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What victory would mean

  • Gavin Hewitt
  • 4 Nov 08, 04:17 AM GMT

Jacksonville, Florida, and Manassas, Virginia: In Jacksonville, Florida, today the crowd had not come to listen to a speech. They had come to cheer, to celebrate. This was more like a homecoming, a ticker-tape moment.

So when Barack Obama started to speak, he was interrupted frequently. They chanted his name.

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At the edge of the crowd, I started talking to African-Americans. They all believe that Obama will be the next president. There are few doubters in the crowds. There was a 72-year-old who remembered when dogs were turned on black voters. "This is such a big step," he said. "As big as when Jackie Robinson, the black baseball player, made it through."

Another man said it "would change the face of America". For him, it would be the moment when the American dream had meaning. He said it would mean that any person, whatever their colour or belief, could make it to the top.

I asked several people how they would react at the moment they knew that the next president of the United States was a black man. One woman said to me with a smile: "Cry. I will cry. Cry for joy and cry for all that has passed."

The 72-year-old said he would cry too. Tomorrow night, if victory goes to Obama, there will be a lot of tears and a lot of memories, some painful.

I came away from these conversations struck again as to how momentous this night could be. I met people who remember benches with the words "whites only" on them. Others talked about sit-ins at lunch counters. Others talked about the "Freedom Rides". All of this is within living memory.

There will be millions of African-Americans tomorrow who will recall the long struggle that has brought them to this point.

I was in Chicago about 10 years ago. I made a programme called "American Apartheid". It coincided with the Million Man March, when hundreds of thousands of African-Americans marched in Washington.

I remember the hopelessness of the Robert Taylor Homes on Chicago's South Side. I recall hearing the preacher Louis Farrakhan talk of "white devils", and the crowd was with him.

How times have changed and how Barack Obama has changed the times. The gangs had no role models and saw no means of escaping their neighbourhood. Obama, from the outset, did not want to define himself as a black candidate. Part of his appeal was that he said there was no black or white or Hispanic, only Americans.

The past two times that I have heard Michelle Obama, she has told a story. She talks of meeting an 80-year-old on the rope line who says to her: "I never thought I would live to see the day." On neither occasion does she finish the thought. She does not have to. Everyone listening knows that the man was saying that he never thought he'd live to see a black man living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

So, a victory for Obama on Tuesday evening would lead to huge celebrations - but to reflection, too, on the struggle that brought Americans to the point that they would vote for an African-American.

Comments

  • 1. At 04:46am on 04 Nov 2008, Dayvine wrote:

    fivethirtyeight.com is pondering the thought of Obama taking Georgia.

    It doesn't fit with any electoral collage tallying scenarios, but it would be an astonishing feat if the organisers are successful in their attempts.

    Their starting point comes from the early voting numbers:

    "1,994,990 people [have] voted early in Georgia.

    3,301,875 total voted in Georgia's presidential race in 2004."

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  • 2. At 04:52am on 04 Nov 2008, paul939 wrote:

    A victory for obama would be fantastic. He would not be a messiah, but atleast he would have a good start. Most of the world prefer obama over McCain.

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  • 3. At 05:04am on 04 Nov 2008, OldSouth wrote:

    But if he loses (and he might lose!), what will those tens upon tens of thousands flooded into downtown Chicago do?

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  • 4. At 05:54am on 04 Nov 2008, Cinderella628 wrote:

    A victory for obama is very great !

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  • 5. At 06:47am on 04 Nov 2008, Kim147 wrote:

    I think the choice is a typical political imperfect choice - it is largely a matter of choosing the best out of that . Obama is certainly not perfect but the potential with Obama - for good - for competency - for repairing the damage - for minimal side effects and minimal collateral damage - is far greater than with McCain \ Palin . It's a matter of making it work - getting everything fixed up . The USA has got a lot of catching up to do - in terms of how the government and electoral systems operate , in terms of how the economy operates , and in terms of how they operate internationally - a lot for the new president to do - and all this with the Second Great Depression looming .

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  • 6. At 06:57am on 04 Nov 2008, Sankari wrote:

    Post #3; OldSouth wrote: "But if he loses (and he might lose!), what will those tens upon tens of thousands flooded into downtown Chicago do?"

    They'll go home, which is what regular people do after a big event.

    What do you think they'll do?

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  • 7. At 07:04am on 04 Nov 2008, Andrew Kenning wrote:

    Your right Kim, this is all about the potential that Obama offers the United States.

    After 7 years of ineffective and divisive leadership (divisive both in the US and over here in the Middle East), Obama offers new direction and new hope.

    At last, America will be led by someone with the intellect to cope with the job, someone who will not completely rely upon advisors to script every decision for him.

    The possible alternative is nightmarish; a McCain/Palin administration that is not markedly different from what went before it. More disturbing though is the possibility that someone as vacuous as Sarah 'She-Bush' Palin being so close to such a position.

    My Merthyr mam could fire a gun (she is a farmer's daugther), had 3 children and comes from a genuinely working-class background. Never in a million years would she ever have even dreamed of runnning for office. And she has more common sense in her little finger than Palin has in her whole body!

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  • 8. At 07:36am on 04 Nov 2008, Andrew Kenning wrote:

    Dear God!

    I meant 'You're'. Early here.

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  • 9. At 07:49am on 04 Nov 2008, AndyW35 wrote:

    Excellent post Kim147. Nobody is perfect, only the extreme left and right wing bloggers think their person is always right and then other person is always wrong and that just not a credible attitude when it comes to politicians !

    So, yes - realism but with hope. Obama might be a damp squib, but there is the potential for something great. Unfortunately the current occupier has left the house in a state of disrepair and where Obama would like to build a new level or extension he might spend all his time repairing the foundations.

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  • 10. At 08:00am on 04 Nov 2008, Rob-of-Indy wrote:

    I hope everything works out OK - I really do. The economy is a mess. It's been a long time in coming, so I fear it won't be fixed overnight. Whoever wins - I will support him because he will be the President of the United States January 20th 2009.

    And I think many people put way too much credence in television coverage of Gov Palin. With creative and spiteful editing, a television news outlet could make anyone look stupid. I believe she is a powerful and prudent Governor and would make a great president. In Alaska, she has demonstrated that she could cut through all the political mumble-jumble and do what needed to be done. I believe she could do that with the whole country, too. I suspect that she was asked to toe the party line, to tout the McCain message, and not run the campaign as if she were the candidate. This, too, made her look like she was "a fish out of water." I'm hoping we'll see her again in 2012.

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  • 11. At 08:00am on 04 Nov 2008, Martijn wrote:

    "In the first voting of the day, Mr Obama defeated his rival by 15 votes to six in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire. "
    Surely it's settled now. If even the good people of Dixville Notch vote in such overwhelming numbers for Obama McCain doesn't stand a chance, does he?

