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October 26, 2012
Bidding Adieu to Affirmative-Action Voting
With all the jaw-boning, chart-drawing, and poll-watching being foisted upon us by commentators and pundits here, there, and everywhere, there's one thing for certain: this time around, the election is focused more on "content of character" rather than "color of skin."
The most satisfying thing about the first debate between Governor Romney and President Obama was that Romney himself turned the whole election on its ear.
A Wall Street Journal editorial by Dorothy Rabinowitz (10/22/12) nailed this fact:
"[T]he American people inevitably recognize the difference between lies and truth, illusion and the real thing.
"The most telling example of this capacity -- the October surprise that shouldn't have been surprising -- came with the first presidential debate. The nation saw a superbly cogent Mitt Romney, speaking to them in terms instantly recognizable, words without artifice that addressed their real lives. Viewers saw the life in him, the play of mind, felt the sense of powerful will -- that of a leader. It didn't matter all that much that the president looked most unpresidential, a man lost. What mattered was the other man before them, who had brought home to Americans what they had been missing the past four years."
In the past, we've had events dictate the outcome of elections (the housing and stock market crash of 2008, for example). But with the first debate, things were as they should be. The candidates presented their cases and the viewers decided who was best.
Further indication of this content-is-king domination comes when you look at all three presidential debates as a whole. Again, in the past, there were "zingers" that stood out (e.g., Reagan's "There you go again"). This time, as hard as Obama tried to shoot off a snappy sound bite, none materialized. (Even his bayonet line in the last debate turned around and poked him in the rear.)
When it was revealed after the third debate that Romney had made a conscious decision to not go after the president regarding his many foreign-policy failures (and there are many, Benghazi only the most obvious), even Charles Krauthammer was pleasantly surprised. This proved something very valuable to conservatives, liberals and in-betweeners alike -- Mitt Romney takes counsel, but ultimately makes his own decisions based on what he feels right and good and true to who he is and how he wants to benefit the American people.
Could it be that, because he is out in front according to the polls, Mr. Romney wants the healing of the nation to begin even before he's sworn into office? Is he trying to pour water onto this raging fire of divisiveness that has claimed America's soul these past four years? It seems we may already have a hint as to how a President Romney will guide this country during his time at the helm.
The third debate certainly continued the "content of character" edge for Romney. And what a difference that is from what was front-and-center four years ago.
In 2008, candidate Obama was lauded for his elegant speech, even though what he really had going for him was his fluency in bull as a second language. Now, Obama's flowery speech has become more like bitter herbs. Joe Biden, among others, gave him a pass because he was "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." This blatantly racist comment was given the Joe-being-Joe treatment by the press at the time. But the mentality behind it indicated a willingness by many to lower the standards for the highest office in the land.
Are people finally waking up? If they're honest with themselves, they will admit that they made a mistake voting into office someone who was completely untested. Someone who never ran a business (which addresses how that person would handle the world's largest economy). Someone who had a scant track record of problem-solving on a small scale, let alone on the world stage. In addition, even if a voter is not willing to admit that "making history by voting for the first African-American president" was a wrongheaded notion, they might still say, "I made history last time, so now I can cast my vote based on a record of accomplishments" (or lack thereof). The time-tested adage, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me," will definitely come into play this time around.
So, even though the Chris Matthews and Snoop Dog/Lions of this world want to continue to make this race about race, that dog won't hunt anymore.
All Obama has left now as the two candidates take the final turn and head to the finish line is what we're seeing, hearing, and reading about: Obama is projecting his own character onto Romney and hoping that the undecideds will buy into it: "Romney is a liar." Or, Romney is a "bullshitter" (as stated to Rolling Stone magazine).
However, if we too are to lower ourselves to the new presidential standards, shall we then say, "It takes one to know one?"
We're still a good ten days out from the most crucial election of our lifetimes. And, as everyone keeps saying, "Anything can happen." But, fortunately, the fight has been a lot fairer since the poison that is affirmative-action has been neutralized.
Simon de Hundehutte is one of the creative minds behind www.SnarxBrothers.com.
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