Opinion Polls & Market Research
Before I voted I tried to guess the GNXP numbers. Obama and Romney did better than I expected, McCain did worse, and Hillary, Huckabee, and Paul did about what I expected. My guess is that n is about 40-41 at the moment, with one Huckabee vote = 2.4%.
I said “Ron Paul” for fun, but if it was a close race between madman McCain and Romney, I would unquestionably vote for Romney. So the answer is, “It depends”.
I’d like it if Ron Paul was electable, but since we aren’t allowed rank order voting, pragmatics dictate Romney (who I actually like, it’s rare with politicians to not feel like I’m picking between the lesser of two evils)
I expected Obama and Romney to lead your poll, because I know that the this site is full of white male lurkers and there is a bigger chance of white males to be republican and are afraid of Hillary. I was watching Jon Stewarts show and someone asked – He doesnt understand that why white males are simply afraid of a white female like Hillary. LOL. I noticed early that the Republican media were rooting for Obama because its easier to beat Obama. If Obama wins nomination, just bring up the Hussein middle name and there goes Obama. And frankly, without being PC, I still think that majority of US voters are white christians who wont really go with a half black president with a black wife. Dont even fool yourself that those voting group will change, racism is part of America, even if you pretend its not. You are still in Kansas, Dorothy.
You are still in Kansas, Dorothy. Elmore you do know that Obama’s White mother was from Kansas. Do you think the reason for black male rejection of Hillary was due to their black racism or their male sexist fear of Hillary as a (White) woman? Or both?
There is black male rejection of Hillary? Its one thing to vote for someone like your kind. BUT to vote for someone you know you dont like just to beat another person you dont like either but have a chance of winning over someone you like is twisted. I didnt say theres no racism in black America, reread my post. A friend of mine stated that when got to this country from Norway, he didnt know what racism is. Yeah, he said, he laughs at culture thats unknown and funny to him but to find a group or structure that automatically excludes everyone that is not the same color is just weird. Ask any newcomer. You learn from the “folks” what racism is all about. So if youre born here and are exposed to racism, you have to act accordingly. And Im stating it as is, without being PC. Thats why, just to vote for Obama for trickery is just twisted. I dont know if Razib will delete this but I would expect that most readers here shouldnt be PC.
Voted for Ron Paul, obviously. I also took the liberty of trying to summon the Ron Paul horde. We will see if the numbers change.
I noticed it already, Bb. I predicted Hillary and Huckabee almost exactly, and Obama and Paul are now about right. But McCain is far below my guess, though that really shouldn’t surprise me.
For whatever reason McCain has never had much of an online fanbase. Paul, Huckabee, and Thompson (on the R side) all have (or had, in Fred’s case) a significant number of online activists. Not so McCain. Huckabee’s number could easily be driven higher by posting a link in his online forums, but his current number probably reflects his support among the regular readership of GNXP pretty well.
I noticed early that the Republican media were rooting for Obama because its easier to beat Obama. If Obama wins nomination, just bring up the Hussein middle name and there goes Obama. And frankly, without being PC, I still think that majority of US voters are white christians who wont really go with a half black president with a black wife. i know political “arguments” are like farting matches, where your own gas-shit smells like flowers, but i can’t resist. i’ve seen many democrats who say this who support hillary, but how do you explain obama’s success is very red white states like utah (see poll)? is it a machiavellian play by prejudiced voters in the primaries to get their non-preferred candidate on the ticket so they can vote for other parties? it seems from where i stand clinton does well in traditional dem strongholds where her institutional and establishment backing has a strong impact, while areas where they’re weak and independents are stronger obama can bring to the fore his natural political talents on a level playing field. also, do clinton supporters just not know any republicans well enough so that they can get the “inside dirt” on tape of this master plan to nominate obama?
There is black male rejection of Hillary? Yes Elmore it’s close to a 100% rejection with a black male candidate to vote for. Are you just playing dumb on this. The rest of your post sounds like self righteously smug gibberish to me. Tribalism and ethnic chauvinism (racism) are pretty universal in human politics. Check out Obama’s father’s homeland of Kenya for a refresher course. The one exception of course is the Whiter than White world of Scandinavia where I’m sure it is a strange creature. If it does exist there at all no doubt it is an American import. Although from what I know there is an interesting bit of “racism” between Finns and Swedes despite their similarities.
If I can be forgiven an OT, Hrundi, I love your handle. “The Party” was a hoot. I loved the scene where “Hrundi”/Sellers put his foot on the detonator to tie his shoe. One of my all time favorites.
BTW, I’ll vote for Romney, but I have no great passion for him, just the least negatives. He seems to have changed his rhetoric/positions to suit the political needs. I’d rather have a cynical pol than an idealistic one, they do less damage.
its easier to beat Obama lol, I didn’t even notice this until razib responded. Yes, you should lay off the Clinton koolaid a little. Have you seen the fundraising and crowds Obama draws? Obama versus just about anybody in the general election will be a prohibitive favorite. Clinton still has a chance to beat him in the primary for various reasons (hispanics leaning away from Obama, entrenched establishment figures, old ladies who’d like to see a woman president…), but I really don’t think anyone has much of a chance in the general. And yes, I’ve seen the polls that show McCain beating Obama. But when you see Obama pulling crowds twenty and thirty times the size of those McCain does, you realize that those polls aren’t capturing everything.
I’m an Obama supporter. I don’t agree with all of his positions, but he comes closer than any of the others.
I prefer Obama to Hillary on the issues (most importantly, the War), and I know a lot of whites who are voting for Obama, not as a ploy, but because they really like the guy and his views. Personally, I actually prefer Hillary as a person to Obama (this seems not to be a common perspective): I would enjoy having dinner with her Â– if she were not running for office, trying to raise money, etc. Since IÂ’m registered Republican, I have already voted (absentee ballot) for Ron Paul who seems to me the only candidate still in the race trying to address the countryÂ’s systemic problems both in foreign policy and domestically. If McCain is the GOP nominee, I will go third-party; I will reluctantly consider Romney if he is the GOP nominee. Incidentally, I have yet to talk to a Republican friend or family member who is certain they will vote for McCain in the general election. This is bad news for the GOP if McCain is their nominee: I think Hillary will blow him away. Once he loses his temper and lashes out at her as a woman, sheÂ’ll mop the floor with him. Romney might have a shot by claiming to be the rational, intelligent business manager My prediction: Romney squeaks out the nomination, and then squeaks by over Hillary in the general. Of course, my political predictions are almost always wrong Â– maybe the gods will smile upon us and Ron Paul will be the GOP nominee out of a brokered convention! Â“The Lord God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of AmericaÂ” (attributed to Bismarck). Dave
I’m still supporting Ron Paul. He is the only one offering change, he is the only one who can energize me and give me hope. The rest are just status quo and boring.
West Virginia’s primary is later in the game so I didn’t participate in the poll. I will say that while I usually vote libertarian, the more I’ve read of Steve Sailer’s running commentary on Obama, the more interesting and essentially decent he comes off. Two qualified cheers if he pulls it off.