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  • 12. At 08:35am on 04 Nov 2008, jim12miller wrote:

    Real change will have come when crap like this this is not floated around before the election trying to pursuade people how to vote.

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  • 13. At 08:42am on 04 Nov 2008, duhbuh wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 14. At 08:49am on 04 Nov 2008, Andrew Kenning wrote:

    "And I think many people put way too much credence in television coverage of Gov Palin. With creative and spiteful editing, a television news outlet could make anyone look stupid. I believe she is a powerful and prudent Governor and would make a great president."

    That makes me shudder. The Couric interview was not edited, it was just allowed to run and run.

    Then the debate with Biden where she just did not answer the questions! Next time around, hire Jeremy Paxman to ask his own questions (or an American equivalent) and let's see your leaders on the spot.

    After all, they are looking to work in the hottest of environments and so there's nothing wrong with making them feel a little heat first.

    Palin, a great President?! Give me a break.

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  • 15. At 08:57am on 04 Nov 2008, righteousjustinian wrote:

    Those who have seen, AMSTAD, Directed by Steven Spielberg. With Morgan Freeman, Nigel Hawthorne, Anthony Hopkins. AMISTAD is about a 1839 mutiny aboard a slave ship - will be having the tears in their respective eyes as a mark of gratitude and thankfullness by bowing their heads towards God for such unique and splendid victory, which will change tide of history and turn hatred to love for USA for world at large, particularly the oppressed nations of the world.

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  • 16. At 09:03am on 04 Nov 2008, Cartponybefore wrote:

    It must be a sign of desperation.

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  • 17. At 09:08am on 04 Nov 2008, dhimmi wrote:

    MLK said that he dreamt of the day when no one would be judged on the colour of their skin

    Clearly people are favouring Obama because he is black and are as such racists

    We are a long way off that day.

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  • 18. At 09:17am on 04 Nov 2008, davidcevans wrote:

    I think it might be important to separate this into two parts - whether Obama is the right person for the job, an the wonder of a possible (likely?) President with African-American heritage. The first is a question of policy and politics, and is colour-blind. The second is - whether or not you agree with Obama - something to marvel at. The USA so often thinks of itself as a beacon of hope in the world, and in recent years that has been far from the truth. If nothing else, the fact of electing a man like Obama may allow the USA to start the long and difficult climb back to the high ground. Then, when in future an African-American or Hispanic-American (or whatever) stands it can simply be about issues and character.

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  • 19. At 09:28am on 04 Nov 2008, matt-williams wrote:

    Here's another great account of what an Obama presidency might mean:http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/1103/p09s02-coop.html

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  • 20. At 09:36am on 04 Nov 2008, Temascos wrote:

    I too am dissapointed in some voters choosing Obama because he is black, rather than by the merit of his future policies for the country, but it is understandable at the same time, at the very least its a change from having an old white guy in office, and its a sign of progress in that anyone of any background could make it into office.

    For me personally, I like Obama's foreign policy better than McCain's, all I hope is that the USA population at large are made aware of that there are other countries and that the USA alone does not make the entire world.

    But the voting has only just begun, the fat lady hasn't sung yet!

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  • 21. At 09:47am on 04 Nov 2008, Skopjeeran wrote:

    I worked for on a pre-election assessment in Macedonia in 1994. Political parties were, and even after the 2 wars there, are still based on ethnicity and religion. One party official asked me whether I could imagine voting for a Black person as my representative in government. I told him, "Of course, if s/he's qualified." He was astounded and said that no Macedonian could imagine being represented by an Albanian or member of another ethnic group in Parliament. I rejoice in the choice that US voters are making, not only in ousting the evil regime that has been Bush and his cohorts; but in demonstrating, for once, that merit and courage and intelligence trump prejudice and fear. I never believed I would see this in the US in my lifetime. A moment to savor and remember. Amazing!

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  • 22. At 09:50am on 04 Nov 2008, ChiefWhiteHalfoat wrote:

    Gavin - I'd like to thank you for your blog through this campaign. The writing has been sensitive and insightful, and of great interest to us overseas (from the US) who do not get the intensity of coverage in the mainstream press. I've also noticed how the two blogs following the Republican and Democratic campaigns have taken on the style of those campaigns; I won't labour the point, but anyone who's read both will see what I mean. I think the feeling of change for the USA, of hope bringing new life to a country that has been dragged down through the neocon Bush/Cheney 8 years, has inspired many, if not all who have followed Obama on the trail. The world is watching America as she decides her future. May she choose well.

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  • 23. At 09:56am on 04 Nov 2008, omegapoisonivy wrote:

    When you think that even in this day and age the Republicans are trying their dirty tricks to prevent people voting for Obama...and that just a few decades ago America thought that it fitted ok to have the American dream of freedom be for whites only...if Obama can win today it would be the first sign that USA believes in its own dream. As for the rest of the world, we simply cannot have McCain/Palin. It would be a disaster for all of us on a scale not seen before...a ticket based on "drill baby drill" and "bomb baby bomb" makes my blood run cold... Go Obama...

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  • 24. At 10:01am on 04 Nov 2008, StatesboroBlues wrote:

    I am a white American, and I cast my vote for Barack Obama. I first heard of him during the 2004 election, when he was running for Senate in the state of Illinois. I knew that he was a promising figure, and I did my best to familiarize myself with him, his past, and his ideals.

    Then I watched him give the keynote address at the Democratic convention, and for the first time I felt truly inspired in a positive way by a politician. For the first time I felt good about what could be in Washington. Overwhelmed with optimism I looked at my roommate and said "That is the next president of the United States." I never imagined that I might actually be correct.

    In fact, I myself was afraid that I might never see a viable African-American candidate for president from either of the major parties. I had just come to accept that many Americans simply weren't ready, and that it might be some time longer before they were. Now though, as I watch Senator Obama inspire countless Americans, from all walks of life, I realize that we are ready.

    We're ready because it isn't the color of Senator Obama's skin that inspires us, it is his view of the world. A peaceful, harmonious world where the concerns of the whole supercede the desires of the priveledged few. A world where America stands not alone as a "super-power", but with the rest of the international community as an equal partner striving for the benefit of all mankind.

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  • 25. At 10:14am on 04 Nov 2008, Chris Q wrote:

    I am from the UK and so I have that detached luxury of not having to make a voting choice. I would like to , however. I would vote for Obama, had I the opportunity.

    I am sure McCain is a good man. However, we are tired of uninspiring, white, middle aged (being polite) guys and their cliques running everything and doing it badly.

