The White Guilt of American Elections

Subtle racism has found its way to the American political scene in the final days before Americans head to the ballots to vote on who should run their country for the next four years. The issues both candidates stand for are known. Conservative versus liberal, right wing vs left wing, grosso modo. However, with elections being less than 48 hours away, the talk isn’t centered around the core issues anymore.

The American elections are now all about demographics: who’s voting for who. Because demographic talk is important to see how the country might vote on November 6th.

Pro-Obama analysts underplay the shift in numbers from 2008 to 2012 as something that can be compensated for on election day. Pro-Romney analysts extrapolate the shift in numbers to claim a premature victory they desperately seek. But what is the demographic talk they speak of?

It is that of Catholic and Protestant voters. It is that of independent voters. It is that of women. And do you know what’s the common thing among all those demographics that are up for grabs still?

They’re all white. Or caucasian, whichever term is more politically correct.

In the dying minutes before Americans choose, the tactic is to bring out the colonial white guilt that hasn’t died down since America’s old days. Bringing out the guilt happens even in subtle comedy that, when not read into, is another funny gimmick to make people laugh. However, after a careful minute of reflection, a seemingly harmless skit holds a deeper meaning than it presumably intends to.

For struggling campaigns, the play on the emotional cords of voters is essential to rally them up come election time. The emotional cord for white American voters is the issue of racism. If you don’t vote for this candidate, then you are subtly racist. The fear from the label pushes some people to vote against their convictions in order not to fall into the stereotype.

And this is the inherent hypocrisy of the American system.

More than 90% of African American voters are voting for Obama come election day. Are they accused of racism? No. How many of those voters are more inclined to vote for Obama because of the color of his skin? How many are voting for him based on their convictions and political stance? Both questions are quite irrelevant because they don’t apply here. They apply to “others.”

On the other hand, caucasian Americans do not have the prerogative to vote for their convictions guilt-free. It’s because they weren’t the segment of American society that was marginalized for years and years. But does the fact that African Americans had a very tough phase in their history warrant the rhetoric that has sunk to the level it’s at today?

And we’re not even going into the baggage that voting for one candidate over the other carries: xenophobe, homophobe, female-phobe, anything-phobe.

The bottom line is: it’s not racism and you’re not a racist when you’re voting for someone not because of the color of his skin but because of what he stands for. It’s not racism and you’re not  a racist if you haven’t really thought about a candidate’s skin color until now. Come election day, everyone – regardless of their skin color – should vote to who they believe can get their country in the right direction. The “white result” of 2008 has shown that the majority of Americans don’t care about a candidate’s skin color. So for those who voted to one candidate in order to prove they weren’t racist in 2008, mission accomplished, no need to feel guilty if you cast an opposite ballot this time around. One thing to be said though is shame on media that would revert to such cheap tactics in order to get their preferred candidate a boost.

 

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Kelly Clarkson Endorses Ron Paul For US Presidency – Receives Twitter Backlash

I may not be a fan of her latest album, Stronger, but I definitely appreciate the guts it took Kelly Clarkson to come out and support a conservative candidate for the US Republican ticket – and ultimately, the presidency.

Like Ron Paul or not, like Kelly Clarkson or not, everyone is entitled to an opinion and ridiculing them because of their opinion is not really the way people should behave in the 21st century where your opinion has become more public than anyone thinks. A tweet, deleted a few seconds later, can have its screenshot taken and forever be present in the digital age.

But no matter, back to the Kelly Clarkson issue. The pop singer tweeted the following a few hours ago:

The rest of the tweet goes as follows: “I love Ron Paul. I liked him a lot during the last republican nomination and no one gave him a chance. If he wins the nomination for the Republican party in 2012 he’s got my vote. Too bad he probably won’t.”

Immediately after, Clarkson started receiving hate tweets because of her views, some of which are too indecent to be posted, well, anywhere. So Clarkson tweeted again:

“I am really sorry if I have offended anyone. Obviously that was not my intent. I do not support racism. I support gay rights, straight rights, women’s rights, men’s rights, white/black/purple/orange rights. I like Ron Paul because he believes in less government and letting the people (all of us) make the decisions and mold our country. That is all. Out of all of the Republican nominees, he’s my favorite.”