Err, Sailer’s commentary has mostly described Obama’s dabbling in black nationalism.
Obama has the best chance of beating a Republican: 1) Hillary is divisive even in her own party. Significant party members hate her and have come out for Obama, not because they love Obama but because they hate the Clinton’s hold on the Democratic party. A significant number of democratic males (of every race) hate Hillary as well and polling data on CNN from the previous primary and caucuses shows that. 2) Obama has shown (as mentioned above) in exit polling data that he can capture moderate Republican and independence. Hillary can not. So if Obama is the nominee against someone like McCain or Romney he can get all of Hillary’s votes in the Democratic party and more. 3)The Clintons will causes the Republican base, which is currently fractured to rally together. Anyone who has listened to talk radio in a red state knows that mentioning Bill and Hillary Clinton is like talking about the anti-Christ. 4) If elected the congress would be so polarized nothing will get done, like now, but likely worse, maybe like it was under Clinton when Newt was the Speaker of the House. I suspect that 2 years after the election in Nov, Republicans will regroup and return to congress, and the deadlock will begin. 5) The Clintons have too much baggage. Republicans will go from White Water, through Bill’s women and rape allegations, all the way to his current controversial deal with Kazakhstan 24/7 until Nov. 7, 2008. Why I don’t like Clinton is not due to the fact don’t like women. Hillary says she is a feminist, but she has never shown the ability to achieve greatness on her own merit. Hillary comes from a long tradition of women who gained power by who they were married to and or born to. These women include Benazir Bhutto, Megawati Sukarno, Indira Gandhi, Cristina FernÃ¡ndez de Kirchner, and all the way back to Cleopatria and before. These women road the coattails of men. They came from political dynasty. In this way, to me, Hillary Clinton is not even 1/4 the woman that Nancy Pelosi (House Speaker) is. She came up hard in the House, stood on her own feet as a woman. Hillary has never done that, even now her husband serves as her Â“championÂ” in attacks, on her behalf as if we were in the Romance Period of Europe. Dynasty, Nepotism, and Aristocracy are not the American promise. The American promise is meritocracy, something embodied in Barack Obama; not Billary. X) In any case Romney is finished and Mr. Flip Flop could never win a national election, he is spending his own money now and not getting a good return on investment. The best hope the Republicans have is McCain, if he can control his temper.
I agree that Obama is probably more electable than Hillary – not only is he less divisive and more likeable, it’s much harder to argue against populism and generalities than hard issues, even though Clinton is a bit more moderate. I don’t know about the Republican side, though. McCain has the benefit of attracting independents, but with all the antipathy from the conservative base, he may not be able to get the turnout that the more ideological “pure” Romney can.
I don’t know about the Republican side, though. McCain has the benefit of attracting independents, but with all the antipathy from the conservative base, he may not be able to get the turnout that the more ideological “pure” Romney can. nominate hillary and mccain will have enthusiastic supporters 😉
OK, so non-Americans shouldn’t meddle, but we still want to know the proportions here! Show us or I’ll vote for Hillary!
5.5 hill 37.4 ron 26.0 barack 6.7 john 23.6 mitt 0.8 huck N = 254
Razib, You wrote: >nominate hillary and mccain will have enthusiastic supporters 😉 Some, but IÂ’m not sure how many. IÂ’ve been talking about McCain for quite some time with acquaintances who are hard-core right-wingers, moderate Republicans, libertarian Republicans, etc. All of them distrust him a great deal, for somewhat different reasons. Most will end up voting for him (I wonÂ’t, but then IÂ’m a highly disloyal, sometime Republican), but, with the disaster of this Administration, the slumping economy, etc. McCain needs real enthusiasm, not just grudging acceptance, from the GOP base. I donÂ’t see any such enthusiasm. Of course, he will get the votes of every single American who agrees with him that itÂ’s fine to be in Iraq for another hundred years: but thatÂ’s, what, about 5 % ? longma, Most of what you say about Hillary is certainly true, but the lady is intelligent and competent in a policy wonk sort of way. Whether she is competent in terms of making deals, leading a coalition, etc., well, she actually may be a bit too much like some of us. No one ever called Hillary a Â“people person,Â” did they? As for Barack, he is very young and inexperienced: that will give people who are a bit unsure about voting for a black a good excuse to reject him without feeling racist. Yes, Â“FlipÂ” Romney has been, shall we say, flexible on the issues. But the hard-core Right (Coulter, Limbaugh, et al.) are with him in an anybody-but-McCain mode. The Right will support him enthusiastically over Hillary. Athelas, Romney is not ideologically Â“pureÂ” at all Â– heÂ’s a moderate Republican. He just looks conservative compared to McCain. Despite being a bit of a libertarian anarchist myself, I really love elections! What good are politicians if they donÂ’t at least provide some entertainment? Dave
I have to go with Paul, just on principle. Obama is my second choice for Prez anyway, just because I doubt he has the experience or connections to do much serious damage in DC. What’s the worst that can happen there? McCain strikes me as being even more Bush than Bush… and I didn’t much enjoy either of my first two helpings there. What in the world were Florida Pubs thinking? eek!
Obama is my second choice for Prez anyway, just because I doubt he has the experience or connections to do much serious damage in DC. What’s the worst that can happen there? Think Marion Barry, Coleman Young, David Dinkins, Ray Nagin, Wilson Goode… What happens when you have Rampart on the scale of the Department of Justice? When Obama’s entourage has positions in the highest echelons of the federal government, when they cannot be criticized for fear of “racism”? Think about Rod Paige as Sec Def…if you’ve thought our public bureaucracy hit a low during the Bush administration, just wait till you see the most diverse administration ever. If Obama wins, we are utterly screwed. People don’t get that an election is not an election of one man — it’s an election of his entourage. Analogy: Obama, like Thabo Mbeki, is respectable enough on the surface. But he brings along many who are the American analog of Jacob Zuma, tribal to the core.
Dinkins, Nagin, Goode, and Barry got their undergraduate degrees from historically black-only colleges. Obama’s Columbia/Harvard academic background is head and shoulders above theirs. Obviously that’s only one piece of the puzzle, but I’m not inclined to lump Obama with those other guys, at least intellectually.
Phys-Dave: “Most of what you say about Hillary is certainly true, but the lady is intelligent and competent in a policy wonk sort of way. Whether she is competent in terms of making deals, leading a coalition, etc., well, she actually may be a bit too much like some of us. No one ever called Hillary a Â“people person,Â” did they?” Chief bureaucrat, we are talking about Â“a leaderÂ” if you wanted a Policy Wonk, then Richardson far out does Hillary all day every day. Obviously people were not interested in that. They want someone who can lead and inspire. Leadership is not about being the most technically inclined, if it was the smartest guys in the room (not Hillary, McCain, or Obama) would be running for president. To be a leader you have to be smarter than most people but not the more intelligent or the most technical. One of the most technical presidents we have had in my lifetime was Carter and look how he turned out. Yes you need to be a people person to be president.
