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Patriotism, Unity, & Race

By rthomas - Posted on 22 January 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008.

A Republican for Obama

The primary reasons for a Republican to support Barrack Obama are much bigger then the fact that the Republican Party that has lost its way and has not put forth a candidate that can pull together the Reagan Coalition. To be clear, I am not against my fellow Republicans, but I am being pulled toward the Obama candidacy. The drivers are as follows.

  • Patriotism- I believe American Citizens who happen to be Republicans we will owe Mr. Obama a debt of gratitude for removing the Clintons from the national stage and saving our country from Clinton 2. The original was bad enough and sequels tend to be worse. Nobody likes taking out the trash early but it is a necessary and noble national chore.
  • Unity- Mr. Obama's message of inclusion and efforts to build a new majority from his party, Independents and Republicans is the way to victory. Don't look now, but that is what Reagan did in 1980. He almost did it in 1976! The scorched earth policy of the Clinton era set the tone for a divisive and rude Washington. Sadly, Mr. Bush pledged to fix that but regrettably just made it worse. It is clearly time to move past Red State/Blue State and get back to Red, White, and Blue States. The challenges we face are to grand to simply continue to fight in the sand box.
  • Race- Yes. Race. Very few people are willing to talk about race in a candid way, even in the privacy of their closest circle of friends. We certainly almost never get candid thoughts from candidates on the subject. Mr. Obama has been exceptionally diligent with his campaign to avoid the race card, and aims to be a leader who happens to be African American. (not an African American leader). He also happens have a white mother so his perspective on this issue is amazingly refreshing and unassuming. To be sure, the Clintons have invited him down to their sewer of shame and smut. They have clouded his sunny day approach but he has managed to defend himself and stay above the fray. I wonder if President Clinton will still be considered the "First Black President" after his efforts to play the race card against the very guy who could steal that title from him. From a historical perspective, our Country has been dealing with high levels racial tension between blacks and whites over 250 years. The founding fathers found the issue so hot they punted in order to get the country off the ground. The Missouri compromise was another punt. The Civil War was next and ended slavery but that didn't solve the problem. Reconstruction was different but not good enough so the Civil Rights movement took hold and did move the ball forward towards equality. Has the Country made progress along the way? Yes. But nowhere near close to the goal of "All men are created equal." The reason is most Americans have not learned to see the person. Black people see white People. White people see black people. A President Obama would be a President who happens to be both white and black and one who sees people. With his leadership, all Americans would learn to see things and people in a new ways. This would be a tremendous step forward on an issue that has limited this country since its inception. As a Lincoln/Reagan Republican, I can certainly live with a president who happens to be less conservative if we can make significant progress on the very difficult issue of race in America. By accomplishing this we will have a newfound unity and patriotism that we can all be proud of.

Robert D. Thomas

Bethesda, Maryland

Wow, Robert. I can tell you've spent a long time thinking about all this. You probably know that one of the criticisms of Obama supporters is that we (allegedly) don't know why we even support him or what he stands for and that we (allegedly) just get all caught up in the happy rhetoric. Your post is certainly a counterexample for that criticism.

It's interesting the role race is taking in the, well, race. Obama is trying to transcend race and doing a fairly good job of doing so. In a recent debate, Hillary almost seemed to force his hand and get him to try to play the race-as-victim card. And yet he still tries to stay focused on his platform. I don't know how much longer he can keep all this up. I have to admit I'm getting nervous with the direction things are headed. But I do think he offers America an unprecedented opportunity to move forward in a way we've never been able to 'til now.




I agree. The Clintons brought race into this. I can't understand how many black leaders still support the Clintons considering this. If they don't think that Obama is the right person for the job, then they could at least stay out of it, in the name of racial harmony and to make a statement that we can't be letting people use the race card anymore.

For better or for worse, a black candidate will only be elected if America can see him or her as being a post-racial leader.  With Obama's mix of white-black, half-immigrant roots, with a great resume for a young leader, he's a pretty-near perfect choice. 

Does anybody really WANT 4 years of the Clintons? 

Well, it's looking like after this weekend, Obama may become "the black candidate." The Clintons have done their best to spin him that way, and word is that South Carolina is breaking along racial lines. It's sad to see him become defined in such narrow terms, because the Senator offers - and is - so much more than just "the black candidate."

 I can assure you that come the General Election. If Hillary should be the nominne, there is no way she'll get the same support among the african american community. I'll campaign for "Black Out" , and hope for a independent candidate to be electable (bloomberg) or possibly Mccain.

 Me and a lot of Democrats are disgusted with how the clintons have conducted their campaign. Their slash-and burn politics have caused a major split in the party. 

The Clintons are betting against your theory. They think as long as they win, they can apoligize, and the black vote will fall in line. If McCain is the nominee, i wouldnt be surprized if he works hard for the black vote in MI, Ohio, and MD. And get quite a bit of it. RDT

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