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> The vote in 08, race and motivation-right or wrong?
Royucker
post Nov 6 2008, 02:58 PM
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Indications are that we have seen a very large increase in voter registration and turnout in general and in particular among blacks and younger voters. Conventional wisdom is that at least part of the reason for this increase was because Obama was the first black candidate of a major party and/or that had a real shot at becoming president.
If the conclusion that race was indeed the catalyst for this “excitement” among the electorate is correct I think it raises some very interesting questions.

I am not interested, here at least, in debating the numbers or motivations of any of these “groups”, nor do I care to raise the hackles of anyone by making statements based on my interpretations so if I may, I would like to pose the following question, based on a hypothetical.

Premise:
1) Larger participation by blacks who were more interested or excited in this election because there was a black man running.
2) Anecdotal evidence that at least some whites ( my neighbor in particular) who believed that “it was time we have a black man in the high office”
3) The supposition by the media that in the primaries in PA for example that Obama was having trouble getting the “uneducated, working class, white, male vote” (inferred meaning, stupid white racist)


Question for debate:
If certain people voted for Obama because he was a black man and if others voted against Obama because he was a black man.

Was either wrong?

Who was wrong?

Does it really matter why they voted the way they did?

Would your answers to the first three questions be any different if I removed "black" and inserted "woman"?
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quick
post Nov 10 2008, 05:25 PM
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QUOTE(Royucker @ Nov 6 2008, 09:58 AM) *
Indications are that we have seen a very large increase in voter registration and turnout in general and in particular among blacks and younger voters. Conventional wisdom is that at least part of the reason for this increase was because Obama was the first black candidate of a major party and/or that had a real shot at becoming president.
If the conclusion that race was indeed the catalyst for this “excitement” among the electorate is correct I think it raises some very interesting questions.

I am not interested, here at least, in debating the numbers or motivations of any of these “groups”, nor do I care to raise the hackles of anyone by making statements based on my interpretations so if I may, I would like to pose the following question, based on a hypothetical.

Premise:
1) Larger participation by blacks who were more interested or excited in this election because there was a black man running.
2) Anecdotal evidence that at least some whites ( my neighbor in particular) who believed that “it was time we have a black man in the high office”
3) The supposition by the media that in the primaries in PA for example that Obama was having trouble getting the “uneducated, working class, white, male vote” (inferred meaning, stupid white racist)


Question for debate:
If certain people voted for Obama because he was a black man and if others voted against Obama because he was a black man.

Was either wrong?

Who was wrong?

Does it really matter why they voted the way they did?

Would your answers to the first three questions be any different if I removed "black" and inserted "woman"?



Was either wrong?

One should vote based first on what is best for oneself, and second on what is best for one's nation, although a reasonable man may order the priorities differently. Both categories need to be used and one should attempt to harmonize these two factors if they draw oneself toward differing conclusions. Notice, I did not say "best for the world" or "best for mankind". I do not believe those are legitimate criteria so long as we live under the jurisdiction of the United States. Any other way to look at it may or may not be wrong, but I do not believe it is logical. So, if one feels a black president is best for oneself and one's country, simply by virtue of his being black, then one should vote for him; if one feels a black president would not be best for oneself and one's country, simply by virtue of his being black, then one should not vote for him.

If a white voter feels having a black president would foster giveaways taking property from whites and giving it to blacks, then under these criteria, this white voter should not vote for the black president. Conversely, if a black voter feels having a black president would foster giveaways taking property from whites and giving it to blacks, then under these criteria, this black voter should vote for the black president. Of course, a reasonable black voter also might realize that such an determination may be bad for both oneself and one's nation in the long run and elect not to vote for a black president who promises to redistribute the wealth, as in another time, the black voter may find his own wealth being redistributed and the black voter may also realize that organized theft by government is a dangerous precedent. I can see both viewpoints. Are these voting choices "wrong"? Of course not, as they represent a logical, self-interested determination, which is all we can expect from any voter, and is indeed the most we should expect from any voter.

What is "best"?; I submit that is defined by self-interest, both personally and as a nation. Each voter's view of self-interest will vary somewhat, but I think it is the correct way to look at the problem of determining how to vote. It is the height of arrogance and misplaced paternalism to attempt to vote based upon what one thinks is in someone else's best interest.

