Among Democrates, the race is getting closer between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It's also closer to the end. Obama should have won it by now, but Hillary and her husband got voters in Pennsylvania and will get the voters in North Carolina and Indiana this Tuesday to vote for her, by playing on the element of fear.
Fear was behind voting for Bush in 2004. Americans knew he was dumb. They knew he lied about Iraq. They knew he was going to screw up a lot of things, but they were afraid. They were afraid of being attacked by "the crazy Mahzlims", and Republicans played the game extremely well in showing John Kerry who actually fought in Vietnma as a coward and Bush, who ran away from the military, as the tough guy with big balls who will protect America.
America had a previous experience with a black candidate. Jesse Jackson ran in 1984 and 1988, but he ran as "the black candidate", the angry black man that characterized a lot of black men in the US. He had an enormous support from the black community but very few nonblacks voted for him. Al Sharpton ran in 2004 but was another candidate for black American and he didn't go too far.
Obama decided to run for the 2008 elections. His dream as a black man seemed far-fetched. He had a very good campaign. The primaries started in Iowa and guess what, Obama won big there and people started believing that he can become the first black president.
For many Americans, he seemed the right black person to become the president. First, he's only half-black since his mother is white. Secondly, he was not running as the angry black candidate the Jackson was. He was running as a color-blinded intelligent friendly American with a message of hope and change that Americans were looking for after suffering under Bush. What about African-Americans? Before the Iowa primary the majority of African-Americans were supporting Hillary over Obama. Hillary after all is Bill's wife, and Bill had a very good record in African-Americans issues, and they did not believe Obama could go too far in the primaries. When they saw Obama has won Iowa (96% whites) and came close second in New Hampshire (>90% whites), they started believing in him. By now, more than 90% of African-Americans in any state favor Obama over Clinton.
Obama swept one state after another and came too close to winning the nomination. The Clintons couldn't let this slip away from them, so they went after Obama with the same old weapon: Fear. Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, is an angry black man. His sermons in the church are filled with anger, criticism of the government, and often paranoia from White America and in one of his speeches he said, "God damn America". Examining the context of his speech, what he meant was that God will damn America if it continues with its unjust policies just like he damned other nations in the past, but who cares about the context? He just said God damn America.
This was enough for the Clintons to jump on Obama. Obama was found responsible by the Clintons and the media for what his pastor said on a Sunday sermon. Obama made a historical speech condemning his pastor's comments and carefully addressed the race issue in America, something he didn't want to do in the past. Wright appeared last week in an interview and had another speech loaded with a politically-incorrect statements and mentioned that Obama is just behaving like a politician who wants to get elected. Obama was furious and had to denounce his pastor of 20 years in a following speech.
So, again, Obama's pastor said stupid things and Obama denounced him, condemned everything in the speech and completely distanced himself from him. Was that enough for the media?
No. All news channels for the past week have been reporting this story again and again. They couldn't get enough of it. Ironically, McCain was endorsed by Pastor John Hagee, founder of the Chrisitians United for Israel foundation, who claimed that all Muslims pose a threat worse than that of Hitler and Japan in WWII, and said that Hurricane Katrina was a punishment to New Orleans. John McCain was "very proud" to receive such endorsement and almost nobody questioned him about it.
But when it comes to Obama, it's the angry-black-man threat. The angry black man who was born to a Muslim father and went to a Muslim school somewhere in the Far East where Al Qaeda might be hiding. Amerrrrrica, this colored man will become your president! Save yourselves before it's too late. And the sermons of Jeremiah Wright yelling "God damn America" are still on and Americans are buying it, just like they bought Bush's lies.
Fear will again be the motive for people to vote. It has been moving everything in this country. As bad as things are for Americans, they're not voting for the person who's promising to fix things up, but rather for the candidate that is promising to continue screwing them with a never-ending war in Iraq.