Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Pres' And Prejudice: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

Though I am not a Democrat, I am a liberal.

I think people should have Universal Healthcare; I think involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan are poorly planned missions and for Canada, without Pakistan's involvement, withdraw is necessary; and most importantly as a point of comparison, though I value the economy, it is not a higher priority then the people upon which it is built.

Though I am not a Democrat, or for that matter an American, I can't help but comment on the situation facing the Democratic Party and the race for the American President.

Though I like both candidates, admittedly preferring Hillary over Obama, I think both have no real chance of becoming President of the United States. It's not that I think they are bad candidates, its that I think a large enough majority of Americans will think they are.

In a previous post I brought up a famous incident in the 1960 election of John F. Kennedy, even as a Democratic candidate, he had to confront the swirling public scrutiny facing his faith. Only after giving a momentous speech that made clear he seperated his religion from his politics did Americans become increasingly receptive to the already great orator.

In that post I also mentioned how the same situation exists for Mitt Romney today; where his religion is impacting his chances at Presidency. Indeed I am quite sure his perceived failed attempt to give a Kennedy-sque speech is what gave his challenger Mike Huckabee the win in Iowa. For in that race, evangelicals were a major determining group in the Republican race, of which most went to Huckabee. Romney's challengers know that his religion is his weakness, it is in my opinion being unfairly attacked and evidently not just in debates. For those of you who don't know, there were fake Christmas cards sent out claiming to be from the Romney campaign, they said,

"We have now clearly shown that God the father had a plurality of wives, one or more being eternity by whom he begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus, his first born, and another being upon the earth by whom he begat the tabernacle of Jesus, as his only begotten in this world."
Why I bring this up is because if indeed Americans were hesitant about JFK, and now are skeptical of Romney, because of each man's religion, I feel Hillary Clinton's sex and Barack Obama's race will too become obstacles.

Now sex, race, and religion are all three sperate things. Religion being something that can be reasonably discussed, where religion and race are things of a person that can't. However no the differences do not matter when the similarities are weighed, and the greatest is that of prejudice. For if the American people, or a large portion are discriminatory based on religion, where reason is most absent; surely reason will not prevail against the prejudices of sexism and racism that will face Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

I do think both have chances to be the Democratic candidate, just as John F. Kennedy was even before his speech, and this is mainly due to the modern era of Democratic tolerance. But when the race heats up between the Republican candidate, of which will be a white old male, against the Democratic candidate, of which will be either a white female or a black male (For sake of argument) I foresee some shape and form of prejudice that will benefit the Republicans, to such an extent that they will most surely win.

I do believe the chances of Hillary or Obama becoming President are slim, but there are chances nonetheless, and I believe they reside in open public discussions on both sex and race in this election right now. I believe that if there is such discussion more people will overcome said biases and be more receptive to the two Democratic candidates. Until that happens I see Hillary's sex and Obama's race as an inevitable and impossible obstacles for the Democratic Party. For if Mitt Romney had to publically attempt to deal with the image of his religion, surely Hillary Clinton must do so about the sexism that still exists in America today; and surely Barack Obama must do so about the racism that still exists in America today.


Anonymous said...

Hillary Clinton's sex and Barack Obama's race will too become obstacles.

what do you mean, "will"?

they were obstacles from Day One!

Anonymous said...

By will I mean real obstacles. Since day one they were not major issues, as both candidates are only scrutinized by democrats right now. As soon as they have the democratic nomination, Hillary's sex and Obama's race will become almost if not completely impossible to overcome.

Jeff in Buenos Aires said...

The Democratic Party sadly has a long history of nominating candidates who cannot win the general election. I like both Hillary and Obama but just in terms of winning a nation-wide election, I would go with Edwards since gender and race will become such a huge factor and the Republicans are known for dirty campaigns.