Just for the sake of Contrast - A Primer on Racism

@lvaldean (1613)
United States
October 23, 2008 8:04am CST
I know some of you may have seen this but just for the sake of argument and contrast I think this is interesting and fun. Obama/Biden -v- McCain/Palin, what if things were switched around? Would the country's collective point of view be different? Consider the following:What if the Obama's 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 fifth from the bottom of his graduating class? What if John McCain had only married once, and Barack Obama was a divorcee? What if Barack Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfigurig car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards? What if Barack Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while he was still married? What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to painkillers but also accquired them illegally through her charitable organization? What if Cindy McCain graduated Harvard?What if Barack Obama had been a member of the Keating Five? (The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980's and early 1990's) What if John McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker? What if Barack Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter? What if Barack Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing planes? What if Barack Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem? What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer distribution? It would be easy to add to the list. If these questions reflected reality, does anyone believe the election numbers would be as close as they are? This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there are ethnic or color differences. Educational Background:Barack Obama: Columbia University, B.A. Political Science with specialization in International Relations. Harvard, Juris Doctor (JD) MagnaCumLaude Joseph Biden: University of Deleware, B.A. History and B.A. Political Science. Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (JD) John McCain: United States Naval Academy, Class Rank 894 of 899 Sarah Palin: Hawaii Pacific University 1 semester, North Idaho College 2 semesters, University of Idaho-2 semesters, Matanuska Susitna College 1 Semester, University of Idaho 3 semesters: BA Journalism (Roger Leisner, Radio Free Maine)
4 people like this
7 responses
• United States
23 Oct 08
I have given this very thing serious thought. If Barrack 0bama had John McCain's history, he would be elected President in a land slide, much the same way Colin Powell would have defeated Bill Clinton if he had accepted when influential Republicans tried to get him to run in the 1996 election. Yes, it is true. Colin Powell would have been the first black president except that his wife did not want him to run. If John McCain had 0bama's history he would be laughed at for trying to run. 0bama has not even served one term in the Senate. True, enough 0bama has a better educational background, he only lacks experience. Give 0bama McCain's experience and no one could beat him. One thing I've learned is that creditials don't matter much, experience counts for everything. As to one's personal life, certainly 0bama has the better upstanding personal life. However, isn't one of the legacies of the Bill Clinton presidency that this does not matter? Not that I agree with this. I think one's personal life should count, a lot. However, as a practical matter one's personal life does not count for as much as it use to. It's a mistake but that's the way it is.
2 people like this
• United States
23 Oct 08
Sorry, the above is only an indirect answer to your question. Let me be direct. No, it would not cause me to vote any differently or view the candidates differently. Race is not the issue for me. If Thomas Sowell would run, I would vote for him. If Clarence Thomas would run, I would vote for him. If Colin Powell would have run in 1996, I would have voted for him then, but not now. Colin Powell is not as conservative as he use to be. Remember, he spoke out in favor of the Iraq War way back before it started? A black conservative with more experience than 0bama would win in a landslide. No one could defeat a black conservative whether he ran as a democrat or a republican.
2 people like this
• United States
23 Oct 08
"creditials don't matter much, experience counts for everything" George W. Bush had more "executive experience" than McCain and Obama put together when he entered office. So much for that logic.
4 people like this
• United States
23 Oct 08
ClarusVisum, Once again you have failed to preceive correctly what was said. Do you just need to be confrontational? I'll try to explain it in another way. The phrase "experience is everything" does not mean or even imply that any experience should out weigh other experience merely on the basis of length of time or amount of experience alone. The phrase "experience is everything" means this is a valid pararmeter by which to make a judgement. The quality of experence has to be judged, too. Take the example of George W. Bush. As you mentioned, there was plenty of experince there. Just because he had experience does not mean much, but what that experience was and how George W. Bush performed did count for a lot and provided a very good yardstick the voters could have used, but apparently did not in your judgement. The experience of George W. Bush was a much better standard by which to judge him compared to his creditials. Bush's creditials are excellant. How well did that predict what kind of President he would be? As I said, "exerience is everything" Creditials really don't count for much.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
23 Oct 08
I think you are making an impossible switch here. Many of McCain's accomplishments and life experiences happened while Obama was a child so you'd also have to switch their ages. Since you seem to be basing your argument on race, I'd say that if a black man with McCain's experience both politically and militarily ever ran, it would be a landslide of enormous proportions. If a white man were to run with Obama's credentials, and several have, he wouldn't make it past the primaries and would have little to no media coverage. As a prime example, Joe Biden was superior to Obama in every respect with both education and experience and yet most Americans didn't even know who he was until he was chosen as a running mate.
