101 Flavors and All of Them Unelectable

I don’t know if I’ve ever voted for a president. I’ve voted against some people (Dole, Bush, Bush 2: Iraqi Boogaloo). I don’t know if you ever get to vote for someone as a minority. You’re just always squinting at people thinking, “Now which one of you bastards is going to screw me over the least?”

I’d like to vote for someone. You know? Just once to actually be naive enough to think that someone cares about the plight of the poor, the brown, the Black Snob. But nobody loves us.

And I just love how almost everyone running for president this year would be the first something or other, somehow rendering them near unelectable. First black guy. First white woman who would be the first First Lady. First Latino. First Mormon. First lapsed Catholic Italian. First rapidly decomposing Vietnam vet. First former hedge fund guy. First dude who had a supporting role in “Die Hard 2.” First elf-man with unnaturally hot wife. Much hotter than elf-man. It’s ridiculous. Who knew Dennis had such mad ridiculous white liberal guilt game? Did he woo her with whispers of sweet universal healthcare in her ear?

But, seriously. If there was just one, JUST ONE, non-obnoxious, generic white man who could manage to not talk like a complete moron, all of these people would be focusing on their day jobs. Except maybe Guliani. I honestly think he has serious mental health issues. Like he’s hitting the Klonopin hard just to keep from shouting that he single-handedly saved everyone’s life on 9/11, including Flight 93 and the plane that hit the Pentagon. Dug out Ground Zero with his bare hands, then strapped on a katana blade, headed to Waziristan and screamed at Osama “I AM THE HIGHLANDER AND THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

Seriously. If I have to remember to take my Lithium, Rudy, you have to remember to take yours too. You don’t want that bipolar disorder to get too out of control. Your kids hate you. You’re already on wife number three. The US is on war number two. I don’t want you to become president and find out that you’ve decided to take on North Korea and Iran with nothing but Steven Segal and the Los Angeles Police Department. Granted, the LAPD can open a can of whup ass on some poor immigrant rights marchers and has been knockin’ in the heads of black folks since 1941, but Kim Jong Il doesn’t take his lithium either. And he hasn’t been fighting two wars for almost six years. And he’s just faking crazy. Unlike you, Rudy. You, who is actual crazy.

Rudy and Dennis aside. I’m enamored by almost all of 08’s cuddly, little unelectables. From crazy old man Mike Gravel to the only candidate who’s compared himself to Jesus just because he came in number two in the Iowa straw poll, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas. They’re all such lovable losers you just wanna “Dean Scream” all over them with glee.

All jokes aside. There is one bone that is not completely made of cynicism residing inside of me. And that is the bone that secretly wishes, hope and against hope, that by some act of God, Obama goes the distance. Not because I think it would be mind-blowing for a black man to be president, let alone a black man without an Anglicized name. No, I would want it to happen because Obama winner is the one thing that would cure my bleak cynicism, for if he won I would basically have to rethink America. Like, seriously rethink it. Like, I’d have to go live in the mountains for a little while and contemplate my purpose in life.

I mean, when the history of your family in America consists of not actually having the rights freedoms of other citizens for almost two hundred years. When your father throws away the free American flag we get every July from the neighborhood association because he grew up under Jim Crow and had to kick ass everyday of his life to get everything he owns. When you watch thousands of people die in a city older than the United States of America, when you watch people who look just like you, like your grandmother, your mother, your sisters and you watch them drown on live TV and help doesn’t come, you’re not going to be the sort of person to slap on two magnets screaming “God Bless America” on the back of your truck.

It’s not that I dislike the United States. I think its the greatest country there is. But it’s also the only home I’ve ever known. I don’t know if I could pull a James Baldwin or Paul Roberson and just announce, “Screw the man. I’m moving the Europe.” Like it or lump it, my family helped build this country, so I’ve chosen to stay and hope for the better while expecting the worse.

But President Barak Obama would not be what I, or anyone I know and love, would have expected. What would that mean for America?

Would my heart actually fill with pride on the Fourth? Would the pledge of allegiance finally be more than just words?

Would we overcome inaugural day instead of “someday?”

