Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Obama Dilemma

[The Wall Street Journal] 1 Nov 2008--Should John McCain eke out a victory on Tuesday, there can be no doubt that, amid the sounds of weeping and gnashing of teeth emanating from disappointed Democrats, there will also be bitter accusations of racism directed at American voters. Indeed, Slate columnist Jacob Weisberg has already published the indictment pre-emptively, in an Aug. 23 article subtly titled "If Obama Loses, Racism is the Only Reason McCain Might Beat Him." Nowhere will this charge be made more angrily than against the evangelical Protestant community.

The sweeping accusation of racism is outrageous, but there is surely some reason to believe that some whites, some evangelicals among them, are silent about their decision to vote against Barack Obama because they know that their motives cannot bear scrutiny. By the same token, of course, there are an incalculable number of whites, including evangelicals, who will be voting for Sen. Obama precisely because of the color of his skin, rather than the content of his character or his policies. They are motivated by a desire to demonstrate their goodwill (and perhaps expiate lingering feelings of guilt).

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