    It has passed largely unspoken in the election coverage - like the elephant in the corner of the room - that "W", in spite of some charisma, has been utterly terrible for the US. That is an outside view. However, he did well for "his kind". (Oil Business - not race). He leaves his nation poorer, uncertain and undermined abroad. He has lost troops in the thousands and still not really tackled terrorism in any way that matters - the hearts of the people attracted to extremism. I find it hard to say anything positive about the current President. I genuinely would not vote for him as a school board member - he strikes me as being that undistinguished. Only the office he holds has given him class.

    McCain has, and it is surprisingly uncommented, had to compete against Bush's appalling record almost as much as he has against Obama. An incredible indictment in a terror-obsessed nation with a historical repression of coloured peoples rights is that America looks set to vote in a black man with the name "Barack Hussein Obama".

    Which is why Palin was a dreadful error, in my opinion. She undermines what non-steadfast republicans are tired of - incompetence and lack of intelligence in what is the world's most powerful role. The United States deserves the Republical party to offer it better. I think McCain is seen as weakened by stooping to this level. I don't trust his decision-making if he believes she deserves to be Vice President of the United States.

    I am not american nor black but the enormous change this election looks as though it may provide - touches even me. It must be incomprehensible to huge number of American citizens.

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  • 26. At 10:16am on 04 Nov 2008, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Ah yes, Dixville Notch. I kind of forgot about them since January. I'm kind of surprise though that they voted for Obama, in part because they usually vote republican.

    Here locally, the polls open in forty-five minuetes at six am. I was planning on going over this afternoon to vote, but since I'm awake and have nothing to do. I might just head over there this morning to aviod the crowds.

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  • 27. At 10:32am on 04 Nov 2008, TaffyJP wrote:

    It just bothers me when people (and many have) say that support for Obama is because of his race. That is absolute rubbish. By that same argument, we should conclude that support for McCain is also because of his race.

    There have been black presidential candidates before, Jessie, and Al. They did not win. They were black by the way. So now to say that in this day and age when the black population is statistically a lesser minority than before, how can one suggest racism in this context.

    This sinister statement has terrible undertones of utter stupidity and the irresponsible stealth attacks of the McCain campaign to reduce support for Obama. I pray more people can see through these offensive comments that suggest racism when it surely is not the case.

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  • 28. At 10:49am on 04 Nov 2008, thelovelyJellicoe wrote:

    Even though I'm a Brit I've been following the two campaigns with interest over the last few months.

    I think we are doing the Americans a disservice assuming that the majority are making their decision based on the colour of the candidates skin.

    Personally as the campaigns progressed I found myself forgetting that Barak Obama is Black and just listening to what he and McCain had to say. Their policies, debate performances, campaign integrity and VP choice would have far more bearing on my vote than their skin colour.

    In this day and age I hope that the American voters share my view and the latent racism reported in the media has been blown out of proportion.

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  • 29. At 11:03am on 04 Nov 2008, T from New Zealand wrote:

    The possible (likely?) next (elections on Nov 8th) deputy prime minister of New Zealand recently said this:

    "I’m a bit worried about this whole Obama and Europe thing, just because there’s a limited effectiveness in being moralistic about international relations ... and the US you can argue over do it and Bush should have put a different window dressing on it but there still needs to be someone willing to pull the trigger."

    Apparently he reckons Obama like Europe doesn't have what it takes to start a war.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP7yZaRZao0

    Obviously inappropriate of him to say such things but kind of interesting.

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  • 30. At 11:03am on 04 Nov 2008, Martijn wrote:

    "Clearly people are favouring Obama because he is black and are as such racists"

    I am white. I favour Obama. So that makes me a racist now?????
    I think you are assuming quite a lot when you write that people are 'clearly' favouring Obama 'because he is black'. Now where did you get that idea?

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  • 31. At 11:08am on 04 Nov 2008, googlyblogger wrote:

    Thanks Gavin for the coverage of the Obama campaign - it certainly sounds from this post that America is up for a change! In either case actually - Obama will be the first black president or McCain the oldest.

    You make an interesting reference to American Apartheid and I wonder whether there will be any real consequence to African Americans of Obama taking lead of the US. I sincerely doubt it.

    I'm based in South Africa and the sentiment here at least is that Africa will not benefit much from Obama's presence in the White House.. bar the nominal fact that the US has a black president there is zero expectation that American foreign policy will change towards Africa. In any case, I think the world outside the US are looking forward to a fresh face and better judgement after this election.

    On a lighter note - think you'll enjoy the cartoon blog wrap-up covering the US elections and Obama on Wonkie (check out http://www.wonkie.com/tag/barack-obama/ ) If nothing else, the US elections have provided a fair amount of comic relief to the rest of the world!

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  • 32. At 11:12am on 04 Nov 2008, Belmons wrote:

    " For him, it would be the moment when the American dream had meaning. He said it would mean that any person, whatever their colour or belief, could make it to the top."

    For me, the real breakthrough will be when someone with no "belief" can be President. A moment which probably will never come.

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  • 33. At 11:22am on 04 Nov 2008, nomorefakenews wrote:

    What a victory would mean?

    Quite simple,bush jr signed the "security and prosperity partnership of north america" on 23march 2005 in waco texas....aka...the north american union....usa , canada and mexico join in a union (like the EU) with a new single currency the "amero"...in this term no matter who WINs!!

    regarding colour or race or religion, same again, we live in a scripted manufactured agenda...these people presented to us are members of ngo's/groups...CFR..RIIA...Bilderberg group..etc..etc

    kind regards
    nomorefakenews

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  • 34. At 11:26am on 04 Nov 2008, BuddyInPa wrote:

    America Proves Again to the World that WE ARE A NATION FOR ALL THE WORLD !!!

    President Barack Obama Brings Hope not just to the USA but to the Entire World...

    THAT YES WE CAN ...Be A United Family and LIVE AND WORK TOGETHER !!!

    GO BARACK OBAMA GO !!!

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  • 35. At 11:27am on 04 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    To # 20,

    I'm assuming that for every person that votes for Obama because he is black, there is a person not voting for him for the same reason.

    Peace

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  • 36. At 11:46am on 04 Nov 2008, TaffyJP wrote:

    dhimmi wrote: "Clearly people are favouring Obama because he is black and are as such racists"

    Again I comment on this. Maybe there is no understood definition of racism or for that matter prejudice. My advice to dhimmi would be to learn the difference and then comment once more and let us know what he/she thinks about the two words?

    It amazing that in this day and age there is such a rush to call "black" people racist. Never did I ever think this would be done. What an egalitarian society we closely approximate that a black can be a racist. (Sarcasm)

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  • 37. At 11:46am on 04 Nov 2008, Richard wrote:

    I'm British and have no vote in the USA but if I did, I'd vote Obama - not because he's black (or not white), but because he's not McCain.

