The 21st century promises to be the Global Century. This means people of all races will need to come together with a functioning planet. We're increasingly connected, yet the US presidential election is revealing thinking that's closed off from the realities of our global era.
Have you heard all this talk that there are people who say that they’ll vote for Obama, but once in the privacy of a voting booth won’t pick the black guy after all? They supposedly to do this to conceal their racism from pollsters.
People do have reasons that compel them to make a different choice on the ballot than they do in pubilc. Perhaps the person at the tavern will tell his buddies he’ll be voting for McCain, but in private they’ll choose Obama because of how the bad state of the economy is impacting him?
Some are going to tell it like it is. Colin Powell, a leading Republican whose heritage is Caribbean, has endorsed Obama, citing many reasons for his support. Powell commented on the racist remarks coming from some people attending McCain / Palin rallies. He said, "Those kind of images going out on Al-Jazeera are killing us around the world.”
Powell knows that in Iraq, Afghanistan or wherever US forces are stationed, a lot of the battle is over the hearts and minds of the people. The dim-witted racists may wave the flag and wax patriotic, but they’re actually undermining the hard work of military service people - many who are still in the field!!!Last February, in my Seattle Weekly column, I endorsed Sen. Obama in the primary. I said, “Sen. Obama promises to be the friendly multi-cultural face of a healthy, just and connected planet.” Did you catch that - multi-cultural face! I certainly would not prefer a candidate only because of their ethnic features. We need to recognize that we’re entering the second decade of the Global Century. No matter if you live in middle America or middle Africa, we’re becoming increasingly connected. Look at the current world financial crisis if you need proof of that connection. We can’t have a global century with xenophobia - that’s incompatible. The multi-cultural face of this century could appear early with the president of the United States - the traditional leader of the free world.
The conservative voters who elected candidates like Gov. Sarah Palin and Gov. Bobby Jindal deserve credit for bringing gender and ethnic diversity into our democratic system. I still wouldn’t vote for these Republicans. I simply disagree with most of their policy proposals.
Even if we could remove race from the campaign, reactionary conservatives would still cling to the illusions that Obama is a socialist, supports terror, and is un-American. At this moment the internet has countless perspectives regarding these claims. Judging by the presidential election polls, a majority of voters are not buying the Republican smokescreens.
There’s been enough fear and loathing over the last eight years. We need to recognize Obama’s surging candidacy itself as a milestone on an arc of history that’s leading away from fear and ignorance. If Obama wins, reactionary politics will not go away - but it will be really satisfying to see it lose in this election!