After what seems like the most drawn out primary season in history, Barack Obama last night was finally able to declare victory over Hillary Clinton and seal the Democratic party's nomination for President. In his victory speech, Obama wasted little time in going after Grandpa John McCain, his opponent in the November election. My friends, we're in for a long, bloody and expensive campaign. Sadly, with all the issues this country is facing, I suspect we're gonna be treated to a media driven discussion on petty bullshit.
You can already see it coming.....Obama's membership in Jeremiah Wright's church (of course he resigned as a member last week) will get the bible thumpers going on the "morals and values" issue. I'm amazed at how many people still believe Obama is a practicing Muslim (he isn't). If you listen closely you can also hear the gay marriage issue drumming faintly from California. This is what McCain will focus on....he knows he can't win on the real issues.
I love America but Americans do not know how to accept criticism. We've had it beaten into our skulls since the day we were born that America does everything better than any other country. Maybe in the 1950's we did but the only thing America does better than everyone now is hide its head in the sand and pretend that everything is ok. Neither candidate will be honest and admit that the sky really is falling. Of the two, Obama, if the media will allow him, will be the most likely to talk about the real issues and offer plans for change. McCain on the other hand, really does appear to be nothing more than an extension of the idiot who has called the White House home the past 8 years.
Its fitting that this year's NBA finals will feature the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics because thats what this election is. Growing up in the 80's, these two teams always seemed to square off for the title. The Lakers roster was pretty much black (except for ubergeek Kurt Rambis) while the Celtics had more white guys on the floor than the combined rosters of every other NBA club. In this election, Obama is the Showtime Lakers...he's the Magic Johnson (only without the AIDS virus) and McCain represents the slow white guys.
But when you look at the Lakers and Celtics today in 2008, the Celtics are no longer lily white. Their stars are all black and they have no white players of note. Using my basketball analogy, Obama is Kobe Bryant (without the charges of ass rape in Denver), while McCain is a 12th man at worst and a past his prime journeyman clinging to past glory at best.
McCain's only shot at winning this election, and I think he has a great chance of doing so, is to play up his whiteness. Bill Maher in speaking of McCain reaching out to evangelicals said (and I'm paraphrasing) "its sad when smart people have to act stupid in order to get elected." McCain will have to sell out his soul and make this campaign about race. He will say he has more experience than Obama but what he'll mean is "I'm whiter than he is." McCain will try to give the appearance that he's above the fray while hatchet men like Rush Limbaugh and Fox News will have pundits on spreading Negrophobia. The GOP will wage a 21st century electronic lynching and the news media is sure to be a willing participant. The only product McCain has to sell in this election is fear.....and if we've learned one thing from Bush's War of Terror (thanks Borat), its the American people have learned to be afraid.
Now more than ever we cannot afford to be afraid. We've lost the things that have made us great as a country. More and more of America resembles a third world country. People are working harder for less. Nearly 50 million Americans are without health insurance. People can't afford to pay for their houses or fill up their gas tanks or their ever swelling bellies. Our energy policy has only served to fatten the wallets of the CEO's while depleting our bank accounts and destroying the planet.
I don't think Obama is the saviour or even the second coming of FDR or Robert Kennedy...but electing a black man as president would be an incredible sign that this country is ready to turn the page and actually change the things that are slowly killing it. Honestly, I never thought I'd see the day where a black man could be elected President. I distrust all politicians and generally consider presidential elections to be nothing more than choosing between "the evil of two lessers." I hope I'm wrong and that McCain's "fear of a black planet" campaign theme doesn't come to pass. But this country elected George W. Bush twice so we seem to have a love for embracing the stupid. FDR said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." I think the only thing we have to fear is ourselves. Think of it this way...if you're having a party who do you wanna listen to? James Brown or Pat Boone? When ya think of it that way, the choice is easy.