1 person likes this
@lvaldean (1613)
• United States
23 Oct 08
Biden, while I like him, was not in truth "superior" in every respect to Obama. Read the list of comparisons especially education. The superior performer is Obama against all of the others. It is not an impossible comparison. It is a fair comparison. If you simply change the color of their skins; nothing more and nothing less.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
23 Oct 08
"Biden, while I like him, was not in truth "superior" in every respect to Obama. Read the list of comparisons especially education. The superior performer is Obama against all of the others." Obama and Biden both have J.D. degrees. I'm sure you'll say Obama's education is superior as he went to Harvard, but I'm focusing on the degrees. To get a law degree you must pass the bar. Once you pass the bar you are a lawyer regardless of what school you attended. I think way too much stock is put in the school a person attends when any accredited school has to meet very clear standards. "If you simply change the color of their skins; nothing more and nothing less." If that's all you wanted then you should have said so. Instead you wrote a long post where you highlighted the good points of the democrats while stressing the negatives about the republican candidates. Had you simply asked for a reversal of race on the two candidates your post would have been less biased and easier to get the answers you requested albeit not necessarily the answers you wanted.
1 person likes this
@lvaldean (1613)
• United States
23 Oct 08
Lets see Joe and Barak both have JD's but Barak graduated MagnaCumLaude and was the former president of the Harvard Law Review. Yep, this would make him the superior. Not because of the school he attended but because of his standing in the class when he graduated. This is the measure. The fact that if a black man or woman paraded 5 kids across the stage, one of whom was a unwed pregnant teenager they would not be lauded as a "every person" is lost on you? Sarah Falin Palin did this and yet the Republicans would have us swallow that this thief who spends Alaskans tax dollars to buy clothing and ferry her family about is running on the 'honest' ticket is "just like all of us" is part of her appeal. Please spare me. She isn't like me or anyone else I know. My children didn't have children out of wedlock. I didn't have 5 kids for that matter, primarily because I couldn't afford to do so. I don't have access to the state funds to buy clothing or take my family of 6 on business trips, so when I travel they stayed home. This is not a woman "just like me". Are you saying she is just like you? That is said! The point is though that had she been black, her reception by the American public would have been far different; or do you believe this is not the case? Do you claim that if Obama had divorced his disabled wife to marry a heiress after a long affair this bit of news would have been swept under the rug? Or that a simple, "oh sh!t my bad" on the Keating Five would have been accepted if McCain was black rather than white? I think if McCain was black he would have served time. You see I think it is more than simple perception. I think it is the fact that what we will accept from a White man we will not accept from a Black man. What we will accept, even wink and laugh at in a White woman, we will condemn in a woman of color. As a country we truly didn't condemn Clinton, either one of them for their lack of moral character, for their lack of standards, for their lack of fiber; we winked at his skirt chasing and shook our heads at their money shenanigans. Proves my point really.
2 people like this
@ZephyrSun (7387)
• United States
23 Oct 08
In this "what if" situation are we flipping their political views?
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Oct 08
I don't believe the OP intends that.
2 people like this
@ZephyrSun (7387)
• United States
23 Oct 08
ok well on that case it's a little hard to decide. I really want a small president but I also want one that shares my political views. Now really is that so much to ask for? lol
1 person likes this
@lvaldean (1613)
• United States
23 Oct 08
The "what if" scenario is in how you would view the individuals in question. Because the character of the individuals is so much a part of their qualification and the standard by which we judge their viability to represent this country the question is if their character and accomplishments, or lack thereof, were reversed would you view them differently. Their political views are not reversed in this scenario.
2 people like this
@ganderlot (352)
• United States
23 Oct 08
I enjoyed your contrast and I think it would make a difference. I think racism would come into play a lot more if things were switched around.
@lvaldean (1613)
• United States
23 Oct 08
I do as well. I think race continues to play a huge role in national politics. I believe that it will play a role at the polls. I truly believe that people who "say" that it doesn't matter to them that Obama is black will still not be able to bring themselves to vote for a Black man for President when they actually get into the voting both. Shame on all of us for caring about the color of a mans skin.
2 people like this
@SketcherD (1114)
• Canada
27 Oct 08
WOW those are some pretty scary points. I am a Canadian so therefore I watch your elections very closely because of course the US effects us so much in our day to day lives up here. I wonder do Americans watch our politics as closely? Do they realize that Canada just had a big federal election a couple of weeks ago? Do they know that the reason we had an election was because the Progressive Conservatives were in a minority government and had to fight for everything they wanted so much that the called an election to get a majority government? So several million dollars later of tax payers money to have this country wide election we are in a MINORITY government again with the Progressive Conservatives still in power but just with a few more seats. Whoppee!!! That really helped us out guys, thanks a lot!! This is exactly what we needed to spend our money on right now! Not health care like my mother waiting to just get an appointment to see the knee specialist for 5 months when she has no cartilige left in her knee and only has bone on bone left now. No we don't need to help in that realm of the Canadian people's lives!
• United States
27 Oct 08
If Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John McCain and Sarah Palin were to apply for the same job anywhere in the world, just one look at their resumes would immediately show who is best qualified for the job. But for some reason, all of Barack Obama's and Joe Biden's qualifications and acheivements are dismissed by those on the right in favor of 2 less qualified applicants. Could you just imagine the outcry from the right if things were reversed and Barack Obama had treated Michelle the way John McCain treated his first wife. It's just puzzling how John McCain gets a free pass from the Religious Right after his dismal marital behavior. Who knows the reason that things are the way they are. I have a few ideals, but I'll keep them to myself at this time. Lloyd
• United States
23 Oct 08
everybody deserves there say