I’m not into politics much (a quick search of this site turns up one instance each of the words “Obama” and “McCain”, an entry last week mentioning political signs), but I guess an obligatory presidential entry is probably expected. So, here it is.
With as little as I know about politics, I have the distinct advantage of viewing each presidential election through the eyes of a complete idiot, or at least those of a naÃ¯ve child. That being said, once Obama received the Democratic nomination I had no doubt that he would win the election. In fact, the election’s results seemed pretty cut and dry to me a long time ago.
A couple of weeks ago, Larry King had Republican Ben Stein and Democrat Charles Barkley (of all people) on his program to discuss the then upcoming election. Ben Stein said that the Republicans had all but conceded the election at that point, and his logic was as follows: white people were expected to split their votes 60/40 between McCain and Obama, while black people were expected to vote 100/0 for Obama. Barkley agreed with Stein and said the biggest key to victory was simply getting black people out to vote.
Again, through my naÃ¯ve eyes, there was a little bit more to the election, but not much. McCain publicly said things multiple times that made the average person scratch their head. At one point he said he didn’t understand the Internet or use email. Another time he said he didn’t know how exactly how many houses he owned. And then there was the whole Palin thing. I honestly don’t know if Palin got a fair shake or not, and I don’t know her personally, but in the media she came off as an idiot. Let’s face it, McCain is no spring chicken, and I think the thought of putting Palin second-in-command next to a guy that is just a few years younger than Mason’s great grandmother (who uses the Internet and understands e-mail just fine) was a pretty scary thought for a lot of voters. On one hand you have a guy who’s afraid of the Internet and on the other you have a guy who advertised his campaign though virtual billboards in videogames (true story).
The other thing I think pushed people toward Obama was that he had a very simple platform and message, which was essentially, “things suck right now and a vote for me is a vote for change.” I’ll buy that — Obama will be this country’s fifth youngest president of all time (behind Roosevelt, Kennedy, Clinton and Grant) and based on his race and his campaign I think everyone can see change is in the air. Obama’s message destroyed McCain’s, which was … well, I’m not even sure what McCain’s message was. With gas approaching an average of $4/gallon and rampant home foreclosures, “status quo” was the wrong side of the argument to stand on. Whether all his policies exactly lined up with Dubya’s or not, there were enough similarities for voters to avoid voting for him.
A lot of people are talking about the racial boundaries that our country broke last night. I think I will wait four years before declaring that victory.