Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Race (card) Is On!

So it begins. Almost two years before the actual elections, we already are subjected to the constant coverage of Ms. White Woman and Mr. Black Man competing to see who will be the first minority president of the United States.

And it’s about time. I suppose the only good thing to come out of the Bush presidency is that the country is closer than ever to evolving past the old white man political culture that we have cultivated for so long and elect a minority president. We saw Bush’s political connections in Florida steal him the most important presidential election in recent history. Then we saw his cadre of dinosaurs and their connections to oil companies and big contractors start wars that they could not finish, mismanaging the whole effort the whole time. I think people are finally sick of it.

When it comes down to it, I would love to see an age where the leaders of France, Germany, and the United States are run by women. Angela is proving she can make progress in the quagmire of European bureaucracy, and although Segolene might be a bit of a stretch in France, the experience and married name of Miss Hillary put her within arm’s reach of being the most powerful man in the world. Thanks to Nancy Pelosi blazing the trail by passing successful legislation in Congress, voters are seeing that a woman can indeed govern.

Mr. Black Man, though, offers a similar freshness to the race that has already allowed him to capitalize on the desperation of a country too long led against their will by a jackass from Texas. Obama is a kid, he is a kid who used to smoke grass and snort coke. He is a kid who, wait for it, once learned at an Islamic school. As shocking as these qualities may sound, the man has a card to play in this contest. He is too young to have been corrupted by the oft-cited Good Old Boy network that haunts all senior politicians, which is increasingly attractive when considering Bush’s successor. He also has a younger, more progressive attitude toward the issues currently on the table. At the end of the day, though, he does not have the experience necessary to inspire the most confidence.

Voters do rely a lot on personality, and if he seems to have a competent staff around him, he can indeed go a long way. I think his significance lies most in the fact that he is running at all. Sure, he is hoping that people will take a chance and vote on a fresh face, but the reality of the times, with the threat of terrorism and the need for some nuanced governing to attack issues like climate change and health care, mean that Hillary shows the most potential.

In any case, I raise my glass to a minority candidate with a progressive view of how to fix this country’s devastated foreign policy errors. It is important that the world like us. Bush seems to think that doesn’t matter, as long as we are doing the “right thing” to rid the world of the threat of terrorism. I think we are beginning to realize that this will never happen if we don’t have the support and participation of our peers in the international community. I just hope any democrat can make it happen.