Wednesday, November 05, 2008
OT - Race Election
Woke this morning to a classic R4 fest on Obama's stunning US election victory: "this closes a shameful chapter in American history... slams the door on America's shameful past... the world is sprinting forward onto broad sunlit uplands."
Congratulations to President Obama, and given the pretty unappealing choice, I'd probably have chosen him over McCain. But what's all this stuff about America putting its past behind it? I'm no expert on US elections, but surely this one had a huge racial element.
As always you need to look at the American media to find out what's really going on.
The Wall Street Journal has a useful summary of the exit polls here. And what it says is that Obama was elected on the back of virtually unanimous support from blacks and hispanics. Among black voters he won an eye-watering 96%, but among the 75% of voters who are white, he lost by a fair old margin - 44% to McCain's 54%.
Now that's fair enough. This is democracy, and it's absolutely right that black and hispanic voters should exercise their right to vote for the President they want. And it's also absolutely right to hope that the untested Obama can manage the massive toxic legacy tests that await - that he isn't just another Carter.
But you need an awful lot of Prog Con stars in your eyes to believe this in itself has closed the book on racism in America.
PS Just how many people did the BBC send to America for the fest? On my count it's about 13,000. Why couldn't they just stream the ABC coverage? Much more interesting, much more informed, and much much cheaper.