Everyone who’s opinion I respect votes Ron Paul or prefers him. Everyone. Those who disliked him, I’ve disliked a long time myself. They usually prefer Giuliani, McCain, Hillary and Obama. Precisely the people who would completely ruin the US if given the chance. Romney may be the least of all these evils, but he’s got no chance in hell — never did, never will. It’s truly mind-boggling that after 20 years of Bushes and Clintons Americans seem to rally behind a new Clinton and the outbushing-Bush, invade/invite-the-world-McCainiac. Either way, the US is f…ed
“It’s truly mind-boggling that after 20 years of Bushes and Clintons Americans seem to rally behind a new Clinton and the outbushing-Bush, invade/invite-the-world-McCainiac.” I agree with this. Sometimes I wonder how democracy works at all when the average voter is so eager to vote in a political dynasty and also seems so uninformed.
If Obama wins, we are utterly screwed. People don’t get that an election is not an election of one man — it’s an election of his entourage. Analogy: Obama, like Thabo Mbeki, is respectable enough on the surface. But he brings along many who are the American analog of Jacob Zuma, tribal to the core. who is in his entourage? is there something you know that we don’t? steve’s articles make it clear that obama’s “quest for identity” was spurred by his lack of authentic cultural “blackness.” so has he surrounded himself with followers who augment that tendency? or has he surrounded himself with technocrats? i don’t follow politics well enough to know. e.g., you know something about austin goolsbee that we don’t know???
It is true, though, that looking at the issues, Obama is even more liberal than Clinton. It’s hard to tell amidst all the “hope” rhetoric, but it’s there.
Razib: Obama’s entourage are mainstream and liberal dems…nothing new. He has luke warm to no support among older civil rights era blacks although the black community supports him pretty strongly, especially after the racial divisiveness the Clintons tried to pull in South Carolina (which also caused a lot of liberal whites to distance themselves from the Clintons). I don’t fear Obama’s “people” anymore than Hillary, especially with all the scandals that Bill Clinton has been invovled in. The Clintons are typically left of center, barely. Obama is quite a bit more liberal but for some reason independents and centrist are rallying around him. It is odd.
there are too many results on google for obama. anyone have a link to his policy team?
I can’t quite get what makes people root for Obama. For what I’ve read about him, he has an identity problem – not being black enough, not accepting that he’s half white…is that really good thing for the aspiring leader of the nation when he’s not at peace with his heritage and himself?
Obama is quite a bit more liberal It’s not clear. He has a more liberal voting record, but the platform he’s running on is less liberal on a few points than Clinton’s. But then, I would have to say that the policy differences on the Dem side are really very small (even more so since Edwards dropped); both of them are selling other qualities, not really trying much to differentiate themselves ideologically from each other. for some reason independents and centrist are rallying around him He’s able to articulate the positions of his opponents (or let’s say: people who should be his opponents…) in ways they agree with. See for example gun control issues. He also spends a lot of effort portraying himself as a unifier, whereas part of Clinton’s appeal to the Dem base is the belief (right or wrong) that she would wreak awesome partisan vengeance on their Republican foes. I think this perception extends beyond the Democratic base.
EW: ” he has an identity problem ” That’s because your reading Sailer and other such folks. I would advise reading Obama’s books instead. Obama was writing about his teenage years and his early adulthood. The man is now 46 years old. That was over 2 degades ago. Kind of like saying Hillary is against civil rights because she was a Goldwater Girl. I know GC did not write the above so it is a troll. bbartlog: Good points. razib: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2007/01/the_obama_inner_circle.html This might help.
“On the Senate floor yesterday, Obama condemned the one feature of the proposed immigration bill that actually makes sense: de-emphasizing family ties and using a point system based on skills in selecting who gets to immigrate.” http://lyingeyes.blogspot.com/2007/05/barack-obama-sucks.html Here is Ziel’s source document: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/24/washington/24immig.html?_r=2&ref=us&oref=slogin&oref=slogin
LongMa wrote to me: > if you wanted a Policy Wonk, then Richardson far out does Hillary all day every day. Yeah, and I preferred Richardson (and Kucinich and Gravel) to Hillary, but they are now all gone, alas. For that matter, as IÂ’ve said, I prefer Barack to Hillary, IÂ’ve already voted for Ron Paul, and IÂ’d probably prefer Romney over Hillary (if itÂ’s McCain, I go third-party). IÂ’m no admirer of the Clintons. But I just donÂ’t buy the story that she is the devil incarnate. As Prez, she would be a slightly left-of-center moderate like her husband Â– no doubt scheming and manipulative, and surely less politically skilled than Slick Willie. Would she be worse than Dubya? Hard to imagine (and I voted for Dubya in 2000). Dave
well, thinking about the obama leading to zuma analogy, i realize some issues 1) south africa is mostly black 2) the united states is not 3) the ANC is a “catchall” party and zuma has a separate and distinct base different from mbeki, the latter did not pave the way for the former, they’re from different branches of the ANC (which should be 2-3 parties if it weren’t for the coalescence around the anti-apartheid struggle). i don’t think the ANC is a good analogy to the democratic party; the black nationalist wing is a bit marginalized in the latter, while arguably in the ANC it has a demographic advantage and is ascendant. 4) the black politicians alluded to above were elected as black politicians, so to speak. even dinkins had a large base of blacks to work with in NYC (around 1/3 of the electorate), larger than obama will. 5) nagin is an interesting point, he’s really a technocrat originally. his problem isn’t that he’s incompetent, it’s that he’s inheriting an incompetent bureaucracy and corruption is basically part of new orleans culture. black technocrats occasionally show up in the wake of black kleptocrats in black cities, but they serve only as corrections. they can’t change the basic lack of endogenous capital. placing the emphasis on the politician is putting the cart before the horse; the politicians usually are tokens or indicators of broad structural & socioeconomic changes. 6) i think a better analogy for obama would probably be ron sims. to my knowledge sims position as an executed has not resulted in a spate of al sharptons in washington state because of certain obvious structural features of washington state demographics. unless obama is more capable of magical negritude than anything we expect i doubt he’ll turn america into a majority black nation which can usher in the emergence of a more explicit black nationalist in his wake. IOW, the expectation of (politician | black) needs to be modified by (black politician | elected by non-blacks). gary franks, edward brooke, ron wilder, are the others i can think of. they’re a little different than marion barry types obviously.
who is in his entourage? Jeremiah Wright, for one… For others, see Tribune article on this very topic: http://www.memos2mom.com/2008/02/who-is-in-obamas-entourage.html First one does not look promising. Cassandra Butts http://www.americanprogress.org/experts/ButtsCassandra.html Prior to her service at CAP, Butts was an Assistant Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, where she worked on civil rights policy and litigated voting rights and school desegregation cases. She also served as Legislative Counsel to Sen. Harris L. Wofford (D-PA). Butts also served as an international election observer to the Zimbabwe parliamentary elections in 2000. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jeremiah Wright, for one… LOL. seriously? you think wright is going to show up and make a speech at his inauguration? be his maya anagelou so to speak. or is he going to become a major democratic player now? i really doubt it. obama is sui generis as a “black” politician. as for butts, it isn’t like we won’t see the same with hillary. and it isn’t like the EEOC has been purged of all its diversicrats during the bush years (or the federal government as a whole). same old, same old. the fact that only around 15% of the electorate is black means that as national figures go he won’t be paving the way for more “authentic” black politicians. barry goldwater always said that the first jewish nominee for president would be an episcopalian (himself that is); so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the first black nominee had a white kansan mother and grew up with a eurasian half-sister and has had to be bizarrely proactive to “claim” his black identity.