    And the choice between their running-mates is just as stark. It's not that Palin is a woman which gives me the collywobbles, it's pretty much everything she stands for and says.

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  • 38. At 11:47am on 04 Nov 2008, KiwiNeil wrote:

    Re: #29

    Bill English's comments are highly embarrassing but it would be nice to know the context of the secret recording.

    I can't see it having any significant impact on either election but as you put it, "kind of interesting".

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  • 39. At 11:50am on 04 Nov 2008, khamelion75 wrote:

    "So, a victory for Obama on Tuesday evening would lead to huge celebrations - but to reflection, too, on the struggle that brought Americans to the point that they would vote for an African-American."

    The world is changing. Time the media caught up.

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  • 40. At 11:52am on 04 Nov 2008, Aghasahib wrote:

    I feel the Bush administration created an agressive image and an imperialistic reputation for the United States in the world. This forced the American population to vote for change and save thier nation from further hostility form the people in the world. The election of Obama as a president will not only provide the vehicle for change but it will also make a large proportion of the American people fell that America is thier home and they belong there. I believe, In the long run, this is good for America and the world as a whole.

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  • 41. At 12:17pm on 04 Nov 2008, Simon densley wrote:

    I may be a white British/Australian conservative but I am longing to see an Obama presidency. I only wish I could be there to share and enjoy the outpouring of emotion when (if) it happens. I believe this outcome will mean that for the first time in a long time America will regain its reputation as a country to be respected rather than feared (and therefore loathed). I now look forward to my first visit in 8 years since I began my own private boycott of the USA several years ago, disgusted that a certain 'W' could actually be considered presidential material. Good luck Obama. Tomorrow we may all want to call ourselves Americans.

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  • 42. At 12:34pm on 04 Nov 2008, Tony wrote:

    Everytime I see and hear Barack Obama speak he looks like and sounds like the president. He has presence, he communicates well, he has *something* about him. Whereas John McCain just looks and sounds like a bumbling, doddery old fart, six months away from a care home for the elderly!

    Here's hoping for an Obama landslide that no amount of vote rigging by the Jeb Bush's of the world can change!

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  • 43. At 1:04pm on 04 Nov 2008, Douglas333 wrote:

    I sincerely hope Obama wins, and it would truly be a momentous occasion and help restore the world's faith in the USA. However I have a realistic vision of what he can actually accomplish. The US economy is in tatters and they are deeply mired in two costly wars. Health care reform is going to be much more problematic than either candidate makes out.

    As a side-note, why is Obama always described as black? His mum was white and his dad was black, so I fail to see how this makes him black. In fact all mixed-race celebrities are always considered black; even the very fair-skinned Lewis Hamilton. I think many 'white' people have darker skin than him!

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  • 44. At 1:30pm on 04 Nov 2008, Hawkishlefty wrote:

    I really hope McCain doesn’t win because of the way he ‘dissed’ our National Health Service in one of the debates. We are rightly proud of a system that means that the sick are not poorer than the healthy because we all pay according to our means to our government and not to private insurance companies. It’s more civilised and maybe one day the American people will get a president brave enough to provide for the poor and sick.

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  • 45. At 1:37pm on 04 Nov 2008, Woundedpride wrote:

    Americans may not know of it, but in British political fokklore the words 'Sheffield rally' and 'Neil Kinnock' have a certain reverberation. Before an election the polls suggested he and his party should win, Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock held a rally in Sheffield which seemed, to the watching public, to have the air of a celebration before the vote was done. Result? People disliked the apparent assumption of victory and didn't vote for labour in enough numbers - and they lost the election.

    No doubt the folklore had some resonance in Jacksonville yesterday. Don't even seem to count your chickens yet, or else there may be too few chickens at the close of polling...

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  • 46. At 1:38pm on 04 Nov 2008, ex1312 wrote:

    To all of those crying "racist." You're right. We're all racists. TV did it to us. And Radio. No one could live in modern times and claim not to have been affected by images that crept into our psyches and made us racists. From police shows where the dope peddlers and pimps were black (1970's) to video documentaries about Civil Rights movements in the 1950's and 1960's where Whites pummeled and bludgeoned blacks. Make no mistake - we were all affected - unless we lived on a desert island and were deprived of contact with the modern world. I suffered racism in business in America - post 1990 America. It's real, its pervasive, and even though we might like to think that we are "enlightened" it's in our subconscious. We can't get around it. So, Obama is a "black man" running for President. And McCain looks like the other Presidents on American currency. It's the truth, and we have to deal with it. Let's hope that we do deal with it constructively and hope that America (as was said above) is able to live up to the high standards Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, James Madison, and the others argued and discussed in their deliberations about what America's philosophical culture should be (and we must also push aside the fact that in their view America's culture was for White male property holders)- and extend that vision for all Americans.
    The writer (that's me) is a multi-ethnic American expatriate in Mongolia.

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  • 47. At 1:53pm on 04 Nov 2008, Odenknight wrote:

    A friend of mine said (jokingly) he would vote for John McCain. His reason: the movie "Deep Impact".
    "Obama would probably do America so much good, that an asteroid would come hurling toward the Earth."

    Thought I'd share some humor on this tense day.

    [insert Ed & Sam quote line here]

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  • 48. At 1:53pm on 04 Nov 2008, Odenknight wrote:

    A friend of mine said (jokingly) he would vote for John McCain. His reason: the movie "Deep Impact".
    "Obama would probably do America so much good, that an asteroid would come hurling toward the Earth."

    Thought I'd share some humor on this tense day.

    ~insert Ed & Sam quote line here~

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  • 49. At 1:54pm on 04 Nov 2008, Odenknight wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 50. At 2:00pm on 04 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    To #47

    Well not much more can go wrong!

    Fingers crossed though!

    Peace

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  • 51. At 2:10pm on 04 Nov 2008, dbricker wrote:

    Brits (and anyone else) are kidding themselves if they think most Americans are not at least passively racist. I have lived in London, Vienna and now Switzerland for 20 years; there are just as many racists here as there are in the u.s., but with the passing of Joerg Haider, at least there is one less Nazi on the planet. However, the u.s. has millions of racists, who may only come to that awareness when they hesitate to vote for Obama even though they're Democrats.

    I grew up in Ohio (growing up we were proud of being a Northern state); and all my relatives are from western Pennsylvania, also a northern state. I know from experience that in both states you have an amazing amount of mistrust of anyone of non-Anglo descent (black, hispanic whatever). Evangelical Christians will heavily favour McCain, without probing deeply into his voting record or personal beliefs.

    Obama is inspiring, full stop. He has tried to stay away from simple negative slogans; McCain has only gained points with Americans who read little, and assume TV is the only real source of information.