Does it really matter why they voted the way they did?

It does to pollsters and candidates. As one who takes occasional joy in "gaming" pollsters when I am solicited, I often chuckle at those who site voting behavior poll answers as being definitive of anything, but I digress. Ultimately, the Const suggests we can vote for electors who elect our president, and the Const does not specify the criteria a voter must use. So, no, it doesn't matter except to those who want to win an election, and those folks will be pouring over the data from this election for years.

Would your answers to the first three questions be any different if I removed "black" and inserted "woman"?

Probably not.

We will see studies in the next months attempting to show how many voters voted for Obama simply because he was a Dem, and how many voted for him simply because he was black, regardless of any other factors. While I doubt many voters being studied, or who will be studied, are even capable of dissecting exactly why they voted the way they did, polisci types will attempt this drill and we'll argue about it.

I personally want to see a Latino-black-Asian-gay-dominatrix--handicapped-woman environmentalist/animal rights activist with a sociology degree as our next president. I think we need to get all of this out of the way as soon as we can so we can get back to voting for the candidate we believe is best for ourselves, and best for our nation.


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Bikerdad
post Nov 10 2008, 06:33 PM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Nov 10 2008, 08:26 AM) *
Bikerdad
There is a contextual difference between "discrimination" in the abstract and racial discrimination as it informs "racism."

As Bill Cosby would say, "Riiiight". It appears that in your book, the contextual difference is "discrimination in favor of blacks (and perhaps other minorities) is good discrimination, and therefor not racism, but discrimination against blacks and other minorities is bad discrimination, and therefor racism."

Both are intentional, both are raced based. Both are racism.

As a hypothetical, if the "equal" in this phrase truly meant equal, would you still consider "separate but equal" to be racist?
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turnea
post Nov 10 2008, 06:39 PM
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QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Nov 10 2008, 12:33 PM) *
QUOTE(turnea @ Nov 10 2008, 08:26 AM) *
Bikerdad
There is a contextual difference between "discrimination" in the abstract and racial discrimination as it informs "racism."

As Bill Cosby would say, "Riiiight". It appears that in your book, the contextual difference is "discrimination in favor of blacks (and perhaps other minorities) is good discrimination, and therefor not racism, but discrimination against blacks and other minorities is bad discrimination, and therefor racism."

Bikerdad that's a strawman argument.

Recognizing the effects of racism and acting in a race based matter to negate those effects is not, in and of itself, racist.
QUOTE(Bikerdad)
As a hypothetical, if the "equal" in this phrase truly meant equal, would you still consider "separate but equal" to be racist?

I agree with the Brown decision which states that "separate but equal" is inherently unequal. It is a contradiction in terms.
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JohnfrmCleveland
post Nov 11 2008, 06:55 AM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Nov 10 2008, 12:25 PM) *
QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland @ Nov 10 2008, 10:10 AM) *
Well, besides having to disagree on a few definitions, we are going to have to disagree on this, too. In the estimation of this particular white guy, the Obamas and Powells of the world have done much more to reduce the prevalence of bigotry than the Kings, Jacksons, and Sharptons.

I can only say that in my estimation you could not possibly be more wrong.

Powell, Obama, and others are the benefactors of the work of King, Lewis, Jackson, and even Sharpton.


Are we talking about advancing the cause of civil rights? Because those guys certainly did do that. But I thought we were talking about reducing the prevalence of bigotry, which is a completely different thing.

I know you love those guys, Turnea, and for that reason I hesitate to take this point any further. But activists don't exactly melt the cold heart of a bigot.

Jackson and Sharpton have been around a long time, and they have not garnered nearly as many nonblack admirers in their many years as Obama has in his relatively short career. Assuming Obama stays on his present trajectory, or even if he is not a total disaster over the next four years, he will have done more to ease the minds of nonblacks in this country than King, Jackson, and Sharpton put together, and multiplied a few times to boot. That is not to say that they did nothing to help him reach the White House - in a civil rights kind of way. But they didn't pave his path to the white vote. That was all Obama - Harvard Law, universal message, carefully chosen words, and great timing. And, about as nonracial as you can get.
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turnea
post Nov 11 2008, 04:59 PM
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QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland @ Nov 11 2008, 12:55 AM) *
Are we talking about advancing the cause of civil rights? Because those guys certainly did do that. But I thought we were talking about reducing the prevalence of bigotry, which is a completely different thing.