The current print edition of the New Yorker covers the next Obama, Newark’s Cory Booker (article only available in abstract). As a daily commuter to Newark, I can attest to Booker’s ‘audacity’ in taking on the challenge of Mayor of this troubled city – it’s hopeless, in my opinion. He grew up in one of the more idyllic places on earth – northern Bergen County, New Jersey, then moved to Newark to begin his political career, apparently to establish his ‘street cred’, similar to Obama (though Booker seems less introspective, more the “All-American” type, and more moderate politically, and so perhaps even more electable). Blacks are more charismatic than whites (that’s not controversial, is it?), so I imagine there’s a lot more Obama/Bookers out there ready to jump into the fray, becoming a potentially dominant force in the future of the Democratic party.
i doubt he’ll turn america into a majority black nation which can usher in the emergence of a more explicit black nationalist in his wake. But under Obama America will likely become majority non-white as mass unskilled immigration (legal and illegal) will accelerate to heretofore unseen levels. Whether that leads to the election of a black nationalist isn’t really the point I was making — the point is that the civilized Mbeki is the point of the spear that lets in the uncivilized Zuma or Mugabe or what have you. Obama, like Sidney Poitier or Jackie Robinson, is the exceptional pioneer, well above the white average in behavior and ability…which paves the way for the bulk of the distribution to follow as the psychological guards are now down, with the same predictable consequences observed everywhere else. the ANC is a “catchall” party and zuma has a separate and distinct base different from mbeki, the latter did not pave the way for the former, they’re from different branches of the ANC I don’t believe that’s looking at the issue from the right level of granularity. FW de Klerk led to Mandela, who led to Mbeki, who led to Zuma. Mandela gave lip service to whites, Mbeki gave lip service to Mugabe, and Zuma gives lip service to his machine gun. A clear example of the slippery slope in action. Civilization survives when the slippery slope is halted (as in NYC under Giuliani) and perishes (as in Detroit or Zimbabwe) when it is not. I know it’s regrettably crude, but you know what they say — once you go black, you never go back. And thought it’s probably already too late, under Obama the USA will irrevocably become 50% nonwhite and will therefore (yes, it is a causal link) begin to recede as a world power. For the actual mechanism, one need look no further than the subprime crisis, just one example of our looming idiocracy. Anyway. These are just truths. Who can deny that the media will push Obama to be the blackest president ever, to appoint America’s most diverse cabinet, to bring “change”? And what happens when the most powerful man in the world can play the race card? “When Victims Rule”…not just the mass media, but the White House as well? The outcome will be as retrospectively obvious as the jihad against our troops in Iraq.
“But when you see Obama pulling crowds twenty and thirty times the size of those McCain does, you realize that those polls aren’t capturing everything.” Weren’t these same super-enthusiastic, left-leaning, young, idealist egalitarian types supposed to deliver John Kerry? Most people who work for a living don’t have the time to show their “passion” at political rallies but their votes count on election day.
C’mon, this was an easy prediction. Y’could have just filled in what your readership would say without even bothering to ask them. The pseudo-intellectual crowd went for Paul, the Conservative hard-hearters went for Romney and everyone’s proud of themselves for dumping on Hillary and Huckabee. The McCain voters are probably normal human beings and – considering this venue – the Obama voters are probably admirably interesting folk (though I personally held my nose and voted Hillary). mnuez http://www.mnuez.blogspot.com
But under Obama America will likely become majority non-white as mass unskilled immigration (legal and illegal) will accelerate to heretofore unseen levels. Whether that leads to the election of a black nationalist isn’t really the point I was making — the point is that the civilized Mbeki is the point of the spear that lets in the uncivilized Zuma or Mugabe or what have you. well, obama’s blackness is irrelevant to the point you were making. hillary and mccain will do the exact same things. we saw how successful anti-immigration stances were in generating votes this go-around were. substituting obama for hillary or mccain wouldn’t matter (romney might be different, though i would bet he would be more “moderate” than his current rhetoric implies). Obama, like Sidney Poitier or Jackie Robinson, is the exceptional pioneer, well above the white average in behavior and ability…which paves the way for the bulk of the distribution to follow as the psychological guards are now down, with the same predictable consequences observed everywhere else. no, not really. like i said, it isn’t the top that matters, it’s the bottom. like you said, immigration and demographic changes are the primary issues. the politicians reflect the polity, the politician can’t transform a whole society into a kleptocracy. obama is acceptable to the electorate because he isn’t stereotypically black. obama as a competent doesn’t change the fact that al sharpton will remain beyond the pale. the point you’re making about obama is a tiny effect next to the major long-term dynamics you’re alluding to, and i doubt they will make a big difference either way. I don’t believe that’s looking at the issue from the right level of granularity. FW de Klerk led to Mandela, who led to Mbeki, who led to Zuma. Mandela gave lip service to whites, Mbeki gave lip service to Mugabe, and Zuma gives lip service to his machine gun. A clear example of the slippery slope in action. Civilization survives when the slippery slope is halted (as in NYC under Giuliani) and perishes (as in Detroit or Zimbabwe) when it is not. I know it’s regrettably crude, but you know what they say — once you go black, you never go back. blacks aren’t the only issue in america. you’re confounding a bunch of things together. the number of blacks is increasing very slowly, the key problem is latinos, who in california are less pro-obama than whites according to the polls. an america in 2050, assuming current trends, will be 60% white & asian. that’s a bit different from a south africa which was 80% non-white to start with (blacker than washington d.c., as black as detroit), and is now 90% non-white. gee, i wonder why technocratic liberals like mbeki have weak prospects in south africa into the future…. Anyway. These are just truths. Who can deny that the media will push Obama to be the blackest president ever, to appoint America’s most diverse cabinet, to bring “change”? i’m not sure about this. i can be a bit skeptical. being a black president might force obama to be extra careful about who he appoints because of the perception that he’s a race man. i doubt obama’s cabinet will be more diverse than hillary’s. obviously the macrodynamics you allude to exist. i just don’t see barack obama making a big difference either way. and the analogy to south africa is obviously weak for the demographic reasons cited above (in 2050 the USA will probably more like brazil *sigh*).