    I hope Obama does manage to keep his promises. The kind of closed mindedness that Bush has inspired has failed, even though many Americans are not the least bit interested in the environment, or justice in other parts of the world; they are his core supporters, as they are McCain's. McCain is a throw back, Obama seems to be a breath of fresh air.

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  • 52. At 2:12pm on 04 Nov 2008, jcrcleeman wrote:

    You'll know it's all over and Obama has won when you can hear the sound of shredding machines, working at full power, coming from the White House.

    There's 8 years to 'clean-up' going right back to the 2000 election and brother Jed!

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  • 53. At 2:14pm on 04 Nov 2008, Proud Texan wrote:

    Obama, Pelosi, and Reed will likely have total control for the next two years if not four. All 3 are wild-eyed liberals. If they crash the economy and aggravate the class war Obama started with his "spread the wealth around" comments, and Obama defaults on our treaty commitments to endangered governments around the world, the US and the world will be much much worse off in a few years.

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  • 54. At 2:17pm on 04 Nov 2008, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #46. I agree totally but I'd suggest it goes back to the birth of mankind. Historically people who look different from you are a threat.... if you're a dark haired dark eyed Brit living in Britain 1500 years ago, blue eyed blonde haired guys are probably saxon and probably going to burn your hut down and kidnap your wife.

    Equally there is incredible racism among different African societies (the most obvious sadly being Tutsi v Hutu). Its not a white v black phenomenon by any stretch of the imagination. The worlds worst racists are the zulu's who have a culture of belief in their own racial superiority that makes an SS man seem PC (and oddly zulus' believe white men are inferior to them but far superior to other black tribes... bizarre)

    Anyone who claims that they aren't inherently racist at least to some small degree are deluded or simply lying. However only an idiot would vote for a less capable man based on his skin colour.

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  • 55. At 2:20pm on 04 Nov 2008, Peter_Sym wrote:

    " Brits (and anyone else) are kidding themselves if they think most Americans are not at least passively racist. I have lived in London, Vienna and now Switzerland for 20 years; there are just as many racists here as there are in the u.s., "

    The difference of course between the US & UK v Switzerland is that in the UK and US its not acceptable to have an election poster showing 3 white sheep kicking a black sheep out of a field the shape of your country....... nor is membership or the KKK or BNP considered socially acceptable, unlike in central Europe where the Heiders and Le Pens are mainstream politicians.

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  • 56. At 2:22pm on 04 Nov 2008, onithor wrote:

    I just came back from voting. And man was the line long. I live in Maryland, not a battleground state; We waited two hour and thirty minutes in line to vote. It was an astonishing site to see so many people motivated to camp out early to cast their ballot even though it didn't lessen the wait any. I would be over the moon when Barack wins.

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  • 57. At 2:27pm on 04 Nov 2008, ex1312 wrote:

    To #51...
    I grew up in Queens New York and suburban (white middle-America) New Jersey. I was a model student. My first meeting with racism was in grammar school - maybe I was 7. One of my white friends asked me: what's black and goes ho-dee-do? (I won't reveal the punch line out of respect for the readers.) And after telling the joke, my 7 year-old friend asked me: You're not black are you?
    The second instance that sticks out in my mind relates to my first love at age 16. (I'm multi-ethnic with brown skin, she is Scotch Irish.) Her mother: "He (that's me) is a great young man. He has great manners, he's very intelligent, he's nice. Too bad he can't change his skin color." -That was in 1980...
    And so on. Unless America's heartland culture has drastically changed in the past twenty or so odd years, damned straight. Americans (me included due to influence of the culture) are racist. It is a deeply rooted aspect of American culture.
    To be honest, I have not queried the issues for this Presidential race. (I ran away from America. These days I live in Mongolia.) I have not searched my soul over the candidates' promises. (Personally I am afraid for Obama - but I will not utter a word regarding that fear. But I have been intimate with America's culture...)
    Do I think he'll win? Yes, perhaps it's probable now that he will win.
    Will he make a good - or even a great President? Who can say?

    I, like Martin Luther King, and others, are still, however, waiting for the day when men and women will be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

    Buddha might have uttered something similar 2500 years ago. Jesus may have uttered something similar 2000 years ago. And Mohammed, according to Quran, certainly uttered a similar statement.

    Seems like we've been looking for a perfect world for a long time. Perhaps it's in human nature never to allow such a perfect world to come to pass...

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  • 58. At 2:37pm on 04 Nov 2008, ex1312 wrote:

    To #54
    Certainly zenophobia has something (but in my view little) to do with it. I have kids. And I have volunteered with children since I was 15 all over the U.S. and now even in Asia. One thing is a certainty. If you put ten 3 year-olds together from different ethnic groups - THEY DO NOT CARE. THEY PLAY...

    Racism is a learned trait. It's not innate to the human psyche.

    We all learned it. We all experienced it, and we pass it on to our progeny. How sad is that?

    Mongolian people asked me why I left the U.S. I finally coughed up the truth: I am afraid of white people...
    I learned to be afraid.

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  • 59. At 2:51pm on 04 Nov 2008, onithor wrote:

    ex1312, you are a dreamer aren't you? I do not believe in utopia, and I do not believe that the world will ever be perfect or fair. But the world can be changed for better or worse, and if we let mental barriers get in the way of what we want, what we can achieve, and how we live our life, then what is the point? I am not a doe-eyed, post-racial, idealist. I know the reality of racial injustice, and economic deprivation. Hell, I turned down many colleges to go to an HBCU because I didn't want the murmurs of AA to taint my college experience. Four years later and i've learned it doesn't matter what you do. Some people will be irrational bigots; white, black, asian, et cetera. You cannot legislate the hearts of men, but you can change it through action.

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  • 60. At 2:56pm on 04 Nov 2008, BiziBruja wrote:

    It feels so scary, I am welsh and live in a small town so why should obama a young black man winning this election be so on my mind?

    Change..... acceptance, possibility. Hope.

    That my three daughters can gow up and travel in a world that progrsses and does not stay stuck in the past.

    I think people who were waiting for John Kennedy to be elected that day in the past will be able to draw similarities to today!

    I will be glued to the TV holding my breath and hoping

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  • 61. At 2:57pm on 04 Nov 2008, AAlvinTwiningham wrote:

    #53 Obama didn't start any class war. In case you haven't noticed, the rich have been robbing us blind for at least the last eight years.

    And if you oppose the redistribution of wealth I hope you are speaking out against the banking bailouts and public works. I know I am tired of paying taxes to fix potholes in other states!

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  • 62. At 3:00pm on 04 Nov 2008, ex1312 wrote:

    To #59 onithor
    I've been trying to do my bit. I always try to do my bit. And, actually, I appreciate your constructive criticism. I have been getting tired of late.
    So, what's wrong with being an Idealist?