I know you love those guys, Turnea, and for that reason I hesitate to take this point any further. But activists don't exactly melt the cold heart of a bigot.

I don't think melting hearts is most effective tactic with bigots.

The KKK died of embarrassment, not sympathy.

This will get into different debate I suspect so after my professors stop administering my daily torture regimen I'll probably start a thread (and get back to the Jackson-Sharpton thread, between school and my computer frying (there was smoke involved tongue.gif) I lost some research and some time)

...but the reason why an "Obama" can never exist without a "King" is because someone has to show the pseudo-intellectual fraud of bigotry for the naked emperor that it is.

Bigotry is one part arm-chair science and one part breathless melodrama. Both are ripe for critique and ridicule and that's exactly what makes them less and less viable today.


Bigotry is an embarrassment now. Not simply because it is cruel, society can sustain a shocking amount of cruelty as popular support for torture shows, but because it is perceived as stupid and weak and rightly so.


Booker T. Washington was fawned over by many white Southerners for his (outwardly) accomidationist and subservient rhetoric.

Did this serve to reduce the prevalence of bigotry?

Maybe a little, but history shows it did fine just the same.

His chief benefit was to advance black material success by soliciting donations for schools (and desegregation... which he kept hidden).

Stetson Kennedy on the other hand humiliated the Klan by giving their codewords to Superman comics and generally making them look like dorks.

Levitt and Dubner (the author's of Freakonomics) have said he was the single biggest person in the decline of the Klan.

QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland)
Jackson and Sharpton have been around a long time, and they have not garnered nearly as many nonblack admirers in their many years as Obama has in his relatively short career. Assuming Obama stays on his present trajectory, or even if he is not a total disaster over the next four years, he will have done more to ease the minds of nonblacks in this country than King, Jackson, and Sharpton put together, and multiplied a few times to boot. That is not to say that they did nothing to help him reach the White House - in a civil rights kind of way. But they didn't pave his path to the white vote. That was all Obama - Harvard Law, universal message, carefully chosen words, and great timing. And, about as nonracial as you can get.

Fans?

Well of course they haven't been fan magnets. Neither was King until he got shot. He was one of the most hated men in America in many homes.

When beating up on Pat Buchannan (one of my hobbies) I like to refer to this factoid:
QUOTE(Wikipedia)
Buchanan once heard King speak at a Baptist church in north St. Louis in 1962. He claims King accused the 1964 Goldwater presidential campaign of, "dangerous signs of Hitlerism."[92] Buchanan urged Nixon not to visit King's widow Coretta Scott King in 1969, because, "It would outrage many, many people who believe Dr. King was a fraud and a demagogue, and perhaps worse. ... It does not seem to be in the interests of national unity for the president to lend his national prestige to the argument that this divisive figure is a modern saint." He opposed making King's birthday a national holiday.

In a 2000 public radio interview, Buchanan said King was a divisive figure.[94]

[I said that in] a memo in 1969 whether we should recognize the day or go down and see Mrs. King, and I suggested we not see Mrs. King. I said, ‘Martin Luther King was one of the most divisive men. Some see him as the messiah of the nation, others think he’s a dreadful person. He is a divisive figure.’ Look, I knew Martin Luther King. I am the only candidate who was at the march on Washington. I was in the Lincoln Memorial. I was in Mississippi covering the civil rights demonstrations... Like every great movement, the civil rights movement had things that were attractive and things that were not. And for my history, friends, we make no apologies.

Link.
But in terms of long-term effects on bigotry King will have more impact that Powell and likely Obama.

Or as King said "the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice."

Gaining white votes isn't the same thing as reducing bigotry. Any bigot knows a few "good ones."


