Any Woman or Any African-American? NO

70  bar steady 30.02  0mph E  dew-point 54  sunrise 6:33 sunset 7:53  Lughnasa

New (Harvest) Moon

“The cocks may crow, but it’s the hen that lays the egg.” – Margaret Thatcher

I agree with Margaret.  She laid several big eggs while Prime Minister. One of them was the poll tax.

Let me be clear about the post below.   Voting for a candidate based on any secondary characteristic, i.e. skin color, gender, national origin, religion or sexual orientation without careful consideration of the policies and general political stance concedes your political principles.  I know in some cases this is very tempting, say for example Hillary as a woman or Obama as a black man.  Even some folks will consider Palin just because she is a woman.  I believe there are good arguments for electing somewhat less than ideal women candidates, black candidates, Muslim candidates (less than ideal=politics somewhat different from your own) in order to increase diversity in the policy making branches of government.

This less than ideal concept does not apply to President.  Why?  Simple.  The President has too much power.  A Presidential candidate must be as close to your politics as possible to be worthy of your vote.  Unlike a Senator or a House member, they have no caucus to leaven their views, no entire body to smooth out the rough edges.  A President decides and disposes within the Executive Branch. The President determines his/her parties agenda in Congress, at least on certain important matters, matters that will have priority to those who voted for them–like you.

Is it important that a woman become President?  Yes, I believe it is.  Is it important that any woman become President?  Absolutely not.  Is it important that a black person, male or female, become President?  Yes, I believe it is.  Any black person?  Absolutely not.  In the primary races I did not support Hillary or Barack because they are both too centrist for me.  I preferred Kuchinich and Edwards.  Now that the winnowing process has ended though, Barack is the Presidential candidate closest to my political views.  He is to the right of my own positions, but the choice is down to two.  In this case proximity to my own views and his skin color both matter to me.

As I wrote the other day, Obama’s policies and political rhetoric don’t excite me, but the visual of an African-American as President, so long as they are not, say, Alan Keyes or Clarence Thomas, does.  Last evening I rode up in the elevator with an African-American couple.  They were young.  He had the Star-Tribune in his hand and read a quote to his girl friend.  “See,”  he said, “He spoke to the women who were supporting Hillary.  He’ll get their support.”  I don’t know about his analysis, but the fact that he was excited gladdened my heart.  Blessed be.