Blacks are more charismatic than whites (that’s not controversial, is it?), so I imagine there’s a lot more Obama/Bookers out there ready to jump into the fray, becoming a potentially dominant force in the future of the Democratic party. black technorats like booker don’t make it out of their political ghetto though. like i said, they’re just part of the ‘political cycle’ of majority black cities which aren’t working. since booker will probably ‘fail’ i doubt he’ll be able to bank on expanding out of the ghetto. someone like obama, a legislator, is a better bet because he doesn’t have to actually do anything directly with the local institutions which are probably unfixable. instead, you throw money at the problem and others have to implement the ‘solutions,’ but there is a possibility that you can move on to a broader electorate like obama did. ron sims in seattle was plausible as a senate candidate because he isn’t a black politician as such, he administers a mostly white and asian region of the country. but the same principle of minorities elected by majority seems to apply asian americans too; the chinese american governor of washington was mooted as a VP candidate in the early 2000s, but no one every talks about the hawaiian asian americans the same way because their vote banks are ethnic and they aren’t plausible on the mainland, but they’ve been around for decades (analogy to gary locke: bobby jindal).
being a black president might force obama to be extra careful about who he appoints because of the perception that he’s a race man. I’d be very surprised if this weren’t the way it played out. And while Sailer’s occasionally petty commentary on Obama has been justifiably tailored to counter the negligent incuriosity of a predictably lazy punditocracy, the effect, for me anyway, has been to humanize the man in a way that the campaign narrative has not. Every black or mixed-race intellectual I’ve ever known has struggled with questions of racial identity, and Obama’s pronouncements on matters of “race and inheritance,” even when amplified by Sailer, reveal something of a genuine conflict and maturation – signs of decency, and growth. But then I always had soft spot for Sam Francis, so what do I know? I’m voting for Paul when the time comes. For the hell of it.
ok, i was curious. neither carl mccall or doug wilder were black city technocrats. mccall was appointed to a state wide position and wilder won a special election to the virgina senate. ed brooke, black senator from massachusetts in the late 60s and 70s first office as attorney general for the state. for white politicians it is conventional wisdom that the executive positions are the best launching pads to higher office; they can take the credit for all these achievements and have a record of governing. i think you will know what my argument for why with blacks those from non-executive positions probably have a better shot at various higher offices….
blah wrote: >And thought it’s probably already too late, under Obama the USA will irrevocably become 50% nonwhite and will therefore (yes, it is a causal link) begin to recede as a world power. blah, the US is already receding as a world power because it has overstretched itself imperially, because it is living beyond its means financially, and because it no longer tries to educate its children to world standards. I don?t think any serious person, even those who get all their news from the MSM, seriously disputes that ? at least, I?ve yet to find anyone who does. There is also the little matter that a number of Asian nations have caught on to the historical ?secrets? of the US ? reasonably free markets and Western science and technology, combined with a dedication to education, savings, and hard work. The mess that the US is now in is due to people who look pretty much like me (they don?t come any whiter than me!) ? the Bush clan, Al Greenspan, and a host of others in the ruling establishment. The only blacks I can think of who came anywhere close to being full members of that establishment have been Colin Powell and Condi Rice, and both seem to be a bit saner than the white guys they worked for. Can Obama make things worse? Quite possibly. But let?s put the mess we have at the feet of those who created it ? a bunch of arrogant and foolish old white men who should never have been trusted with the power they possessed. Dave
PhysicistDave: Don’t get me wrong. I was not making a statement about your support for Hillary or Obama. I was saying that in many places in the U.S. (most red states) there are large sections of the population who do consider the Clintons “evil” and would never vote for them. Like I explained above, I believe that Obama has shown if the nominee he can get all Hillary’s votes and attract independents (and some Republicans) Hillary can only get the Dem base (and some independent women maybe). ziel: I don’t say it is controversial to say blacks are more personable and charismatic on this site. 🙂 I agree. I would say though that the failure of blacks historically to win state wide elections to get into the Senate and Governor positions is in part due to white demographic and black demographic change. The change is people die. As more people who remember the pre-civil rights movement die you will see a more liberal younger generation (liberal on sex and race issues as you see supporting Obama). I would also argue that blacks are changing. Nagin (New Orleans), Fenty (D.C.), Booker (Newark), and Patrick (Gov. Mass.) were elected with wide white support. The reason is they are not Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. They are not even Dinkins or Harold Washington. They speak in a race neutral way and when they address issues that effect the African American poor, they do it by speaking about the poor and not really about race. They also tend to be business friendly. This tends to not alienate most white voters. Obama is just part of this new generation of black leaders who are more pragmatic than the former leaders who were very race conscious (outwardly) and half their platform was civil rights and race relations. I think part of the difference is also the black demographic has changed. In 1958 over 50% of blacks lived in poverty, today it is about 21-25%. So there are many more middle class blacks who are less “angry” and have a lot of similar economic interests to whites and are moderate on social interests. This can be shown by the Pew Poll that came out last year: http://www.blackprof.com/?p=1888 Some black leftist are not happy about this, but the reality is the center of gravity of the black community has shifted to the right. “67 percent of black men and 74 percent of black women think rap music is a bad influence on black America. In fact, 59 percent of black men and 63 percent of black women think the whole hip-hop industry is equally detrimental to black America.” “A 53% majority of African Americans say that blacks who don?t get ahead are mainly responsible for their situation, while just three-in-ten say discrimination is mainly to blame. As recently as the mid-1990s, black opinion on this question tilted in the opposite direction, with a majority of African Americans saying then that discrimination is the main reason for a lack of black progress.” Due to the fact blacks are not as heavily concentrated as Hispanics, you should expect to see blacks who make high office to be more like Obama, Fenty, Booker and less like the old guard. For your enjoyment…the Obama “Yes I Can” Music Video. 🙂 http://my.barackobama.com/page/invite/yeswecanvideo
black technorats like booker don’t make it out of their political ghetto though I think Booker is different from McCall and Wilder – I’d agree with the technocrat label on them, but I think Booker has real celebrity appeal, but maybe I just think that because he’s much closer to home for me. Newark is definitely a losing proposition overall, but he may succeed in making it less overtly corrupt, and he could play off that.
Ziel, I’ve met Booker as well and I agree with you that though Razib might be right in general about such things, if he’s wrong, Booker will be the guy he’s wrong about, as a politician. I agree Newark will defeat him though, though Newark has shown signs of life as it were recently, something it hasn’t done in years. I suppose I might be overestimating him because if he had his druthers there’d be school choice in Newark, which is something I’d like a great deal.
nominate hillary and mccain will have enthusiastic supporters 😉 I dunno, I know many Conservatives, “right-wingers” whatever who are suffering from the Coulter effect. Besides, Most serious GOP voters I know (say a pop of 20) far prefer Hilary over Obama. It isn’t a racial issue at all, it’s just that either they think Obama is an unknown variable (he’s been in the Senate for only three years) or they think he is too ideologically leftist. Hilary at least is experienced in the DC game and will bow to politcal realities to secure her second term.
