but it’s just that US demographics has changed over the years. There are just more Hispanics, Asians and other colored people in US today compared to what was years ago. Here is what Platypus has to say: 
America really should be congratulated for electing Obama, no question about that.

But dig deeper into the election results and one sees a mixed picture as to whether the color barrier really has been broken.

You see, given the totally disastrous record of Republican administrations, and given the worst financial crisis in 70 years, and given the pathetic choice of Palin to take up a position that’s one step away from President, few people with good sense could have voted for McCain. No bloody way!

Yet white gave their vote to McCain by a big margin: 55% vs 43%.

If you think Obama won by a landslide (53% vs 47%), the the fact of the matter is that whites voted for McCain by an even bigger landslide!

Look at it another way, it means that whites who voted for McCain outnumbered whites who voted for Obama by 28%.

So, how the hack did Obama win? Well, Obama got 95% of the black votes, 66% of the Hispanic votes, and 62% of the Asian votes.

You see, the proper lesson of this election is not so much that race barrier has been broken. In truth the race barrier has weakened some but remains formidable.

The real lesson is that ultimately what matters in elections is demographics.

Given that 95% of US blacks voted for Obama, the question that might arise is that: Are black people racist ? Again, Platypus provides an incisive view on the issue:
Well, this is what I got to say about the fact that 95% of blacks went for Obama.

OK, truth be told, blacks have always voted for the Democratic Party overwhelmingly, so this 95% is not as big an anomaly as it may first appear. But still, 95% is significant and deserves some serious thinking.

Does race have something to do with it? Absolutely! Look, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say "This is an historic day because the US now has a black president", then say, "Race got nothing to do with it". If race got nothing to do with it, then why is it that the US has a black president news worthy?

You see, I think the way that western countries handle race issues got it all wrong. They think that if you’re race-conscious, you must be a racist. I think that’s the wrong way to look at the problem. Political correctness does not solve racial problems. It merely relabels things and hopes that the problem would disappear on its own.

I think many blacks were galvanized by this election because of a black face. You could say that makes them racist by definition. But I would disagree. I think that many blacks, and many minorities, and even some whites, are so happy to see a black candidate, because of what it represents. To many blacks, the fact that Obama serves as such a role model and inspiration for black people is reason enough to vote for him, especially because black faces are underrepresented among society’s "achievers" and all that.

So, yes I think that race has got a lot to do with the fact that virtually all blacks had cast their vote for a black candidate in this election. We’d be fooling ourselves if we think that they voted that way only because of Obama’s policy platforms and the promise of "change", but nothing to do with race. Race has a lot to do with it, but may be it’s just not in a bad way.

May be what we really need to do, is to throw political correctness out the window, and confront the race issue in an honest, unemotive, objective way. I think that’s how real progress with race relations could be made.


About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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