This post has been edited by turnea: Nov 11 2008, 08:16 PM
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EuroBlack
post Nov 12 2008, 07:10 PM
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QUOTE(net2007 @ Nov 9 2008, 08:07 AM) *
turnea
QUOTE
Then you made some additions of your own to my argument (which you placed in quotation marks, just who were you quoting?).

That's what straw man means.

Then you pretended that you didn't.

That would be the lie.
Yes, after I quoted your response directly and word for word, I added some of my thoughts on it when I replied. Thats called a debate Turnea. Most of those who would vote for Obama because he's black would be black, while most who would vote for McCain because he's white would probably be white, what about that is a lie? By the way, since your asking, in Post #16, in my reply I separated those parts with quotation marks because they were added thoughts by me. I did that to separate it from what you said, and mind you that was after I quoted it word for word so this is silly. Recently every time I disagree with you claim its either a straw man argument, a racist remark, an ad hominem, or a lie and its getting old.
Anyway I'll reply to the rest of your last post tomorrow.



From Wikipedia:
QUOTE
"A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "set up a straw man," one describes a position that superficially resembles an opponent's actual view, yet is easier to refute."


You said:
So those who oppose him because he was black, "many of whom would be white men" are wrong.
Yet those who supported him because he was black, "many of whom would be black" are mostly right?


That you clearly separated your own thoughts by quotation marks is rather irrelevant, since you were playing a game of "leading the witness". You were jumping to conclusions.

Let's assume four groups:
1. Blacks who voted Obama mostly on the issues.
2. Blacks who voted Obama mostly on his race.
3. Whites who voted Obama mostly on the issues.
4. Whites who voted Obama mostly on his race.

Your implicit meaning seems to be that black fall largely in group 2 and that whites fall largely in group 3. This is nonsense, since there's no proof of that. It somehow never occurs to you that whites could be race-based pro-Obama voters too.
We can make a good estimate of the size of group 2, otherwise affectionately known as Obama's "i'm black too"-bonus.
In the last generation, Democratic candidates drew extremely large parts of the black vote, even with candidate who were NOT social conservatives. This is about 85-90%. Now, Obama got 95-97%, see there, the rather modest size of his "i'm black too"-bonus.

Assuming that somehow the white "bonus" would be even larger is even more, if not complete nonsensical, since Obama got about the same portion of the white as Kerry did, even 1 percent LESS If there were whites who voted for Obama based on race, they were completely offset by whites for mccain, motivated by racism or issues.

Listen, you came up with a variation of a Straw Man, since you're not completely stupid. Big deal. You still made the point you wanted to make, which was that blacks who voted for Obama because of his race, are morally just as bad as racists who voted against him. That is simply a highly unlikely concept.
It's apologism, pure and simple. You want to say to yourself and other "white men": Hey, it;s okay to be racist, because blacks voted for him because he's black so it's okay for you to be racist.

You're thereby simply sweeping all that preceded that racism (insert disingenous query "White or Black racism?" HERE) under the rug, the KKK, slavery, the oppressive century that following 1865 etc. To pretend that all of that, is the same as blacks being proud of one of their own lifting himself up by his bootstraps, and thereby becoming a symbol for, not only them, but many, many whites and virtually all of the world (exceptions are the Russian leadership, parts of Israel and oddly, the Philippines)

To say that this symbol (his victory, not the man himself) of overcoming adversity is the moral equivalent of the KKK mindset is actually kind of sick.

And yes, your motivation is suspect, since the remainder of your post is based on the innate supremacy of whites, the inferiority of blacks, or some variation thereof. I'll give you that you can package it cleverly. Maybe if YOU had ran his campaign McWhereAreMy7houses wouldn't have lost ...


This post has been edited by EuroBlack: Nov 12 2008, 09:24 PM
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entspeak
post Nov 12 2008, 07:19 PM
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QUOTE(net2007 @ Nov 8 2008, 09:37 PM) *
Yes the African American vote is heavily Democratic, but race trumped party affiliation in this election and thats one reason why Obama got the black vote over more qualified Democratic candidates.


It seems to me that party dissatisfaction trumped party affiliation this election. How many Republicans voted for Obama regardless of race?

