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Why Obama Will Not Be Prsident

March 17th, 2008

“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any colour) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.” Geraldine Ferarro

It has long been my contention that the 1st black president of the United States will be Republican (this argument applies equally to women). Geraldine Ferraro’s comments above crystallize why: any Democratic candidate that is black or female will have the taint of affirmative action on them. If Barack Obama was in the same position he is in today, except he was Republican, there would be no questioning his fitness for the position. If the Republican Party ever has a black or female nominee, you can be sure they would be the best candidate, with strong credentials, strong policies and a strong record. There would be no free passes due to race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or record of offences. The Democratic Party however, is the party of affirmative action, that equal opportunity must result in equal results.

When the Democrats put forth a candidate from a disadvantaged group, that candidates fitness for the job will automatically be questioned by many voters; not because of the candidate, but because of the history of the Democratic Party. And while Geraldine Ferraro can be beaten into submission, individual voters, standing in the voting booth and wondering, is he the best candidate, or the best black candidate?(or best female candidate?) cannot be so beaten. It may be possible to enforce equal opportunity on the workplace and public institutions, it cannot be enforced in the voting booth.

If Geraldine Ferraro, the person who has risen to the highest position thanks to affirmative action, the person chosen as Walter Mondale’s running mate with a whole six years in congress to call experience, can question Barack Obama’s experience, then why wouldn’t the voters question his experience? It’s not Obama’s fault, but he will have to carry the Democratic Party’s legacy of supporting affirmative action into any Presidential election.

US Politics

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