I think that I’ve been fairly subtle over the last months about who I’d want to win in the US election. And it’s obvious as to why: I want McCain to win because I’m too racist to want Obama to win.
It’s not that I don’t like his vacuous nature; it’s not that I don’t like the populism; it’s not my inbuilt distrust of cultish followers. Not, it’s racism.
At least, that’s the sort of thing that’s being implied by stories such as these.
The conventional wisdom, which I share, is that Barack Obama will win this election, perhaps by a healthy margin. But Democrats are nervous wrecks; they’re having nightmares that defeat will be snatched from the jaws of victory.
To add to their misery (and guard against complacency), here’s how that horror film could play out:
In the end, the problem was the LIVs. That’s short for “low-information voters”, the three-fifths of the electorate that shows up once every four years to vote for president but mostly hates politics.
Obama shifted New Mexico, Iowa and Nevada from red to blue. But there was a reason Virginia hadn’t gone Democratic since 1964. The transformation of the northern part of the state couldn’t overcome a huge McCain margin among whites farther south. They weren’t the racists of their parents’ generation, but they weren’t quite ready to vote for the unthinkable, either.
It’s turning into that same old story: people who say that they’re not voting for Obama are having to defend their opinions, because not to vote for him is becoming unthinkable. He’s young, good looking, progressive1 and hasn’t bothered with actually saying anything. His opponent dares not to be progressive, and thusly anyone who would vote for him is clearly not a smart person.
The first time I was aware of this sort of thing was the ’92 general election, when all those shy Tories voted one way in the voting booth and another in the exit polls. There’s a reverse sort of thing here as well – lots of posh middle class Catholics say that they’d never vote for Sinn Fein and yet the numbers look suspiciously like some of them do.
But this time round, it’s much much worse. Because it’s not just the traditional forward/backwards looking thing; nor is it a straight left right fight. This time it’s also being portrayed as a racism test: you’re either not racist, in which case if you’ve a brain you’ll vote for Obama, or you are racist, in which case you’ll vote for McCain.
Well, fuck that. I don’t like Obama, I don’t like his policies and I don’t like the way that the media worship his feet.
Against that, I don’t mind McCain. He’s got a record to examine, he’s got a few interesting ideas. And – showing my ignorance again here – I don’t mind Palin either. So, who do you think I’d vote for?
And I’m perfectly happy to say that. Even if it’s just me showing my ignorance and racism…
1 – Where ‘progressive’ means ‘very backwards looking indeed’, back before lots of facts got in the way of those lovely redistributive theories of economies and fairness…