QUOTE
I'll admit, many people do believe Obama is qualified to be president, and many people agree with his policies, while I and many others don't. The point is that in the primaries when over 80% of the black vote goes to the only black Democratic candidate in this race, and over 90% of the black vote goes to Obama in the general election, there is no doubt some of these individuals are concerned as much or more about Obama's skin color, than his politics and experience.


You seem to forget that Bill Clinton got close to 80% of the black vote in the Democratic Primaries in 1992. Yes, those who made decisions regarding either candidate based solely on race were misguided.

QUOTE
This type of race based voting I believe can be counterproductive, and its been shown to be counterproductive in cites like New Orleans where the majority of the population was black and in some cases corrupt and ineffective black politicans got reelected over and over again despite this.


Ummm... since when did race have anything to do with keeping corrupt politicians in office? White's are the majority here in Chicago and Daley keeps winning. Is that because the white's are supporting a white man?
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overlandsailor
post Nov 12 2008, 07:55 PM
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QUOTE(EuroBlack @ Nov 12 2008, 01:10 PM) *
QUOTE(overlandsailor @ Nov 9 2008, 03:33 PM) *
1. If someone voted against Senator Obama because he was black, or because he had Muslin heritage in his background and no other reason, then that person, IMHO was morally wrong and a bigot.


1. yes, maybe we should talk about it being morally wrong, but some might think that introducing morals into this discussion will muddy the waters.
I'm assuming that racists voted against Obama out of hatred and fear. I'm ALSO assuming that both blacks and whites voted FOR Obama out of hope but mostly out of common sense. Like Turnea said, it's the equating of the two that I have huge problems with.


You point is well taken. I was expressing my opinion (note the In My Humble Opinion above) and not presenting that point of view as a statement of fact. However, it is true that approaching this from a moral perspective is not likely to do anything but complicate the matter. But hey, I've been away for a long while and I'm out of practice. cool.gif I also take issue with equating the two as the same.

One of the underlying issues here is a matter of perspective. When someone says they voted for President-Elect Obama because he would be the first Black President some see it as the same as saying they voted for him because he's black. Others see it in the same light as votes for Bob Barr that might have been based solely on the fact that should he win he would be the first Libertarian elected President or votes for John McCain because he would have been the first Vietnam Vet elected President. When there's a irreconcilable difference of opinion on the fundamentals of an issue, discussion is nearly impossible. I see it as similar to the Abortion issue in that people on either side disagree on the question of when life begins, making a reasonable discussion about government's role in abortions challenging at best and usually an exercise in futility.

This post has been edited by overlandsailor: Nov 12 2008, 07:58 PM
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EuroBlack
post Nov 12 2008, 09:25 PM
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QUOTE(overlandsailor @ Nov 9 2008, 03:33 PM) *
1. If someone voted against Senator Obama because he was black, or because he had Muslin heritage in his background and no other reason, then that person, IMHO was morally wrong and a bigot.

2. I live in Missouri, where the concept of "Hillbilly"s came from. I know a number of rural folks who say sad things like "Well yea he's black,, but he's one of the good ones" when referring to a friend /neighbor, that voted for Senator Obama because they believed he was the most likely to make things better for them. Out-right racists voting for a black candidate out of self-interest. It floors me.

3. Though I admit the idea that we will have our first Black President is cool. cool.gif


1. yes, maybe we should talk about it being morally wrong, but some might think that introducing morals into this discussion will muddy the waters.
I'm assuming that racists voted against Obama out of hatred and fear. I'm ALSO assuming that both blacks and whites voted FOR Obama out of hope but mostly out of common sense. Like Turnea said, it's the equating of the two that I have huge problems with.

2. Well this is actually kinda hilarious to me. All the election I was hoping for an ad which would go like:
"Hey, I'm a racist, but I'm voting Obama, you know why? BECAUSE ... WE DESERVE IT"
I was torn between this one and:
"Hey, I'm a racist, but I'm voting Obama, you know why? BECAUSE ... IT MAKES SENSE"
Ideally, this part would be played by a large redneck with a t-shirt that said "Racists for Obama" or some such.

3. It IS kinda cool, isn't it? thumbsup.gif dry.gif mrsparkle.gif dry.gif
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