11/03/2008

Why every decent person has to hope the polls in America are right

I know the title of this posting will get the backs up of everyone hoping that McCain and his fruit loop of a VP candidate are elected, but stick with me. I'm not going to argue the merits of Obama over McCain or the Democrats over the Republicans. Instead I want to look at what the polls tell us about America, and what the result will confirm.

All the latest polls show Obama with an average lead of around 6%. Taking in to account the margin of error, this means that Obama should be elected. That in itself is staggering, given his ethnicity and the negative, sometimes racist overtones of the efforts to stop him. But it tells us much about how America has changed.

An America which a few decades ago set dogs on black voters at the polls, a United States that just 8 years ago blocked roads in black areas of Florida in order to make voting harder for them to vote, should elect a black president. What an historic moment that would be. It would underline that the USA has changed, not its politics, but its demographics.

The growth of the latino vote has been talked of for some years, but this would end the dominance of white north European Americans, and show that the USA truly is a land where any immigrant can aspire to be what they want to be.

So why should we all hope the polls are right ? Because if they are wrong, if "The Bradley Effect" repeats itself where voters tell the pollsters that they will vote for a black man, but cannot actually bring themselves to do it, it will show that America has not yet matured and has not let go of its prejudices from the past.

I am not saying that Republicans who believe in John McCain's messages and beliefs have to vote for Obama to prove this. What I am saying is that the polls indicate McCain is behind and if people can tell the pollsters this, they are saying that the US has changed but they must follow through with it at the polls if we are to really know that it is true.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

So it's all about race is it? If Americans choose to elect a president on policies alone and those policies preclude voting for the messiah - that makes them racists then?

Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Tony, my point is that only race can stop Obama winning. The polls clearly show that he has more support.

But the whole election is not about race, as I make clear in my posting.

Joe Otten said...

I don't care about the polls. I just hope the voting machines get it right.

2345 said...

Mandella & Colin Powell proved long ago that colour transcends racial barriers where respect, inspiration and hope are concerned.

Obama, like Lewis Hamilton, both from humble beginnings, have shown what people can achieve; family is their mainstay, not money.

Anonymous said...

But people here are missing the point. What NB is saying is that race does not matter, but if the Bradley effect happens, race clearly does. We should all hope that race will play no part in any election result.

Tony Sharp said...

Erm, Nich. I have not commented on this thread and I am certainly not anonymous.

That aside, are you saying anyone who hopes the polls are wrong is not a 'decent person'? If your slagging of Sarah Palin is anything to go by your definition of decency could do with revision.

Be honest. The only people who have made race an issue are the Democrats - who are playing the race card each time they suggest people who do not vote for Obama will make that decision because of the colour of his skin.

Listening to Five Live throughout today I have been struck by the number of people who have said they are voting Obama because he is African American. It seems ability, merit and policies (whatever they turn out to be once the mantra has faded away) are less important than the politics of race.

Pete (WestBrom Blogger) said...

You also forget that not all people lying to the pollsters are racists, some are just scared of being accused/called/thought of, as a racist by those who make snap judgements - you for example. lol

You also ignore project chaos on the conservative side.
How much has this skewed polls?
http://wizbangblog.com/content/2008/10/23/cooking-polls---state-poll-edition.php

Pete (WestBrom Blogger) said...

Whoops, I put the wrong link in that last post.

By the way, I know you’re passionate about Obama and I wish your candidate the best of luck. I too think the election of a black man to the Oval Office would be a remarkable step forward. I think the US is more than ready for a Black President.... I just wish it wasn't this one.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Tony, Everything I have written about Palin is true. I didn't even mention her inability to understand the US constitution.

Pete, I am not passionately Obama, I am just passionately NOT Palin.

StuartR said...

Overall I am happy that Obama has won, as the Republican party in the US has moved way too far to the right (especially in areas of personal morality and religion) and despite the respect I have for McCain he was never going to be able to drag it back towards the centre where it should be (Small Government, Freedom of Speech, Personal Liberty etc etc).

Personally I was ambivalent towards Obama as the democratic nominee (better than Clinton, but too economically left wing for my liking), until McCain took the big gamble and appointed Sarah Palin as his running mate.

At that point I became desperate for Obama to win, as despite his faults, these would be nothing as compared to risk that when Sarah Palin became POTUS. I would view the prospect of a creationist, seperatist, populist lightweight taking control of the most powerful country on Earth with alarm and despair.

What is a shame is that the McCain that we have seen over the past decade or so went into hiding during the campaign, with only fleeting glimpses of him, and didn't emerge until last nights speech accepting the outcome.

The biggest shame for both the US and the world is that the GOP didn't have the foresight and integrity to choose McCain 8 years ago.

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