I’ve met Booker as well and I agree with you that though Razib might be right in general about such things, if he’s wrong oh, i could be wrong. i’m making a probabilistic assertion, not a deterministic one. i mean, social indices can vary mysteriously (look at the crime drops since the early 90s, etc.), so if you keep the bar low, who knows? he could luck out. i just don’t think that these technocrats can really be genuine turn around artists. they can just be symptomatic salves. conversely, if you put a corrupt politician in charge in minnesota there’s only so much damage they can do, the whole social superstructure serves as a buffer to dampen the impact. i guess i’m making the case that in large part politicians are lagging indicators, and when they are leading indicators that’s when we notice.
Besides, Most serious GOP voters I know (say a pop of 20) far prefer Hilary over Obama. well, see these exit polls: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/epolls/#SCDEM http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/epolls/#NHDEM http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/epolls/#NHDEM http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/epolls/#NVDEM http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/epolls/#MIDEM http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/epolls/#FLDEM obama either beats hillary among independents/and or/republicans, or well over-performs (the uncontested races had big spreads).
Razib: someone you should look at is, Harold Ford Jr. of Tenn. I believe if he would have won his Senate seat he would likely be Obama now, maybe even better. Only thing going against him is a white wife (well fiancee). He is currently the Chair of the Democratic Leadership Council. His politics are similar to Bill Clinton, slightly left of center. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Ford,_Jr.
re: ford, he’s an interesting case. downside: his family is political and they’re corrupt. in other words, they’re stereotypical ethnic politicians, though from what i gather they’re from the mixed-race upper class, not up & coming populists. upside: he doesn’t “look” very black. i bet some of these tendencies are implicit and very white looking blacks can gain some value from their looks. you know, doug wilder was brownish and had white hair, and people said that might have helped him on the margins.
To me, half the appeal of Obama IS that he’s a wild card for so many reasons. He could be a total disaster, or he could turn out to really be onto something, or he could even just get really lucky; but McCain strikes me as being pretty much a 99 percent chance of disaster. Authentically lefty policies actually bother me much, much less than status-quo centrist ones, though I prefer libertarian-leaning kinds of government much more than either. I just don’t see a lot of national political will for Paul-style reform. While, for instance, abolishing the Department of Education seems like a no-brainer to me, plenty of very nice people I know would never even entertain the notion. “Crazy! Don’t you think kids still need to learn to read?!” lol. And I agree that Sailer’s recent commentary on the man actually serves to humanize him somehow, for me. Of course he’s contradictory… most of us are, and doubly so when it comes to talking about race. Part of my dislike was his untouchability– that Sailer doesn’t give a crap about hallowing Obama because of his Kenyan dad makes me breathe a little easier about letting the man have a chance. Like I say, what’s the worst that can happen? America goes to hell in a handbasket? We’ve been on that road for a long time already. My two cents, anyway. Utopia, dystopia, whatever. 😉
Aurora wrote: >McCain strikes me as being pretty much a 99 percent chance of disaster. C?mon, we?re supposed to be scientific here! 80 % chance of McCain as disaster? Sure. 90 % chance, probably. 95 % chance, maybe. But, 99 % chance of disaster??? Seriously, as you suggest in your penultimate paragraph, the country will survive President John McCain. What does worry me is that Bush and McCain, and indeed the mainstream establishment with a slightly more restrained approach, are pushing this country into the role of unilateral and eternal world hegemon. This cannot succeed. Eventually, the USA will be less significant than the major Asian powers. We can either accept that fact gracefully, or, if we insist on scratching and clawing to maintain a world dominance that we cannot possibly maintain forever, we will move into one of those once-a-century-or-two international wars that radically alter the balance of power (the Thirty-Years War, The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the two World Wars). And, America will lose such a conflict in the end, at horrible cost. No, the USA will survive President McCain. But whether our children and grandchildren will survive the foreign policy that McCain hopes to cement in place, that worries me a great deal. Incidentally, MSNBC did run a segment this evening (on Olberman) on how McCain?s GOP Senatorial colleagues despise McCain as a person (particularly, his lack of self-control). If he is the GOP nominee, he is going to self-destruct. Dave
@Mnuez “C’mon, this was an easy prediction. Y’could have just filled in what your readership would say without even bothering to ask them. The pseudo-intellectual crowd went for Paul,” What? Sure, he ain’t perfect. But what’s pseudo-intellectual about his views? His views on Islam sometimes seem a bit naive. However, to invade and invite them, on a massive scale, does not seem very smart to me. I’d say McCain attracts pseudo-intellectuals or the mentally retarded — with all respect to them, btw, I usually like mentally handicapped people.
Oh, I’m not very scientific, Dave. :p I do apologize. Anyway, I agree that our foreign policy is taking us down a thoroughly impossible road, and that voting in McCain is a fine way to ensure our grandchildren will hate us far more than my own generation despises the Boomers. Which is mostly why I see the prospect of a Democratic presidency as a non-threat by comparison. Not ideal, but not something I can really get worked up about, either. If “Washcorp” (a la Moldbug) does fall apart under the strange bedfellows that make up the Democratic party, then so much the better in the long run. The entire structure can only deteriorate from here. I’ll cast my vote for Dr. Paul, more out of sentimental attachment to the notion of democracy than any expectation that it will matter in the long run. And I maintain my faith that my children and their children, and probably your children, too, will be wily and savage enough to survive the fallout of whatever comes next.
does it matter to anybody about ron paul and evolution? “” mccain and torture? did anybody watch paul on meet the press, because he lost some luster on there for me.. missing a lot of details.. it sounds grand, but sweeping reforms would require meticulous planning, n’est-ce pas? does the president even have the power to do the junk he wants to do?
Unlike most people her I will vote for Hillary, as I would like “more of the same” from the Clintons – when the US looked after its own economy and people, and didn’t get too involved with intractable and unwinnable wars abroad, and actually reduced the budget deficit. To me Bill Clinton was the most Libertarian president this country has had in recent memory. Too many people here seem to be caught up in the hysteria of “change” surrounding Obama, and like him because “he has no baggage” – me, I’m scared of someone with no baggage, as that means he is an unknown quantity. I much prefer the Clintons to this – as they have their enemies and will waste time fighting them – but they will let capitalism and open-markets flourish. For those on the left/liberal side, remember it was Bill Clinton who brought China into the world market, and so was greatly responsible for improving the lives of 1.3 billion people. I fear that Obama might be inclined to intervene in Kenya, not so much because his Dad was a member of the Luo tribe/nation and opposed the Kikuyu domination of business and politics in Kenya, but more that he will want to appease his supporters, who are mostly drawn from the young and the very liberal – both of which are naive. Ron Paul is a non starter, as he is not electable. Mike Huckabee want to rewrite the Constitution to make it agree with evangelical nonsense, and most thinking people will reject him. McCain mostly represents more of the Bush stupidity, both at home and abroad. That leaves Romney, who is not charismatic and is unappealing to many minorities. As Razib suggested, he would probably be more liberal on issues if elected, more like his tenure as Governor. He is also pro-business. He would probably make a good president – but I don’t see him being elected. In the final analysis, it seems that Bloomberg won’t run afterall, and so it will be down to Hillary or Obama versus McCain. To my way of thinking, Hillary would have an easier time beating McCain than Obama…
Obama, like Sidney Poitier or Jackie Robinson, is the exceptional pioneer, well above the white average in behavior and ability…which paves the way for the bulk of the distribution to follow as the psychological guards are now down, with the same predictable consequences observed everywhere else. This is an interesting argument. Obama hasn’t seemed so bad to me (by the standards of presidential candidates), but I hadn’t thought much about what kind of long-term impact he would set a precedent for. I’ll have to think about that. Also, I have to ask: blah, are you godless posting under another name, as you like to do when you’re saying something particularly controversial? Something about the writing style and specific technical jargon you use (“bulk of the distribution”, “granularity”, etc.) gives the game away.
