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Jan. 19, 2022

My Reflections on the 2008 Election

 
On November 4th 2008, the United States stepped out into new and very historical grounds by electing its first black president, Barack Obama. He is a member of the Democratic Party, and soundly defeated John McCain, and will be leading our country, which is in the middle of an economic breakdown. I am excited to be a part of this time in history, as I can still recall asking my professor at the Academy in a class about the Presidency, if we would see a black president in our life time and his answer was no. I hope he’s still alive. In my life time I have seen so many black men accomplish so many things; Hank Aaron taking down the Babe’s home run record, to be followed by Barry “I take steroids” Bonds taking that title. Colin Powell holding cabinet positions in the White House. Clarence Thomas getting into the Supreme Court, and the Super Bowl having a black quarterback in Doug Williams. Moving to where playoff games have teams with black head coaches to include Herman Edwards, and then the game itself spotlighting two black head coaches in Tony Dungee and Lovie Smith. Rest assured these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the accomplishment black men have achieved in the past many decades. Having a black man obtain the highest position of power in the free world is amazing, and beyond being historic. So many people are still alive who lived right smack in the middle of the Civil Rights struggles. So many are still with us who lived through the cross burnings and all that came with just being black. To be able to witness such an historic moment is something that can only be described as emotionally draining. Because I am an American, I will support the efforts of our president elect as best I can. I have no desire to see him fail, for if he fails our nation fails and I do not want that. Having said these things I must now reveal, although I don’t think it to be much of a shock, I did not vote for Mr. Obama. I was not a complete fan of McCain, and as I told my daughter, when I went to vote I held my nose. I did not vote for Mr. Obama because of his stance on the issues of taxes, what he would like to do with our military, his stance on protecting our borders, how I feel he feels about our nation based on the way he speaks about her, his desire to make government bigger by increased spending on social programs, and certain social issues like abortion rights. He and the party he represents do not stand for the things I believe in. Again I hope he has a successful 4 years and is able to keep our nation great. I say this because as I watched the campaign and the election and listened to many discussions from radio personalities to everyday people, the true substance of the issues were never discussed. Much of the time was spent bad mouthing Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president. It therefore was assumed Joe Biden was a great selection, but if the cry is for change why select a VP candidate who has been a Washington icon for YEARS? All of the issues discussed were not solely created by any one man or any one party, but it has all been placed at the feet of George Bush. Do we understand that it will take at least 2 ½ years to see any sort of change the new president wants if he’s even able to bring them to pass? Too many black personalities spent too much time telling us who to vote for, being very open that they wanted the vote to be for Mr. Obama because of his skin color. God forbid a black person express an interest in not voting for Obama. That person was then called more names than the KKK can even come up with! How about just getting the point out that many of our people fought and died so we could and do have the right to vote… for whomever you choose, just be an informed voter. Many, many first time voters who just voted because Mr. Obama is black, makes the whole election seem like a popularity contest and not a decision that could affect our nation in many ways for years to come. It smacked of an election that said we just want a black man and we don’t care who he is. It smacked of blacks trying to get even. The day after the election I got a text from a black lady saying when you go to lunch order soup cause their will be a lot of salty crackers (white people). I’m sorry but a lot of people I see and speak to everyday who support the new president elect are white. The folks who came out to hear him speak after finding out he won, were men and women, black and white. I guess my point or question is this; why was Obama elected? What can one man change…really? Is this a great moment in the history of this nation? No doubt about it. However did we elect this man mainly for the color of his skin and decide to neglect the issues that face our nation and really seek someone who could make a change? Did we neglect the content of his character? I feel like those words spoken by Dr. King have been so misused, misunderstood and neglected. So many years later we are still looking at the skin color of a man, and when I say “we” I mean black people. If you’re a republican you can’t be black, if you didn’t vote Obama you can’t be black. We even attack Obama by saying he’s not black enough or when he speaks he doesn’t talk black. This really is not an indictment on Obama as much as it is on black people. White people choose who they wanted to vote for and moved forward, many voting democrat and many voting republican. Black people were supposed to (no matter what) vote for Obama. The magnitude of this historic election can never be overshadowed. My prayer is this presidency is very successful for the sake of the nation. Please stay connected and focus on keeping this great nation great and lend your support to the newly elected president, Barack Obama.