By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico columnist
Monday morning was pretty much the routine. A bowl of cereal more suited for my future children, a quick viewing of TV news and a visit to the Internet for my e-mail and social networking site checks.
Add disappointment to the routine. A MySpace bulletin from a college acquaintance read, “Obama = Hitler.”
The bulletin contained a link to a YouTube video of the Obama Youth Regimen (don’t let me be the only judge; please watch it yourself). I saw a group of African-American teenagers in military clothing, marching in routine and separately saying what Barack Obama has inspired them to become. It wasn’t my thing, but I thought my friend was wrong to say they “were brainwashed, just like the Hitler youth.”
I wrote back that I see nothing wrong with young black men aspiring to be doctors, lawyers and architects, and he would have nothing but praise had they been inspired by his candidate, John McCain. Then I deleted him as a friend because I want no personal association with anybody trivializing Hitler’s actions to the point they equal a person running for elected office.
Two thoughts remain. First, I hope nobody votes for McCain based on what some jerk says. Second, I hope nobody votes for Obama based on what some jerk says.
Likewise, I’m more than a little concerned that with McCain and Obama, two candidates who are quite different in their policies and approaches to governance, the election may be decided on one candidate being black and one being white.
I haven’t had any friends who have told me, “I’m not voting for Obama because he’s black,” but several have hinted toward that. I’ve also read columnists who advise you to “lock your doors” when Obama supporters visit your neighborhood. Why lock your doors, unless you fear theft or assault?
Likewise, I haven’t had friends who have said, “I’m voting for Obama because he’s black,” but several have hinted toward that. It’s like they’re saying McCain picked the wrong election to be white, and we all know what to call people who disqualify based on skin color.
Here’s a novel idea: Look at their records, and how they plan to keep promises — what programs do you cut to ensure tax breaks, and what taxes do you raise to cover new spending?
I talked with a voter who’s torn this year, because he believes anybody named “Senator” is unfit for the presidency. That seems flippant on the surface, but it is a policy decision because he likes candidates with experience in delegating and budget-setting. He’s not alone in his sentiments, since four of our last five presidents have been governors. For these voters, I can only advise an inspection of their campaigns, because that’s the best example of executive experience they have.
I wrote a few weeks ago it wasn’t the business of the media to debate the pregnancy of Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter, but countered American voters are free to give it, and any other issue, any weight they desire because their vote is their business.
I’d get nowhere telling people who to vote for, and why to vote for them. But as early voting starts in the 2008 version of “the most important election of our lives,” I want to be on the record. Americans who vote largely based on spurious reasons deserve the ineffective, unresponsive government their votes purchase.
That’s a routine I can’t tolerate.
Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom New Mexico. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org