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  • 63. At 3:02pm on 04 Nov 2008, RW93003 wrote:

    I really don't agree with most of Obama's positions but I voted for him. His campaign was just about flawless and he handled the tough times, like the Reverend Wright issue, with a lot of skill. I figure he'll run the country like he did his campaign and that's a good thing....

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  • 64. At 3:05pm on 04 Nov 2008, Michael Winston wrote:

    ''MLK said that he dreamt of the day when no one would be judged on the colour of their skin

    Clearly people are favouring Obama because he is black and are as such racists''

    dhimmi (Post No. 17)

    Oh no they're not. People are voting for Obama on his personal merits - the southern s***kickers are the ones who are voting against him because of the colour of his skin. You know the sort - possibly you're one yourself? If you're intelligent enough to operate a computer, you should have figured that one out long ago.

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  • 65. At 3:05pm on 04 Nov 2008, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #58. My best mate at work is an Iraqi sunni from Mosul. I'd need to do a head count here but I'd say whites are in the minority and I get on really well with everyone here....... because I know them. Any predujice I may have had vanishes when you find out you're wrong.

    Racism is illogical. I'd suggest there are very few people with serious racist attitudes who work closely with people from other races. Although certain races have certain common traits and generalisations based on race are often correct individual members of a race don't comply with the stereotypes.

    Your comment about 'learning to be afraid of white people' is interesting because it rather proves my original point. I presume you learnt to be afraid of white people because some of them actually proved to be some sort of threat? As a result your early warning device goes off when you see any white person. Calling it zenophobia is probably a more accurate term than racism but the difference is fairly academic.

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  • 66. At 3:16pm on 04 Nov 2008, ex1312 wrote:

    To #65 Peter_Sym

    Quote: "Your comment about 'learning to be afraid of white people' is interesting because it rather proves my original point. I presume you learnt to be afraid of white people because some of them actually proved to be some sort of threat? As a result your early warning device goes off when you see any white person. Calling it zenophobia is probably a more accurate term than racism but the difference is fairly academic."

    I am ashamed of my fear. I'm actually embarrassed by it because I try to be a tough cookie... But my experiences have really cooked my psyche. I can deal with everyone. But in any group dominated by white skin (i.e. majority), I just lose all confidence. I might even get tongue-tied. Quite simply I had one too many bad experiences.
    I know the psychology behind it. And I concluded it was better to go out into the world and find a different place to call home - other than America.

    Anyway, this isn't therapy. I just wanted to reply to your note.

    Now, back to the campaign.

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  • 67. At 3:29pm on 04 Nov 2008, phenry wrote:

    From the article and comments, it appears that this election is all about race.

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  • 68. At 3:29pm on 04 Nov 2008, Jam2Day wrote:

    If Obama wins, and I hope he does, it will be partly due to revulsion with the excesses and incompetence of Bush's White House. Bush has brought respect for the office to an all time low, both in the US and abroad - witness the way the McCain campaign kept as far from George W as possible, emphasising the differences whenever they could.

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  • 69. At 3:30pm on 04 Nov 2008, ex1312 wrote:

    To 61. At 2:57pm on 04 Nov 2008, AAlvinTwiningham

    Man, you are so right. Don't get me started on the "so-called" Capitalism of the predominantly white corporate establishment in the U.S.
    Capitalism? Hardly. This is the root of true socialism in the United States. Man, talk about redistribution of wealth... How in this Creation can a contract CEO claim to walk away with annual bonuses in excess of tens of millions of dollars? Where is the value chain? What wealth had these people actually created? -Rather, this person has usually absconded the wealth produced by others. Isn't that socialism????

    Yeah man! The corporate establishment puts Stalin and Mao to shame. America's corporate establishment is the true source of socialism in America (in my view).

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  • 70. At 3:33pm on 04 Nov 2008, gadfly55 wrote:

    In 1972, I exiled myself to Ireland with citizenship through my grandmother rather than live in the US. My children were all born in Ireland, and living in Ireland has widened my perspective beyond even liberal Massachusetts where I grew up as a boy with immigrant grandparents from Ireland and Sicily. I supported McCarthy in '68 and have waited for this day for forty years when the people have awoken to the damage done by the neocon elite who know they own the country, and are trying desperately to control the world. Now it has collapsed and the people have risen, peacefully, through the process led by Obama. He can become a great and much loved stateman, who will move the world forward in the only way the world can survive. The tears and joy within my body and soul are shared with billions of people with whom we share this lonely planet.

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  • 71. At 3:34pm on 04 Nov 2008, ex1312 wrote:

    Signing off now. I hope America makes a good choice. And I hope the world will become a safer place for everyone after the Inaugural in January.

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  • 72. At 3:38pm on 04 Nov 2008, gadfly55 wrote:

    The good people trying to live an honest life in support of their families and communities can now hope that a leader of the world will represent them in a peaceful and compassionate way with regard to sustainability and human rights. Power politics driven by finance and military might will gradually be replaced by consensus and planning for stability and material progress for the billions who have been left behind in the relentless race to accumulate wealth in the accounts of the elite.

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  • 73. At 4:08pm on 04 Nov 2008, akaTurkish_delight wrote:

    Sorry to interrupt the rather interesting debate that is going on between my fellow bloggers but I wanted to share extracts from an excellent article which was published in The International Herald Tribune on 10 October entitled, "One bomb after another" by Garrison Keillor.

    "It was dishonest, cynical men who put forward a clueless young woman for national office, hoping to juice up the ticket, hoping she could skate through two months of chaperoned campaigning, but the truth emerges: The lady is talking freely about matters she has never thought about. The American people have an ear for untruths. They can tell when someone's mouth is moving and the clutch is not engaged.

    When she said, "One thing that Americans do at this time, also, though, is let's commit ourselves just every day, American people, Joe Six-Pack, hockey moms across the nation, I think we need to band together and say never again. Never will we be exploited and taken advantage of again by those who are managing our money and loaning us these dollars," people smelled gas.

    Some Republicans adore her because they are pranksters at heart and love the consternation of grown-ups. The ne'er-do-well son of the old Republican family as president, the idea that you increase government revenue by cutting taxes, the idea that you cut social services and thereby drive the needy into the middle class, the idea that you overthrow a dictator with a show of force and achieve democracy at no cost to yourself - one stink bomb after another, and now Governor Sarah Palin.

    She is a chatty sportscaster who lacks the guile to conceal her vacuity, and she was John McCain's first major decision as nominee. This troubles independent voters, and now she is a major drag on his candidacy. She will get a nice book deal from Regnery and a new career-making personal appearances for 40 grand a pop, and she'll become a trivia question, "What politician claimed foreign-policy expertise based on being able to see Russia from her house?" And the rest of us will have to pull ourselves out of the swamp of Republican economics.

