Obama ain't happenin'After yesterday morning, I am secure in the knowledge that Barack Obama will never be elected President of the United States. How do I know this? A good cross-section of White Pine's community of "chronic voters" told me they won't be supporting Obama. Some readers may say sarcastically "that sounds like a real surprise in a small conservative East Tennessee town, Oatney." What made these revelations so politically convincing is that I heard these things from self-professed life long Democrats who, while living in what may be the reddest county in the reddest part of the State, take every opportunity to bash Republicans whenever they see an opportunity(whether the bashing is grounded in reality or not). The difference between these folks and the average Democratic "target voter" is that these guys will vote and they do not miss an election-I know because I have stood in line with some of them at the polling place waiting to vote.
They are the children of the Depression, of World War II, or Korea. Those who profess to be Democrats will often tell you that one or both of their parents were Dems, too. They and their families are old union people. Many served in the military, and not a few are retired from BASF/Inka, from Oak Ridge, or from the civil service. They aren't very happy with the present administration at all, and are not shy about saying so. I forget how the topic came up ( I didn't bring it up), but somehow when the discussion turned to Barack Obama yesterday morning at the Sanitary Drugstore-I think someone may have made a joke about Oprah and Obama-the reaction of the Democrats in the room turned to instant revulsion. One Democrat, someone who has never demonstrated anything to me but a heart of gold, said bluntly "I will not vote for that man, if he is the nominee I will vote Republican," he cringed. Most of the old boys have enough of a problem with Hillary, but the Dems swear they would sooner vote for her than for Obama.
Is it skin color? No...they all said it was because they were aware of his Muslim background and were simply uncomfortable having someone with a Muslim background (even though he now goes to a United Church of Christ) as President. It goes right back to whether voters have a religious test, and in today's climate you simply can't blame voters for feeling uncomfortable with a pseudo-Muslim as President.
I know that the Democratic Party places a premium on the youth vote, but at 18 kids are still relatively uninformed and unschooled in the ways of the world. Today's Democratic Party often relies on the uninformed voter to elect them-quantity over quality. Most 18-year-olds don't vote because they could care less about the future, they are invincible. Did I vote at 18? Yes, but I came from a family where civic responsibility was beat into my head at a young age, and by the time I made it to my first election, I knew what issues were important to me and just exactly why I was voting for the people that I chose. I took my responsibility seriously because I knew the future hung on the ballot I was casting, and I also knew that one day I might want to be on the ballot myself-I have never missed an election. Needless to say, I was in a minority at 18-most of my classmates didn't vote, and the ones who I knew that did also came from homes where the importance of informed voting was taught to them.
The fellows at the Sanitary not only vote reliably, they've been voting for years. They come from a couple of generations that are known for being very civic-minded and for being generations of joiners. If the Democrats among them say that they are not comfortable with Obama's background and they cannot support him because of it, then there is an awfully good chance that Barack Obama will not be the Democratic nominee.
Labels: Presidential Election