Aurora wrote to me: >Anyway, I agree that our foreign policy is taking us down a thoroughly impossible road, and that voting in McCain is a fine way to ensure our grandchildren will hate us far more than my own generation despises the Boomers. You may find it interesting that I myself am a middle Boomer (born in the mid-?50s) and that a lot of us are also pretty sick of the early Boomers (folks the Clintons? and Dubya?s age) who long ago managed to establish themselves as the ?official? leaders of our generation. For a long time the Boomer ?leaders? have managed to marry a strange holier-than-thou pseudo-idealism with an exceptional degree of mercenary self-seeking behavior. It goes back to the ?60s: while I agree that the Vietnam War was a bad idea, the truth is that the older Boomers who opposed it did so less out of principle than because they were afraid of being killed ? once the draft ended, the ferocity of opposition to the war diminished quite substantially. (I don?t blame them ? who would want to die in a pointless war? ? but the fake idealism was a little cloying.) You also wrote: >I’ll cast my vote for Dr. Paul, more out of sentimental attachment to the notion of democracy than any expectation that it will matter in the long run. It?s the ?paradox of voting?: no single vote will ever decide a national election ? which is why it is so silly for people to worry about voting ?strategically,? instead of voting their principles. Anyone who is voting because of the actual, material results of his own individual vote is fooling himself. Voting is an ?expressive act?: the real point is indicating the kind of person you are, the values you hold, etc., and, most importantly, discussing all that with others (which is what we are doing here). That may at least have a tiny effect on the glacially slow shifts of public opinion, of the boundaries of what is politically possible and thinkable. In the long run, it is that, not individual elections, that tends to control the direction of a country. All the best, Dave
pconroy wrote: >To me Bill Clinton was the most Libertarian president this country has had in recent memory. Well? he raised taxes (and spending) quite substantially, he pursued a brutal policy towards Iraq (remember when Maddy Albright told Leslie Stahl that the death of more than half-a-million Iraqis was ?worth it??) and towards the Balkans, etc. If ?Slick Willie? was ?libertarian,? I?d hate to see your idea of a ?fascist?! Incidentally, one of the lovely things about the Ron Paul campaign is that it is producing a wonderful and decisive split among ?libertarians.? The ?mainstream? libertarians (the folks dominant at the Cato Institute, Reason, magazine, etc.) hate Paul because he is not politically correct: this came to a head with some old newsletters of his, which were made public by ?The New Republic,? that laid out the racial component of the Rodney King riots in a factually true, but very ?politically incorrect,? manner. In a nutshell, pretty much all of the ?libertarians? who would hate gnxp.com also hate Ron Paul. Incidentally, Razib, Roderick Long, the philosopher who is fond of Austrian economics that you referenced in a post a while back, is one of those PC libertarians who would hate gnxp.com. Appropriately, Rod is not supporting Paul (although Rod is too nice a guy for me to honestly say he ?hates? Paul): the majority of Austrian economists, unlike Professor Long, are about as politically incorrect as you and me. Pretty much all the libertarians who find the topics discussed at gnxp to be fair game for public discussion are supporting Paul. All of this reinforces my point about voting being an ?expressive act?: it tells a lot about who you are or who you want to be, even though your individual vote has no practical impact. Dave
Dave, I’d only vote for contenders in elections, as ultimately they are the only ones who count. I’m Libertarian, but not of the radical “I want to change the world” type, and so would never squander my vote on Ron Paul, who at best is a crank, and at worst is a vote splitter, who could help his rivals get elected!!! Think Ralph Nader…
pconroy wrote: “Ron Paul is a non starter, as he is not electable.” and “I’d only vote for contenders in elections, as ultimately they are the only ones who count.” And this attitude is exactly why we keep winding up with the same crappy choices and practically dynastic series of the same bad choices. I can’t even begin to count how many people tell that they like Ron Paul’s ideas, but won’t vote for him because he can’t win. If all the people who say that had the guts and brains to vote for what they really want, he *would* be electable. But instead, most people are afraid to vote their own conscience, and wind up holding their noses and voting for yet another media-anointed self-fulfilling-prophecy puppet of the usual lobbyists. And I guess this will keep happening until people smarten up a bit. Maybe it will take a real crisis to shake people out of their obedience, but if Bush ==> Clinton ==> Bush ==> prospect of another Clinton doesn’t count as a crisis, I hate to think how bad it will have to get to wake people up. PhilB
Did Nader really have that much effect? And, er, would Kerry have been significantly better than Bush? I was convinced he was better than Bush at the time, (bought into the “Bush is a theocratic fundamentalist nutjob” line of thinking) but now I am not quite so sure that Kerry’s version of the One True Faith would have been any better. PD, I’m sure you’re not the sort of baby boomer I mean. oops. lol. Sometimes I forget how uncomfortably far from the political orthodoxy Paul is… I live in a town where he’s probably got more vocal popular support than the entire rest of the field put together. We’ll see how the caucus goes tonight.
I noticed something tonight. Pundits kept saying Obama might not be able to attract white voters, he might only be a “black candidate” after South Carolina, that Bill Clinton “blackened him”… Uhm…actually tonight Obama is winning the states with the most white populations in the West and Midwest. He is not winning the more “mixed” less Anglo-Saxon areas of the Northeast and the Southern states he has won had large black populations (he did almost win 50% of the white vote in Georgia but the other Southern states it was almost all on the black vote). My theory is hardcore racism (based on my experience) is where you have large populations of competing groups or large populations of poor ghetto blacks (even if they aren’t the majority) it causes racial friction. I’m sure there are many whites in Utah and Idaho that have never even met a black person and definitely never seen a ghetto but on TV. I think there is less serious racism in those type of situations it is more like curiosity. My experience overseas is there is more racism in countries like the UK or France, as in overt hatred than in East Asia…mainly because there are so few minorities there is prejudice and xenophobia but no real reason to justify intense hatred.