    Your broker kept saying, "Stay with the portfolio, don't jump ship," and you felt a strong urge to dump the stocks and get into the money market where at least you're not going to lose your shirt, but you didn't do it and didn't do it, and now you're holding a big bag of brown bananas. Me, too. But at least I know enough not to believe desperate people who are talking trash. Anybody who got whacked last week and still thinks McCain-Palin is going to lead America out of the swamp and not into a war with Iran is beyond persuasion in the English language. They'll need to lose their homes and be out on the street in a cold, hard rain before they connect the dots."

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  • 74. At 4:10pm on 04 Nov 2008, Goonerview wrote:

    Politicians before an election are often good at telling people what the want to hear!, - just so they can get elected!.

    If Obama becomes president, we will have to wait and see if he delivers on his promises (most politicians dont).

    Moreover, I feel this blog focuses too much on race being an issue!, and the "holy grail" that is the "first black president" and how "great" it would be to make history!, ... without even considering what Obama brings to the table in terms of Policy (which should be more important in the run up to an election)!

    ... moreover, Obama is half white and half black, just for the record (or maybe being half white is negligiable, as everyone wants to achieve this "holy grail")

    Obamas economic policy and relative inexperience in these troubled economic times, may well be the final "nail in the coffin" of developed western societies!,

    basically, all im saying is, watch this space!

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  • 75. At 4:15pm on 04 Nov 2008, sepdet wrote:

    After the elections of the last two cycles, I still say:

    chicken + chicken + chicken + chicken + fox = 0 chickens.

    There is only one thing that counts, and it's not chickens. It's votes.

    I will be crossing fingers and toes until I hear the guy who looks startlingly like my Dad say, "My friends, I concede."

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  • 76. At 4:18pm on 04 Nov 2008, life-of-brian wrote:

    #20. Temascos, I've actually taken advantage of early voting here in Illinois, so I've already voted for him. The reason is not because he's black. I'm white. The reasons to vote for Obama are more substantial. I like his foreign policy as well. I don't believe in "American Exceptionalism", it's a self-centered, arrogant philosophy based the absurd idea that "if America does it, it's ok, because it's America doing it".

    We need a foreign policy that treats other nations with respect.

    I feel confident in Obama's ability to handle the current financial crisis. He sees that the US economy and the world's economy are interconnected.

    I don't expect miracles from him, but I believe that he will make every effort to pull our country out of the abyss that his predecessor put us in.

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  • 77. At 4:18pm on 04 Nov 2008, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #66. Fair enough. Virtually all of the gang violence and gun crime in my city (at one point the worst per head in the UK) is commited by black gangs) Intestingly enough the gangs come from three interwarring estates. The war is 'racial' in that gangs ancestrally from St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad & Jamacia hate each other based on ethnicity. Whenever I see a gang of black kids I get ready to run. I'm also man enough to admit that I'm a little ashamed of this too, because I've never personally been the victim of any serious crome. There's a big difference between having prejudices and acting on them, especially if its violently.

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  • 78. At 4:21pm on 04 Nov 2008, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #73. Is there any reason why you felt the BBC should publish yet more rabidly pro-dem propaganda?

    Some republicans love Palin, not because they're pranksters but because she is like them. This is why middle America voted for Bush twice. The idiots are those who forget this fact.

    P.S lake wobegone days is turgid too.

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  • 79. At 4:31pm on 04 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Skopjeeran (#21), your remarks about Macedonian politics highlights one essential difference between America and the "Old World." In many parts of the world, such as the Balkans, people identify with their group before their nation. Here, we are Americans first, without, however, giving up our group identities. That is why so many people aspire to come to America.

    This is an imperfectly realized phenomenon, of course. An Obama victory today will go a long way toward removing the last obstacles to racial equality in the US.

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  • 80. At 4:38pm on 04 Nov 2008, whatbill wrote:

    After years of prejudice and inequality, the fact that the USA is capable of electing a black president is something that excites people. And given his large and consistent lead in the polls, if Obama is not elected there will be real concerns that the USA is not capable.


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  • 81. At 4:43pm on 04 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    phenry (#67), to be more precise, the election is about transcending race.

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  • 82. At 4:53pm on 04 Nov 2008, Andyj247 wrote:

    #43

    The reason for that my friend is becasue when push comes to shove - a mixed race person is seen as black by our white counterparts - in regards to how he/she is treated or abused, there is no difference.

    They are definantly not seen by the world as white - hence why most mixed race people consider themselves black.

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  • 83. At 4:59pm on 04 Nov 2008, Neil Hoskins wrote:

    @Merthyrmiddleeast #7:
    Only 7 years of ineffective and divisive leadership? I was adding it up: before Dubya came to power, Clinton had become a lame duck as a result of sleaze and the Lewinsky affair. The USA has actually had poor leadership for around the last decade.

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  • 84. At 5:13pm on 04 Nov 2008, JamesKweh wrote:

    This election is not about race, but for the betterment of the lives of the American people. God Blessed the people of that great nation. James C. Kweh, from Liberia

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  • 85. At 5:26pm on 04 Nov 2008, moderate_observer wrote:

    #73 just the other day there was about 200 blue collar workers in Missouri who got laid off from their jobs. Apparently they normally voted republican, and before this election never considered democrats or worst an african american.

    Now after getting a measely severance package, and cut off from employer based health insurance, they finally see the need for a change and is considering voting democrat.

    Now they want change.

    The 20 something percent of americans who still favour Bush are the ones who still believe the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

    Just the other day I heard a conservative radio host based in texas say that the economy is strong because unemployment is only 6%.

    He never spared a thought to the frustrated middle class who is now under employed to being laid off before or because of cutbacks by their employers. He never thought about those who are no longer counted in unemployment statistics because they have been unemployed for too long and has run out of benefits.

    Just the other day it was Phil Gram, mcCain's former adviser who state that there is no economic recession, Americans are in a mental recession (one month before the bailout).


    Can you believe that in all 3 debated McCain did not mention the middle class once? It took him sinking in the polls before he even started talking about helping ordinary americans and then proposing some socialist housing policy that make conservatives cringe!



    Such is the bubble of the republican party at the moment,either they are out of touch or they just dont care, either way that is the reason they are underdogs this election season and is staring down defeat.



    It was just a matter of time before the bottom fell out of their policies, its just very ironic it happened in the midst of an election campaign.

    poetic justice i suppose.

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  • 86. At 5:43pm on 04 Nov 2008, sunphoton wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 87. At 6:01pm on 04 Nov 2008, rozewolf wrote:

    I just returned from voting. I live in Colorado, which has seen a heavy dose of candidate attention. For me, this election was about the local issues as much as the Presidential election. Growing up with Martin Luther King, and in adulthood, Nelson Mandela, I have never been one to let the colour of someone's skin be an issue. It's the issues the candidates stand for that are important. I voted for Obama, because I feel he holds a clearer view of what this country needs in the next four years. Something that was made more clear to me as I spoke to my son this morning.

