My old classmate John McWhorter says that Obama’s current position:
“proves that while there still is some racism in the United States, there is not enough to matter in any serious manner. This is a watershed moment. Obama is probably more to the left than I would prefer on a lot of issues, but this issue of getting past race for real is such a wedge issue for me. And he is so intelligent, and I think he would be a perfectly competent president, that I’m for him. I want him to get in because, in a way, it will put me out of a job.”
So there’s a reason to vote for Obama – put John out of a job!
(I’m kidding, of course. For one, I think John overstates – in a direction comfortable with his generally voiced leanings and positions – that racism is not at a level to seriously matter in this country. I think that if the voters were to awaken tomorrow and find it was voting day, and the only two choices they saw on the ballot were listed as “a black guy” and “a white guy” with no other details, white guy would win in a landslide. But we have reached a point where this black guy could, and quite possibly will, beat that white guy, where race is a factor but not inherently the factor. And that is a great watershed, and momentum is with us overall. Certainly in my life time, even an idealized version of Obama would still be beaten by “a white guy”, and not long before that, by any white guy; put some white guy on the ballot in ’56 with no experience, no education, and a prison record, and he still would’ve beaten Obama.
And secondly, even if John loses his current gig, he’s still got a pretty darn powerful set of academic credentials in linguistics; he won’t be out of work for long. So don’t let concern about adding to the unemployment rolls stop you from voting for Obama. I won’t let it stop me!