Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Mulatto baby brings hope, fear, other stuff
For black people, Obama brings hope that their kid can grow up to run the country, or at least that a biracial man can comfortably fit into the old white male network. It is probably stretching it to say that any Antwon or Shaniqua can grow up to run this country, but it must be comforting to know that a dark skinned man with the same credentials as a pale male can be elected to the most important office in America. I always thought the first black man elected to president would be a Republican, since I didn't think America could elect both a Democrat and a black. I also didn't expect it to happen this soon. Although Martin Luther King, Jr.'s brains were blown out a long time ago, had he lived, this election would have occurred in his lifetime. My parents were born when segregation was still legal. My dad died of unnatural causes, but my mother is still alive. That Obama was elected during all of their lifetimes is truly remarkable, but probably says more about Obama and less about the U.S. being a progressive nation. After all, one of our most liberal states just voted to take away the rights of their fellow citizens.
For Republicans, Obama brings fear that he will rape their white daughters, destroy Christianity and raise taxes. As chronicled on at this fine site, many conservatives are threatening to cut back their work to deprive Obama of their tax money, which is kind of funny. Some are in terror that blacks will overrun the country, and if you are a black guy and see a white guy clutching a gun and sweating, I'd avoid him...which is probably good advice for anyone, at any time, honestly. Tom DeLay (or some other shmuck) warned that Obama would double the minimum wage, which I think would be fine, but is not something that would happen anyway. Rudy Guiliani said the failure was Republicans getting away from their small government roots, which may be partially true but sells short Obama and his team's massive talents, and also ignores what a little tyrant Rudy was as mayor of New York. The conservatives are hyperventilating, and they are envisioning the Apocalypse in the form of Barack Obama.
For Democrats, Obama brings anticipation that he can fix the economy, fix health care, fix the environment, fix our relations overseas, fix our conflicts, and fix his new dog. People are expecting way more than Obama can possibly deliver, even with a House and Senate full of Democrats. Obama is only one man, and he may not have strong allies in Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. We've witnessed their ineffectiveness as the majority party already, and I suspect Pelosi has designs on her own bid for presidency. Nevertheless, I believe Obama can succeed in many areas. I'm not all that confident on health care and a few other domestic issues, but I think Obama can score big on foreign policy, which is supposedly his "weakness." Which leads us to...
For the world, Obama offers optimism that he can repair the international damage that Bush has wrought on the world. "Where George W. Bush pronounced, bulldozed and failed, Barack Obama will listen, cooperate and then decide." - Alain Duhamel
For me, I have my reservations about some of his policies, but I can't help but like Barack Obama as a person. I actually see a little bit of me in him. Although his is more drastic than my own story, we share parallels. We both grew up in many different places. We both grew up in single parent homes. We both grew up with mixed ethnicities (although most of mine spawn from Europe). We both grew up to become public interest attorneys. Obama and I, we are the new face of America. We are mutts, products of a modern world, and successful despite - and because of - our hardships and experiences. There are differences, of course. He went to nice schools and is a published author. He's also far wealthier than I am. The mother fucker also promised me a magnet if I donated $10 to his campaign, a promise he has yet to deliver on. Still, more than any other president, I can associate with Obama.
And so, come January of 2009, the first biracial president, the first Generation X president, the first Democratic president of the 21st century, will begin to serve the people. Let's hope for good things.
Update 11/9: Per comments, Obama may not be Generation X. I also see that he referred to himself as a mutt after I already did. Once again, the man is ripping me off. Finally, I changed a handful of modifiers to make my sentences easier to read. I should probably proofread before I post things.