And then subsequently, when people who were bashing her did not relax:

 “Man my eyes have been opened to so much hate tonight. If y’all ever disagree with something I say please don’t feel the need to attack me. I will listen to what you say and any articles or viewpoints you have when you say it with respect. Being hateful is not a healthy way to get people to see or hear you. I was raised to respect people and their decisions and beliefs and I hope you will grant me the same decency. If you don’t agree with me simply unfollow me. It’s really that easy. I hope you don’t because I would love the chance to hear what you have to say but if you’re so blinded by hate you can’t seek peace and progress then that is your unfortunate prerogative.”
But enough with the introduction. The whole point of this post is not to be pro-Ron Paul or against Ron Paul. It’s simply a defense of free speech, one that I frankly expected people of the country that calls for this type of freedom the most to at least know what it means.
Freedom of speech does not entitle you to bash or harass another person just because they have an opinion that differs from yours. Freedom of speech allows you to respectfully disagree and voice your concern or idea to that person in a respectful debate.
And the ironic thing is, I’m a Lebanese preaching this.
The other point behind this post is to say that Kelly Clarkson, though admittedly republican, voted for Obama in the last elections. And yet, this particular point doesn’t seem to be addressed by many. I wonder why is that so? Is it maybe because being a Republican artist in the US is frowned upon as uncool while being a Democrat is revered? There is definitely a double standard here. If Clarkson had endorsed Obama, I’m more than certain this whole debacle and this subsequent post that I’m writing wouldn’t have existed in the first place.
Third, many reply tweets to Kelly Clarkson mentioned that Ron Paul was anti-gay and a racist person, mostly basing their ideas on the following “quotes” attributed to Paul:
“The rate of AIDS infection is on the increase again. From the gay point of view, the reasons seem quite sensible. First, these men don’t really see a reason to live past their fifties. They are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners… because sex is the center of their lives, they want it to be as pleasurable as possible, which means unprotected sex. Third, they enjoy the attention & pity that comes with being sick.””If you live in a major city, you’ve probably already heard about the newest threat to your life and limb, and your family: carjacking. It is the hip-hop thing to do among the urban youth who play unsuspecting whites like pianos.”

 These quotes are misleading because 1. They were never written by Ron Paul and 2. They are part of an infamous newsletter that he absolutely denies writing.
Ron Paul is obviously anti-gay, as are many US politicians, but there are definitely more important issues, such as the economy, that are in the forefront for many Americans, including many homosexual men and women. Call me old-fashioned or conservative but I think having a home to raise your family and a job to sustain them, as well as a secure environment for their proper upbringing, are more important than which gender gets to marry which other gender. I’m not advocating for or against gay marriage. I’m simply saying there are more important things that a person can base a vote upon.
Finally, kudos to Kelly Clarkson for speaking her mind and stating her opinion. Back in 2008, when people were “baracking” the vote, somehow when all celebrities endorsed Obama, no one was taken aback. But when you stray away from the “media-approved” political path, you get bashed.
At the end of the day, celebrities all have an opinion and a right to state it. Whether you like their opinion or not, whether you approve of them voicing it or not is a different matter altogether.

Birthers Don’t Make Sense

I have not been following U.S. Politics closely lately, but I will become up to date with everything going on there as election time draws nearer.

I am also not a supporter of Mr. Obama. Those who know me should know that I would be considered a Republican in the U.S. Political spectrum.

However, the current wave of “criticism” against Barack Obama simply doesn’t make sense. Birthers, as they are called, are questioning the legitimacy of Obama’s birth on U.S. Soil, to the extent that he actually came forth with his birth certificate.

Not only is this a non-issue, with much more severe topics with which Obama can be confronted due to his less than stellar performance as president, but it’s also nonsensical.

A person cannot run for president of the United States unless he/she was born on U.S. soil – i.e: acquiring the U.S. citizenship later on in life does not entitle you to run. In other terms, I can never become president of the United States, but my cousins can. So do “birthers” really think that Obama wouldn’t have checked out as a legitimate candidate when he first ran that they’re questioning it now? You’d think the C.I.A or whichever front responsible for vetting candidates would make sure they are constitutional before letting them be elected.

U.S. Politics, with Obama being forced to show his birth certificate and his birth location becoming the issue of the moment, has sunk to a new low. And it doesn’t end here… Obama’s university grades are being questioned now as not as “high” as originally thought to be. When the world is busy trying to contain oil prices, handle revolutions and find peace solutions, Americans are being forced to deal with yet another issue that is far, far away from the issues that really count.