By Ivan G. Goldman
As a presidential candidate, John McCain is an accident of history, just as Hubert Humphrey was in 1968. Back then the Democratic candidate would have been
And in 2008 the Republican candidate would have been
McCain had also re-tailored most of his positions in order to pass muster with Mr. and Mrs. Right-Wing, but his switch had been a gradual one over approximately eight years. McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin for the No. 2 spot is an interesting one, but not likely to peel off nearly as many Hillary supporters as he’d hoped.
I’m not going to claim relatively untested Palin couldn’t possibly fill the role of president because if there’s one thing we’ve learned in the last eight years it’s that the country can stumble along with virtually anybody in the Oval Office, even a lazy little bastard who can’t put six grammatical words together and never asks any questions because he already knows everything.
But Barack Obama is not an accident of history. He’s the logical president for a country weary of a government that cares for the interests of only the very, very rich and their natural allies, the big global corporations out to buy favors.
Obama’s the logical president for a country that wants to get past its crazy concern over race. But of course not everyone in this country wants to get past race. When voters tell interviewers they don’t know enough about Obama, they’re basically saying they’d need to know an awful lot more about a black man in order to vote for him and they don’t really want to know too much because then they might want to vote for him. This is a man who wrote his own informative, revealing autobiography, writes his own speeches (as did Lincoln), and who told us in his acceptance speech exactly what he plans to do, who he is, and where he comes from. And they don’t know enough about him? Where do they live? Saddam’s old spider hole?
After what we’ve been through the last eight years either Al Gore or John Edwards --- both white Southern men with brains and decent instincts --- would have won this general election 58-52 percent. But Gore lost the fire in his belly and Edwards couldn’t get through to enough Democratic primary voters and ultimately self-destructed.
Naturally it’s going to be more difficult for an African-American with a funny name, particularly since a black man, as Jesse Jackson noted, isn’t allowed to get angry. And when the McCain-Rove machine really starts throwing mud, he’s going to have to be our new Jackie Robinson, the university-educated black man who promised Branch Rickey he would remain composed when taunted by racist ball players and fans. Robinson pledged to just play his best and pave the way for others. That’s what Barack is going to do for all of us.