Barack Obama’s youthful volunteers have met more than a few of America’s less savory characters while on the campaign trail, according to a story in the Washington Post. Obama’s skin color – he’s black – if you weren’t aware, is for some voters the most important thing about the man. Sad, but that view is held by voters of all ethnic groups.
Here’s perhaps the most honest reason for the obsession:
One Pittsburgh union organizer told her [Documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy] he would not vote for Obama because he is black, and a white voter, she said, offered this frank reason for not backing Obama: "White people look out for white people, and black people look out for black people."
I don’t think that Barack Obama would be uniquely kind to black Americans – the weight of presidential responsibility would, I think, preclude that. However, I do believe that many people act and vote as if he’s going to fulfill the truism if elected.
Unfortunately I can’t claim to be fully immune from the disease either. As a fiscal conservative it’s difficult to separate Obama’s stated goal of expanding the welfare state – and thereby increasing expenditures on federal giveaways – from his program of race-influenced, if not race-based, social justice.
As a matter of philosophy I’m opposed to welfare programs programs, particularly when implemented at the federal level using income tax dollars, regardless of who is being helped by them.
Yet it’s painfully obvious that blacks benefit more from social welfare programs than other ethnic groups. For example, an admittedly 10-year-old study in Michigan demonstrates that blacks accounted for 40-50% of some welfare programs while making up only 12% of the state’s population.
Therefore, a vote for Obama is a vote for more subsidies to black Americans. At the same time, a vote against him can be viewed as taking that money away from them – a racist act, according to some.
I doubt that we’d be having the same kind of conversation about Obama taking care of blacks if Obama were a conservative. I also doubt that he would be raking in 80% of the African-American vote against Hillary Clinton if he subscribed to that fiscal ideology.