Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Apples and Oranges?

CNN was just talking about minorities voting for Barack Obama merely because his skin pigment is closer to theirs than John McCain's (Their phrasing, not mine). In other words instead of party lines they are voting on racial lines, issues be damned.

So I ask you, readers, assuming limited-to-no knowledge regarding the policies of each campaign:

1) Is there a difference between voting straight party lines and voting straight racial lines?

2) Is there a difference between deciding to vote for Obama because he is black and deciding to not vote for Obama because he is black?

Are all uneducated votes the same, or does the voters intent matter?


taco said...

1): Definitely. Today's Editorial Board campaign literature* posits: "Our differences have been stretched from one side of the political spectrum to the other, our ideologies have never been greater or more stark in contrast." Party lines, at least in theory, represent ideology. Racial lines do not represent ideology; to pretend that it does is the most ignorant form of slavey-esque racism. As with any job, the President should be selected based on the content of his character, not the color of his skin. In most jobs, you're not even allowed to mention a person's race within the context of hiring or firing them; the Civil Rights act prohibits it specifically as discrimination.

2): No, I don't think so, based on the above train of thought. We're essentially selecting someone for a job here, and race is something we have determined as a society is not an acceptable issue in that context.

?): All the same, I think, in that I wish we could discount the votes of people who vote that don't actually know the basics of the candidates and their issues and vote based on misinformation or peer pressure. "Intent" is hard to make relevant when you're talking about someone who is uninformed. If I am uninformed, and based upon my confused internal beliefs I determine that I need to vote for John McCain to make Catholicism the national religion, how do you objectively measure my intent? Misinformation is misinformation. You can subjectively decide that a voter isn't voting in their self interest and change their vote for them based on your own perceptions, but that is a matter of pure conjecture. It's unlikely that any of us know any given voter better than they themselves do. I guess the media and the campaign process are the mechanisms democracy relies upon to iron out those wrinkles in a general election?

taco said...

*campaign literature: "Rather than cynical indignation, these Americans chose hope"? C'mon DI, your writing is your bread and butter. You don't need to use the campaign's own jargon and scripted narrative to endorse it. The endorsement more convincing if you speak for yourself.

Nate said...

Taco, I wrote that from my own mind. Find it on a piece of campaign "jargon" and I'll apologize for my plagiarism. Or is using the word hope not allowed?