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November 5, 2008

To The Back Of The Bus!


America has spoken. And the country has roundly rejected the divisive, fear-mongering politics of hopelessness that have held people down and prevented them from reaching their true and full potential. In other words, America has stuck a fork in Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the rest of the Don Imus re-educators, whether or not anyone even realizes it at this point.


Now there’s no complaining about The Man – because The Man is black. He joins the ranks of the 90 percent black commentator majority on CNN. 


Republicans have traditionally been the party of blacks – from Lincoln ending slavery, onward.  Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican. President Dwight Eisenhower presided over school and military desegregation and the 1957 Civil Rights Act, leading to an increase in black voters.


Black men and women of competence and skill who have found themselves aligned with Republicans in recent years – such as Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell – have been dismissed as racial traitors. That is, until Powell wandered back onto the reservation recently by supporting Barack Obama. Then all appeared to be forgiven. I mean, how could he have known?  He was just another poor black victim duped into doing The Man’s bidding.


This election proved that race is no longer an issue in America. At least for white people, it isn’t – and hasn’t been for a long time. White Americans have long enjoyed and appreciated the contributions of Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Jay-Z, Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry, Denzel Washington and others. Their success in the free market bears this out.


But CNN exit polls show that 95 percent of blacks voted for Obama. They barely even gave the white guy a second look. And this is what a united America looks like – whites voting more or less along traditional ideological lines, and blacks voting almost exclusively for their homeboy?


When blacks can look at a candidate and not see color, or when television viewers can watch cable news and say, “There are way too many liberals on here, why does management think that we’d be blind to that fact by the color of their skin?” that’s when we’ll know that we’ve really made progress.


In the meantime, there’s a way we can all unite post-election: By rolling up our sleeves and getting to work. And by “work”, I don’t mean speaking, organizing, rallying and complaining – I mean actual work. Pretend it’s the 9/11 rescue site all over again, only this time it’s your bank account that has figuratively imploded. Hard to wrap your head around that abstract concept? Of course it is! If it was easy to comprehend the abstract, then CNN exit polls would have found more than a mere 9 percent of voters who consider terrorism the most important issue of the election. But people obviously have a tough time assigning value to something that hasn’t happened because it has been prevented.


Beyond John McCain blowing it by supporting the bailout, the economy shouldn’t have even been an election consideration. Terrorism, therefore, should have won by default. 


Let’s break that down: If you are in debt up to your eyeballs, it is because you bought a house you couldn’t afford, and you maxed out your credit cards. George W. Bush didn’t do that. He didn’t come to your house and drag you and your MasterCard out a shopping spree. If you can’t buy gas or pay your mortgage and have run out of credit, that’s not George W. Bush’s fault. And no president can fix that, either. All this talk about Barack Obama being able to do so is just further fueling the culture of irresponsibility. 


What the government can do is prevent people from hijacking planes to fly into buildings, detonating bombs in the subway or shopping malls. That’s one of the government’s actual jobs – not to buy your gas. And President Bush has done that by going to their caves and kicking their behinds around the sand dunes. And guess what? It’s worked. So much so that only 9 percent think it’s even an issue anymore.


So let’s give props and sympathy to the poor old white guy. He’ll soon be out of a job as a white conservative at a time when all the cable news jobs are going to guys like D.L. Hughley, with commentary and analysis performed (along with dance moves) by the likes of Will.i.am. 


Maybe the best thing to do is just kick back while Obama puts on his Santa hat and takes the wheel of the bus while everyone in back sings Kumbaya and rifles through our new goodie bags.  Hopefully he won’t have plunged it into the ditch and Kopechne’d (in the Mary Jo sense) the entire country after four years.


Don’t sweat it too much. As Winston Churchill once said, “In war you can be killed only once. In politics, many times . . . unless you’re Obama’s nan.”


© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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