Could I admit to finding men who aren’t black men attractive and not be accused of abandoning the black men who I also find very attractive? Would all blackness cease to be politics? Because, my non-Negro friends, everything about blackness is political. Everyday I am aware that I am “the other.” But if a black man was president, would I be an “other” no more?

And see? That’s why I’d have to move to the mountains if the impossible happened, because I’d have to rethink everyone and everything, because for Obama to win a WHOLE lot of people who aren’t black and are most definitely white would have to vote for him. And that would be the thing that would blow my mind the most.

But my mind’s not going to get blow. Because I’m a cynic. I’m the fruit of the Civil Rights movement. And I don’t think America has made it to that point yet where they would pick someone other than a white man to be leader of the free world.

But prove me wrong, Barak. For the love of MLK, prove me wrong.

4 thoughts on “101 Flavors and All of Them Unelectable

  1. Part of me wants to vote for Obama simply because I heard him on “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” on NPR a couple years ago.Yep, I’m THAT idiot. The same idiot that voted for Clinton in ’96 because I had seen him play the sax on Arsenio four years earlier.I really loved Arsenio. I was very tired for most first period homeroom in the eighth grade because of Arsenio.Totally off-topic. Damn my short attention span.Anyway, I needed to post to be the bearer of bad news. If Obama were to win, I suspect you would not be able to cast off the weight and responsibility of being a racial minority in this country, just like he wouldn’t be able to. In fact, it would become so much heavier.Even if, by some miracle, the majority of the country was able to get beyond his otherness, a hardcore few would simply be aggitated by that, and proclaim, very loudly, their disapproval.And EVERYTHING he did would be what the black president did, and by extension, all black people would be perpetually harassed about what they thought “their” guy was doing. I bet you can walk down the street right now without people telling you what they think of the president most days of the week. Forget that if he becomes president, especially if you’re in a predominantly white area.And God forbid he be a bad president, or make an unpopular decision. Then you’ll really start to hear about what a bad choice “you” made.Sure, I’ll vote for him if I get the opportunity. Because I’m sick of this glass-ceiling. And even if a black man holding the office is only symbolic, I’ll take it.But yeah, I don’t think he has a shot in hell. And I’m enough of cynic to think that even if he did win, there’d still be plenty of reasons to hate America’s attitude when it comes to race.

  2. But see, you can actually imagine a black presidency! I can’t even get that far! My brain goes, “But they’d never bash the black president because America would never elect one to bash in the first place. They wouldn’t even elect a black vice president. We’re like whitey Kryptonite!”See … If, for some fluke … like, I don’t know, Oprah, Tiger Woods and Quincy Jones got together to rig the election, and news came out that the Republican nominee was a sex offender a week before the election, and if THAT happened and Obama managed to win the election with a majority of the electoral college (but not the majority of the vote as I’d imagine vast populations of the south would go with the child molester … oh, and electoral college after that? So abolished.) … I could see him winning in that way and then I could see the scenario you envisioned come to pass. You know? The whole, “Can you impeach a president before he’s served a day in office” scenario.BUT … if none of that happened (No Mitt Romney murdering a man in cold blood on live television) and Obama got elected I would have to do some serious thinking, because while I know that racists would still exist, it would also mean that more than a sizable majority of white Americans got like a clue or something. I mean, I find that most people are just lazy racists. Lynching is so 1963. Passive racists will move to a different neighborhood rather than burn a cross on your lawn. They say, “Some of my best friends are black.” And they politely let you go through the entire job interview and wait until you’re out the door before they throw your resume in the trash.See? You don’t have to tell anyone who you vote for. To vote for the black guy is pretty big when you could just be a passive racist and say you voted for the black guy when you really voted for Guliani. Like how I voted for the Governator over Phil Angelides.I don’t tell people I voted for a Republican. But it was Ah-nold! And he’d somehow managed to not completely fuck everything up. Only some of it. But my point is PASSIVITY! No one has to vote for anyone. Which is why for that vote to happen in spite of lazy, passive-aggressive racism would be mind-bogglingly amazing.

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