Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Weirder and Weirder

As the political season progresses, more and more oddities appear.

We have for the first time in US history a woman who has a chance at being nominated for the Presidency and a black man who has a chance of being nominated for the Presidency. There are those in the US who will not support the idea of a woman or a black President, regardless of who the individuals are. There are those who will not support the particular woman candidate or the particular black candidate. Frankly, I don’t think that because a relative few American hold those feelings says very much about our society, although I’m fairly sure that a few people will disagree with me.

And, perhaps more relevantly, there are also those who will vote for a woman candidate precisely because she is a woman, and there are also those who will vote for a black candidate precisely because that candidate is black. I think that says a lot more about our society than the other side of this issue. Factions in the US have been so successful at inculcating individual Americans with their particular point of view on such things as race and feminism that more than a few people will be convinced that either a black President or a female President is needed right now.

And we also have a strange evolution of the Clinton political machine from a finely honed juggernaut into a series of gaffs hardly anyone could have predicted that may have sunk Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. The Clintons have controlled the Democrat Party for more than 10 years, and way back when this eternal campaign began Sen. Clinton was thought to be a shoe-in for the nomination. And yet today she is trailing an opponent who has far less experience than Sen. Clinton claims to have, and who was a virtual unknown when this campaign began.

How could such a thing have happened? Is it possible that those long years of dominance in the Democrat Party have lulled the Clintons into a false sense of security? Could they have underestimated the opposition or overestimated their power and appeal?

Those questions are better answered by people better informed than I. One thing I do feel confident in saying is that the rest of this campaign will be interesting viewing into the thinking of the American people, and an interesting exercise in the political process.

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