Monday, August 20, 2007

The racist vote

I could be wrong, but it seemed to me that TV news reporters today were devoting a considerable amount of time talking about “the women’s vote,” the “Hispanic vote” the “black vote” etc. Whether valid or not, there seems to be an assumption that Hillary will get more women’s votes just because she’s a woman, that Obama will get more black votes just because he’s black or that Richardson will get more Hispanic votes just because he’s Hispanic.

A political race should be about ideology, issues, policies, and integrity (if someone doesn’t have integrity, how do you know they aren’t just telling you what you want to hear to get your vote?)

A political race should not be about one’s race or gender. Politicians who play the race or gender cards in order to be elected are not only racist or sexist themselves, they are insulting your intelligence. On the other hand, if your primary reason for voting for someone is because she is female like you, or because they are Hispanic or Black like you, or because he is a white man like you—your intelligence deserves to be insulted.

3 comments:

professor ed said...

Dennis:
I am not sure I agree with your theme in this posting. The media, especially during these last dog days of summer, are frantically trying to interest (whip up?) a still summer-oriented national electorate. Eagerly our media, both electronic and hard copy, seek out polls, surveys, etc. that will "electrify" their audience. Using ethnicity, race, religion, income, education, etc, is well within the bounds of substantive, as well as frankly ephemeral, reporting. Thus I view these media catagories as efforts to create conflict, and therefore boost sales/ratings, where an otherwise afathetic audience would ignore them.

Dennis said...

Professor ed:

I think I see your point. The news media is a business and news outlets have to use controversy to get ratings and stay in business. So I guess I can understand why the media would hype such things.

But do you think it is appropriate for a candidate (or the candidate's political machine) to use race and gender to get someone elected? And how much weight, if any, do you think race or gender should play in someone's choice of a candidate?

professor ed said...

Dennis said:
...do you think it is appropriate for a candidate (or the candidate's political machine) to use race and gender to get someone elected? And how much weight, if any, do you think race or gender should play in someone's choice of a candidate?
Dennis:
Is it appropriate for a candidate (or the candiate's political machine) to use race and gender to get someone elected? No, it is definetely not appropriate. BUT,to paraphrase, all is fair in love, war, and politics. With the prestige, influence, and wealth that comes with higher offices (certainly including the Presidency), we, the electorate, can expect anything and everything to be used in support of sometimes desperate candidates. This is nothing new. If I remember my American history correctly, Andrew Jackson was accused of fathering a child out of wedlock. Whether a "dirty campaign" should be waged, is frankly irrevelent. Unfortunately, such WILL BE waged; count on it.
Dennis said:
...how much weight, if any, do you think race or gender should play in someone's choice of a candidate?
Dennis:
In a perfect world, none. But alas, as long as we have power and prestige at stake, candidate's "handler(s)" will make every effort to identify their person with every voting group they can find. Have you noticed, for example, how Hillary's southern accent becomes pronounced when she is south of the mason/dixon line:-)