    I was awoken at 8:45am by my son who was on his way to vote for the very first time. He was worried about choices. Obama, McCain, or no one. Should he vote, should he just vote for local issues. As he walked to the poles, we talked. I told him where I stood on local issues. What I was voting for, and who I was voting for. To me, party lines don't mean much. It is the person who is important.

    When he got nearer the poles, he said he understood what issues that hadn't gotten national coverage were important. He was also still uncertain about who to vote for for President. Trying to explain dirty campaign tricks over a cell phone is difficult. My son is so "in the moment" that he doesn't see the long view whereby people want to subvert the mind of the voter via misleading adverts and interviews.

    About 30 minutes later, he called back. He'd voted for Obama. Not because I wanted him to, or that his grandma who urged him to register to vote wanted him to, but because when he thought about it, Obama was the right man. Obama and his campaign had made enough of an impact on an 18yo who normally thinks no farther than the next day. Gives me hope for a lot of things.

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  • 88. At 6:20pm on 04 Nov 2008, neil_a2 wrote:

    Go ahead, bray.

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  • 89. At 6:26pm on 04 Nov 2008, OldSouth wrote:

    'Obama and his campaign had made enough of an impact on an 18yo who normally thinks no farther than the next day.'

    That's what The Beloved Leader and his minions are banking on!

    All feel, no think.


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  • 90. At 6:28pm on 04 Nov 2008, EmptyCandle wrote:

    I live in Cleveland, Ohio, a city that has its share of racial issues - white flight to the suburbs, decline and decay of the city and inner ring suburbs, and us vs. them mentality - and I am white. It has never concerned me or interested me what color Mr. Obama's skin is, just as it never bothered me that Condalleeza Rice is black, or Colin Powell is black. I am much more interested in a person's character.

    I have doubts about Mr. McCain - apparently he wasn't quite divorced from his ailing first wife before he married his rich, second wife. Contrary to all the hype about what a true hero he is, it turns out he was a terrible pilot and that's why he was shot down in Vietnam. Additionally, he did not stand up very well under pressure, revealing some important information to the enemy. I don't begrudge the man respect for the time he spent as a POW, I would just rather get the whole story than part. I am sure there is some dirt about Obama too, but please spare me the details about his links to Ayers and the claims he's a socialist, that's just Republican rhetoric designed to scare a few gullible or, worse, ignorant people.

    I will be very honest, though. Had Mr. McCain made a better choice for his VP, I may have gone his way. It is an insult to all Republics, men and women, that his campaign claims Palin was the best, most qualified person to be running mate. If that is true, the Republican party is in very sad shape indeed.

    So, I voted for Obama, and I hope he is able to work with the legislature (because, after all, he can fulfill none of his promises on his own) and help to restore the country's good name and standing in the rest of the world and provide some relief for those of us slaving away in the trenches at home.

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  • 91. At 7:28pm on 04 Nov 2008, rozewolf wrote:

    "That's what The Beloved Leader and his minions are banking on!

    All feel, no think."

    Ah, but most campaigns are run on a "feel" basis rather than a "think" basis. BTDT as part of the system for 8 long years. However, when you look at both parties, they were both playing the feel card. What mattered to my son and to myself was the fact that while what was being said may feel right, it also makes sense when you think about it.

    One senile ex-prisoner of war combined with a helicopter hunting barbie doll don't make even half as much sense as the other side.

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  • 92. At 8:15pm on 04 Nov 2008, AAlvinTwiningham wrote:

    #89 You just don't get it. It is about thinking about the future and not wishing it was still the past. Thankfully there are plenty of people (even white Reps like me) who can see this and do not long for the "OldSouth".

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  • 93. At 9:14pm on 04 Nov 2008, Chris Q wrote:

    OldSouth - you say: "All feel, no think."

    Doesn't that criticism pretty much sum up your entire argument, ever?

    Do people, some you may even know, ever consider the traditional, isolationist and entrenched view of the world as a fraud. A lie perpetuated to maintain a world that makes you freel safe because you never have to do anything. That is the underlying basis of your view - keep everything the same - no matter what - and it will be like it always was. Never try to improve or evolve?

    You look at a man like Obama - clearly patriotic and dedicated but see something else - something evil and threatening. Yet your only reply is fear - be scared of the bogeyman.

    Do you not feel embarrassed, ever, at your reluctance to see things from both sides? Or is that another weaknes in character? Are you really so unable to move on from the past and try to participate in a better future - or is it all just the good ole boys n bourbon n nothing else.

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  • 94. At 9:30pm on 04 Nov 2008, astroiguana wrote:

    I went to vote this morning in my little town. There was no line, no waiting.
    I voted for Obama. I did not vote for him *because* of the color of his skin. I humbly and truthfully admit that I voted for him....*despite* his skin color. He had to overcome my initial suspicion of "the other", the one who is different from the face that looks back at me from the mirror each morning.
    I did not know who he was or what kind of man he was. Where did he stand on issues that were of importance to me? I admit that I hung up the phone on the young man from his campaign who called me during the primaries, asking for a contribution. I needed to find out more first. So I read. I listened to what he had to say. I did the same for McCain (who, BTW I voted for in the primaries, since as an undeclared voter in Massachusetts, I can vote in either --but not both-- of the primaries). I wanted to know what each man envisioned for our country's future.

    I watched carefully as they both ran their campaigns and picked their Vice Presidents. For me, that made the difference. I was once a Republican in the days when being a Republican used to mean you supported a stronger State government rather than a strong Federal government. Now a days, the Republican party has abandoned everything but the culture war and the agenda of the far right.

    After the debates, I decided [although they are both politicians.... and their lips are moving....] that the person who would take the United States of America in a different direction from the Bush administration, would be Barack Obama. I wanted someone in the middle --not far left, not far right. I want him to work together with the Congress for the good of the country.
    Mr. McCain did not convince me that he was that person. He chose a far right running mate. His positions were further to the right as "Candidate McCain" than when he was "Senator McCain". Mr. Obama convinced me that he isn't a rabid left-winger; he is pragmatic. If he runs the country even half as well as his campaign, we have a chance of getting ourselves back in order. I want a disciplined man or woman at the helm, not one who is impulsive and flies by seat-of-pants...by gosh and by golly. We can't afford to crash and burn. We are paying for the wrecks and reckless ways of the Bush administration. Let's try something else.





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  • 95. At 10:15pm on 04 Nov 2008, strusto wrote:

    It is true using beatiful words . I hope that Obama will win!!

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