Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A glimpse of history 

A reader sent me a worthy email, my last contribution before I go to bed:

I am a lifelong, very steadfast Republican...and a Princeton grad....and a Tiger Inn member....

Now that that is out of the way, tonight I had a few drinks at Triumph watching the returns.... However, as I walked home, I saw one of the most moving things I have ever witnessed. I had the privilige of hitting Olden and Prospect right as Obama was announced to be the "projected winner". I was able to witness no fewer than 20 African American Princeton Students spill out of the Carl Fields Center (where the black students on campus were watching the election) and sob openly, on the phone talking to their parents and/or grandparents. It wasn't until that moment that I realized that we were a part of history, and I got a little bit of a smile on my face.

Look, I disagree with just about everything Obama stands for. On an intellectual level. But we should wait until this guy has actually DONE something to start ripping him. He is our President now. My biggest disappointment in the W years is how there has been a total erosion of respect for the office of the president (I blame the left for this entriely)...let's work as the right to bring back thoughtful criticism and critique, while still acknowledging the enormity of what we are a part of. Some of the people who were kept out of Little Rock got to pull a lever today.

A nice note, and I agree with it. Whatever happens, there is a redemptive quality to this night that is very difficult to deny. Forty years after Martin Luthor King gave voice to his dream, American voters have, by the many millions, judged a black man by the content of his character. I worry they are wrong on the substance and will argue like hell against his philosophy and policies, but I can also be happy that it happened and hope that Barack Obama governs as well as he campaigns.


By Blogger JPMcT, at Wed Nov 05, 01:27:00 AM:

Nice thought, Tigerhawk, but Barak Obama shares as much with American urban blacks as I do.

The only thing he has in common with them is he has about half the number of melanocytes per square centimeter as they do....but none of the background of repression, slavery or missed opportunities. to celebrate his win as a "black" victory is to celebrate our differences based on how tan we are.

I think that's dead wrong.

What's worse...in an attempt to assuage our collective white guilt (please omit me from this equation, we are Irish and came over around 1870)we failed to really look at the man's qualifications.

In my book, he's the first affirmative action president.

And. like most of these demogogues, I will enjoy the spare time that the practice of ignoring him will free up over the next four years.

I will need that time to preserve my retirement plan from these jackals.  

By Blogger davod, at Wed Nov 05, 02:45:00 AM:

"Whatever happens, there is a redemptive quality to this night that is very difficult to deny."
Sorry. We will spend the nect four years constantly being reminded how this is just the start of payback.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Wed Nov 05, 06:42:00 AM:

JPMcT - Nice thought, Tigerhawk, but Barak Obama shares as much with American urban blacks as I do.

Well, maybe so. But very few blacks, urban or otherwise, agree with you.

I do not feel a lot of "white guilt," but I also am cognizant of the "separateness" that many, or perhaps most, blacks feel and sincerely believe they experience. You can argue all day long whether it is justified, but that does not change the problem.

The possible upside in this that I hope for is quite simple: That the Obama administration will have a very powerful electoral interest in downplaying racial reasons for social problems, because (like all presidents) Obama cannot afford to alienate whites or other non-blacks before 2012.

davod - "start of payback"

You may be right, but only if Obama's administration loses all message discipline. I think his election spells the end of cranky ideas for "healing" race problems, such as reparations.

That said, who really knows what the future will bring? This is all so much guesswork, and you guys should feel free to throw these posts in my face if it turns out I'm wildly wrong.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Wed Nov 05, 07:58:00 AM:

Turns out that Obama was elected by an institutionally racist country with hardly a hiccup or even a glance at his qualifications. Anyone can do anything, here. Affirmative action's logical conclusion has been reached.

Can we kill it now?  

By Blogger Catchy Pseudonym, at Wed Nov 05, 09:48:00 AM:

Your comments show an effort to diminish Obama's victory by saying it was purely based on voter's naive wish for some kind of racial statement.


I voted for Obama because of the issues. Because I thought he was the better candidate. Not because he's black.

He defeated McCain soundly and on his own merit. So your affirmative action statements sounds neat, but it's wrong.

Of course maybe you think that a black man can only win the presidency by affirmative action where as the white guy, of course, did it all on hardwork and intelligence.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Wed Nov 05, 11:34:00 AM:

I thought that liberals were supposed to be good at 'irony' and 'nuance.' I sort of imagined that "institutionally racist country" was a dead give-away. I guess not. So let me spell it out.

The argument for affirmative action has always been that being born black in America is fundamentally a handicap (because America was an institutionally racist country) that needs to be counteracted in some way by a positive intervention on their behalf.

Well look, a black man was elected President. Obviously, being born black in America isn't such a handicap as it used to be.

So doesn't it then seem logical to end the positive intervention? Isn't election to the Presidency pretty much the be-all end-all of proving that you are no longer a discriminated minority? Isn't that how it worked with Kennedy and Catholics?

Or would you rather that particular ethnicities be considered above others in professional and academic competition in perpetuity?  

By Blogger Catchy Pseudonym, at Wed Nov 05, 12:02:00 PM:

Thanks for spelling it out for me. That extra smug you added made it all the clearer.

I have to admit, yes, I completely failed to grab your irony.

So your point may have been 'nuanced', but a commenter above you said, "In my book, he's the first affirmative action president"

Was he being nuancical, ironyicallous, or any other non-word I can think of?  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Thu Nov 06, 12:53:00 AM:

No, I don't think I was being nuanced in bringing up the 'affirmative action" issue.

Had Obama been white...would he have generated the same voter response....the adoration, the weeping, religious metaphors, the promise of cleansing the white guilt and the massive media bias.

We have had far left candidates run with some frequency...and they invariable lose, McGovernesque.


He clearly won because of the novelty.

So now what do we do with him???  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Thu Nov 06, 01:30:00 AM:

CP (good initials!) - do you really think Obama would have had a prayer of beating Hillary for the Dem nomination if he had been white?  

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