07 February 2008

Ignorance

Today, for the first time during this campaign, I have serious fears that the general American populous is intelligent enough to elect Barack Obama. I am not, however, saying that a vote for Clinton or any of the Republicans; but I fear that Obama may not get enough votes because of ignorance and ridiculous, unfounded fears.

Talking to a few people today, I realized that some people cannot let go of their racial/religious fears. The two I was speaking with both convinced that Obama is a closeted radical Muslim who will destroy the American way of life from the inside. One went as far as to say, "I don't like to seem prejudice, but I just don't like Muslims." I am still a little angry and befuddled by that comment. There's just no getting through to some people.

Now, I don't mind if you don't want to vote for or support Obama based on his policies, voting history, level of experience, or the simple fact that you like someone else better; but if you're not giving him a chance because his name is funny and he may be "one of them terrorists," then I'm bound to be a little upset and, frankly, think a little less of you.

While most claim a fear of his religious background, I can't help but believe it's based on his race. If Yusuf Islam had the political background, rhetorical skills, and charisma of Obama, I doubt there would be as much ado about his religion. Of course, this probably isn't true because, at one time, the-artist-formerly-known-as-Cat Stevens wasn't allowed back into the U.S., despite his fame.

All this having been said, I wish people would broaden their minds and allow themselves to think, learn, and love. That last sentence is certainly trite and rife with over-sentimentality; but I don't care. Love Love Love.

1 comment:

Jennie said...

I have the same fears!! Today I read a blog comment deterring votes for Obama by drawing a comparison between him and Hitler. A few days ago, a friend of mine told me that his mom made a comment about how she can't believe people would back an Islamic president. I almost fell out of my chair.

I think I'M ignorant about the lack of voter research. When deciding on a candidate, I looked at candidate websites, read their creeds and manifestos, read articles in the Times and Post, and watched nearly all the debates (both GOP and DEM). I read tons of blogs supporting or opposing various candidates. I wanted to know the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. I assumed most voters did some (if not all) of these things as well.

To be honest, I get really indignant thinking about how many people are basing their decisions on ridiculous (let alone FALSE) claims. It makes me want to scream.

And then I'm afraid of myself, of my anger... on Tuesday night (upon hearing the comment from my friend's mother) I had a fleeting thought: This wouldn't be a problem if you had to be somehow qualified to vote (besides age). It frightens me that I wished--even for a moment--that only people who had performed a adequate amount of research, who had thought carefully and cautiously about each and every candidate regardless of party would be allowed to vote.

Ignorance is frustrating. But I'm still sure some kind of aristocracy would be worse.