We’ve all had people we identify with. Sometimes it’s harmless. When I was a child I’d always root for the guy on “Wheel of Fortune” or “Jeopardy” who’s name was Michael. I identified with someone for no other reason than a superficial connection. I’m sure we’ve done the same with athletes, or anyone we want to root for.
But now the Democratic party has been reduced to “voting for the black guy or voting for the woman.” Personally, I’m not going to vote for the “old white guy” just because he’s an old white guy. I don’t agree with McCain on some issues, like immigration, stem-cell research, and his pandering to Democrats and sabotaging judicial nominations for senatorial power. But he’s good on foreign policy and he’s a fiscal conservative, so I can get behind him.
But over on the Democrat side, we’re hearing implications that people who don’t vote for Obama just don’t “understand”. Those who are Obama supporters are considered “enlightened”, even though Obama has no political experience and he’s terrible at thinking on his feet. Hillary’s camps hasn’t been much better. Elton John says that if you don’t vote for Hillary, it’s because you hate women.
And now we have Nora Ephron crystallizing the votes down to racism or sexism.
So that’s wonderful. If I don’t vote for Hillary because of her socialist views on health care, her lying about Tuzla and other things, and complete political weakness on losing a “sure thing” election, then I must be a misogynist. As for Baracka, if I don’t vote for him because he doesn’t think well independently, his voting record is awful, he’s connected with Chicago political slime, and he’s a snob, then I must be a racist.
We knew it was coming. And we can look forward to 7 more months of race and/or sex baiting. In the meantime, the politics of identity have fractured the Democratic party because the black vote feels betrayed if Hillary wins or a politician endorses Hillary, and the women-vote feels betrayed if Barack wins. We have two groups who have been waiting for one of “theirs” to be elected to the White House and if that group loses this election, the hard feelings will run deep because their identity has been betrayed by those they thought were on the same side.
The Republicans have a candidate the base isn’t happy with. But with McCain, we’re not happy because of the issues McCain has embraced, not because of his race, age or sex. And not-surprisingly, it’s the Republicans who are standing above the race/sex fray.