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Guest columnist: TarheelChocolate

I voted for Barack Obama!

March 19, 2010

I am going to assume that this audience, being mostly conservative, has limited time for my viewpoint and is likely to skim, so I’ll try to be brief. Writing for a venue like this requires that you be crisp and succinct rather than evocative or creative; it stresses specificity and accuracy. I’m no writer, I build cars for a living, or at least I used to. These days I’m stuck in a GM warehouse shuffling parts, but that’s another story. BTW, I don’t make $85 an hour. Just thought I’d put that out there.

O.K., concentrate, concentrate…

My invitation to contribute to this website came as somewhat of a surprise since I have little in common with J.P. We are complete opposites and our views on politics are as far apart as you can imagine. The one thing we do have in common is... we both love him.

I am Southern born, raised in the great state of North Carolina, the Tarheel state. Every once in a while someone will ask me, “How did North Carolina get the name the Tarheel state?”

WELL, I’ll tell you:
North Carolina used to be a big producer of tar, pitch and turpentine. During one of the fiercest conflicts of the Civil War, North Carolina troops felt they had been let down by a regiment carrying the colors of another state, and thus carried chips on their shoulders when they pulled back from the front after the battle. "Any more tar down in the Old North State, boys?" members of the other regiments taunted the battle-weary North Carolinians. "Not a bit. Jeff Davis bought it all up," retorted the Carolinians. "How's that, what's he going to do with it?" "He's gonna put it on your heels to make you stick better in the next fight," answered the soldiers from the land of tar, pitch and turpentine. General Lee, hearing of the incident, remarked: "God Bless the Tar Heel Boys." The nickname stuck. (Source ... Creecy's "Grandfather Tales of North Carolina") So there.
Now, back to my story:

Skip waaaaay ahead. I never heard my parents speak of politics. They were too busy trying to raise seven children and maintain their sanity. Bits and pieces of conversations I heard led me to believe they were Democrats. I actually have nothing to base this on except for the fact that they were very bitter and angry when Martin Luther King, Jr., and John F. Kennedy were assassinated. But anyone with any compassion was also angry, I would like to believe.

Now, J.P. will disagree wholeheartedly with this next statement but I said I would be accurate and specific, so here goes.

Not much has changed in the past forty years. In the 2008 election, President Obama swept the nation with the exception of the South. In the “hardcore” Deep South, despite a huge black electorate, President Obama received less than forty percent of the vote. Today, racism in the South is not usually openly displayed. On the surface, most southern whites show no animosity toward blacks. AND - here’s the kicker!!! - in the dark recesses of their souls, most Southern whites cling to the belief that the Republican Party is their last best hope of maintaining economic, social and political dominance in the region.

I truly still believe this, today. I was a so called “Independent” (which is just bullshit for ‘can’t make up my mind,’ or ‘none of them impress me’) until Barack Obama came along. And YES, I am one of those people who voted for him mainly because he is a very smart, handsome, charismatic BLACK MAN. (Notice I didn’t say, articulate). I didn’t know anything about his politics. I do know that the likes of Sean Hannity, that drug addict Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and a plethora of others (including Hillary) fought waaaaaaaay too hard to destroy him. But failed, miserably!

So, before you say “you voted for him because he’s a Black man,” there are millions who DIDN’T vote for him because he is a Black man. John McCain was too damn old and Hilary has already been President, so there! Of course, anyone with any sense at all knows Michelle is running the show, so in reality we have our first Black Woman President and I really, really like that.

So there! Bring on the critics.


From Reno, Nevada

March 19, 2010 - Too damn old? Too old for what? Too old to answer the phone? Too old to ride around the world disparaging American citizens? Too damn old to chain smoke? Too damn old to have any common sense thanks to years and years of life/military/political experiences? As an employer I can tell you that just like race discrimination age discrimination will land you in the same pot of hot water. McCain was not running for a job as a ditch digger. He was running for a job that requires skill, political prowess and military knowledge. All of which he is very looooooonnnnnggg on! If we were voting on a race horse I would have voted for Obama as I can think of no other horse as wily, slick and fast as him. As for McCain I feel his body will hold up for at least another 4 years and his wisdom will stand the test of time even after his body gives out. - Domme Yankee, Connecticut

March 19, 2010 - I think it's funny that you claim the "hardcore Deep South" didn't vote for Obama, implying that this was about racism, when in fact the very Confederate southern state you talked about, North Carolina, voted for him. So did Virginia, General Lee's state. What's more, the band of red states that goes from South Carolina over to Texas continues up through Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas, and then on through Montana and Idaho. [Election map.] Surely all those Norwegians, Swedes, and Sioux Indians are not Deep South racists, are they? - J.P. Travis



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