I think there has been some misunderstanding over my posts yesterday morning and Tuesday evening about racist attacks on Obama apparently having a significant effect on the results of the Ohio primary.

People will have differences of opinion about candidates on valid policy issues. Poor, rural voters feel that Clinton is stronger on NAFTA/trade – I get that. I think they are wrong in their judgment, but I won’t vilify someone for disagreeing with me on an issue of policy judgment. That is, after all, what elections are supposed to be about. So, if someone picks Clinton because they feel she is better on policy issues, I may be disappointed but I can’t really complain.

But when voters choose someone because of their race or gender, no matter what the permutation, that disappoints me very much. For a movement that is about equality of opportunity, we should not be leveraging racism or sexism to win elections. It is wrong, and it should not be tolerated.

It looks like, barring a miraculous stretch run by Clinton, or a brokered convention, Obama will still likely end up the nominee. If Clinton manages to finish strong and win the nomination by convincing more voters that she’s better on policy issues than Obama, then I’ll gladly support her in the general. But if she gets there by exploiting racism, or via a “smoke-filled-room” brokered convention that ignores the wishes of the Democratic Party electorate as laid out by the pledged delegates… well, I’m going to have a hard time pulling the lever for her and being able to live with myself.

In the end, I’d rather be spending my time talking about McCain cozying up with Rev. Hagee, or the benefits of Universal Health Care, than having to deal with racism and sexism coming from other liberals. It’s depressing, because it’s polarizing a group who, just a few months ago, were all excited about the collection of great candidates we had, and the great position we are (still!) in to deal 20th century attitudes a crushing blow, and it’s wrong. Let us get back on the right path.

  • We are on A right path- maybe not the best one but at least we’re moving in the right direction.

    It’s going to take more than one election cycle to work this out since EVERY party has been “leveraging racism or sexism to win elections” for 200+ years – i.e. only running white male candidates.

  • Modern Esquire

    First of all, Brian:
    “It looks like, barring a miraculous stretch run by Clinton, or a brokered convention” equally applied to Obama. That’s what’s so maddening to talk to Obama supporters. They seem to conveniently ignore that Obama mathmatically cannot get the nomination barring a miraculous stretch run or a brokered convention. His lead isn’t that significant.

    Second, you wrote a post where you suggested that the racist vote was predominately centered in Appalachia. When others, like me, pointed out that there were more obvious and likely non-racial motivations, you’ve begun backpeddling. Which is what you’re trying to finish here.

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