I think the Republican and Democratic primaries are very different contests. The Democrats are looking for someone who take their party to the whitehouse and kick ***. From what I see of the Republican primary I think there seems to be more of a desire to push the status quo. John Mc Cain aka George Bush part III. In addition there is another force at work in the Republican primary. It seems that the conservatives are truly divided between Huckabee and Romney. Romney is strong where Huckabee is weak and vice a versa, at least as far as convservatives are concerned. Huckabee is very strongly pro gun, Romney is weak on gun owners rights. Romney is a moderate on immigration, HUckabee supports amnesty. The Republican primary is actually a pretty good evolutionary model on how a “generalist” (Mc Cain) could out ahead of the “specialists” (Romney and Huckabee). However if economic circumstances were more dire I think Ron Paul would really come out ahead. The more radical the situation the more radical the perceived questions would be. This whole primary process is at the heart of evolution and near and another example of a dynamic system in play.
look at cali. obama almost won whites and obviously smacked down with blacks, lost big among latinos and asians. interesting, among whites clinton does better the older you get. among latinos age is not a predictor; obama loses all age groups around the same amount. same pattern of obama doing better among whites than among latinos in other states. look at NM, he’ll win there prolly cuz of his margin among whites. also, look at the where he won in mass., the western rural part of the state and in boston.
pconroy wrote to me: >I’m Libertarian, but not of the radical “I want to change the world” type, and so would never squander my vote on Ron Paul, who at best is a crank, and at worst is a vote splitter, who could help his rivals get elected!!! Well? pc, since you have announced that you support Hillary, I?m afraid you are using the word ?libertarian? in a dramatically different way than I have ever heard it used before! To me, and to most Americans who use the word ?libertarian,? it means nearly the exact opposite of Hillary?s positions: she voted for the Iraq War and for the Patriot Act, she?s against lowering taxes, etc. In normal political usage in the USA at present, that makes her the opposite of ?libertarian.? As I mentioned, there are a number of self-proclaimed ?libertarians? who oppose Ron Paul because he is not ?politically correct.? But you are the only self-proclaimed ?libertarian? I have ever heard of who supports Hillary! Of course, no one owns the word, and you are free to use it as you wish. But you should be aware that if you use ?libertarian? to mean higher taxes, restrictions on civil liberties, and wars against foreign countries that have never threatened the US, then you are using the word in an idiosyncratic way that is not likely to enhance communication (rather as if I were to declare myself a ?socialist? and define ?socialist? as an advocate of laissez faire capitalism ? this would tend to confuse people!). As to Ron, being a crank, well he is a ten-term Congressman. Beyond that, you?d have to say what you mean by ?crank.? I?ve noticed that the word ?crank? is usually shorthand for ?I disagree with him,? not surprising given your eccentric use of the word ?libertarian.? And as to Ron being a ?vote splitter,? you bet! Elections are about splitting the vote — the only way to have an unsplit vote is to only have one candidate. If McCain is the GOP nominee, I and a lot of other Republican voters are going to stay home or go third-party and teach the GOP a lesson. That?s what politics is all about, isn?t it? Send ?em a message! Dave
Obama was writing about his teenage years and his early adulthood. In other words – the formative years…
EW: Do you have the same political beliefs and general ideology as you did when you were 20? Most folks do not. Look at all the ex-Hippies who became Reagan Yuppies in the 80’s.
Long Ma: General ideology – I would say I retained about 50%. Taking into account all the political changes in my country and the isolation behind the Iron Curtain, this is rather a lot 😉 But back to Obama – here I don’t think he is now a different person. Otherwise he wouldn’t take an Afrocentric reverend for a spiritual guide.
EW: He has been at the church for 20 years. First off what is “Afrocentric to you”. It sounds like you here “black empowerment or Afrocentric” and fear runs down your spine. LOL Does the church focus on issues in teh black community? Yep. Is that bad? Conservatives usually point the finger and say blacks should be responsible, blacks need to do this more, blacks need to do that more. Obama’s church teaches black social and financial self empowerment. It teaches that blacks should start business, stay out of jail, have strong families, etc. They minister to blacks in jail (I don’t see Pat Robertson going to prisons and trying to turn people around). So now that these blacks take responsiblity it is bad? Is it racist? His minister does not teach “hate whitey” he teaches “don’t hate yourself” and respect your community. Isn’t that what should be the message in the urban ghetto black community like the Southside of Chicago? His minister did praise Louis Farrakahn at one time, but if you read what he praised him on it was the same thing…”community upliftment” he didn’t praise him on “hate whitey, hate jews, etc” He praised him for his work in starting business, keeping black males out of jail, support for strong family units in the black community, support for educational achievement. These are negative things to you? IF you are a black man in America and you live in Chicago and your focus is on helping the disadvanaged who can you most help if you don’t speak Spanish and who needs the most help? To me to critisize Obama for doing that is odd. If his church was teaching white people were cave men (actually some GXP people hope that is true in the way of Neaderthals) and that whites were created by evil scientist and were naturally evil, or “mud races” (as white nationalist like to say) or that blacks should seperate from whites I would be concerned. That is far from the case. It would seem in the benefit of all Americans in society that middle and upperclass blacks did community work and support work through religious and non-religious situations in black poor urban areas. Maybe one of those black men they reach out to might not steal your car, break in your home, rob you, rape your sister, etc. But that is bad…? Okay. Now if black people and white people were reversed if blacks were 66% of the U.S. population and whites were 12% and the power dynamics were reversed in the same way with blacks controlling the vast majority of political and economic power, as well as social institutions then if I were you I would worry about any form of black racialism, positive or negative. Obviously that is not the case. Reality is besides physically assulting you the average black person has no power over you and Obama’s church is no threat to you or any other white person. IN fact their positive work is a social positive for you as it keeps crime down.
In any case…Hillary will likely be behind at the end of this month: My picks for the rest of the Month: Louisiana – Decisive for Obama Nebraska – Decisive for Obama Washington – Obama (barely) U.S. Virgin Island – Decisive for Obama Maine – Hillary District of Columbia – Decisive for Obama Maryland – Decisive for Obama Virginia – Obama lead with a delegate Split Hawaii – Obama by a nose Wisconsin – toss up…I think it favors Obama, it will be a dead heat. The Hillary campaign already knows they will be behind by the end of this month this is why in her speech last night she talked up March. A Clinton campaigner said they expect Obama to do well in the Potomac regions, tehy are basically conceding. They think their strength will be in Texas and Ohio in March. It is thought Obama has more money than Hillary right now and has the ability to raise more as Hillary is largely maxed. We will see how true that is. In the end it will come down to is Obama can win enough small states by large enough margins to overtake Hillary’s big state advantage. It is possible, but it will be very very tight, as it was last night. In the end I predict no one will get a majority and this will be a brokered convention, which is not good for Obama as the Clinton machine has a lock on the Democratic party (as it has since Bill left office, despite the recent rebellion of some establishment figures). Hillary is still leading in Super Delegates, but most of them are still uncommitted, and they can switch votes at any time before the convention so the media should stop reporting them in final tallies.
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