KS Governor Sebilius: Obama's Race A Factor In Election
Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebilius, recently a short-list possiblity as an Obama VEEP choice has raised eyebrows and the ire of Republican pundits in a statement she issued yesterday in Iowa, claiming that Obama's race will be an issue for some voters in the presidential elections.
It's a proven hstorical fact that there are some ill-informed people who will vote for a candiate who has the best smile, vocal range, suntan [anybody here old enough to remember the Kennedy/Nixon debates where Tricky Dick came off as a common thug because of his 5 o'clock shadow? Many claim it actually cost him the election!], or camera-loving personae. So: why should a man's race -or religion- have a lessened impact? Simple truth: It DOESN'T. There will STILL be hardlined hayseeds who will refuse to vote for a man because of the color of his skin, or the cut of his clothes. Just ONE of the many problems our contemporary elections have as their universal failings... but that's also a part of democracy in action, folks.
The irony here? The Republican party [as we know it today] actually originated right here in the sunflower state of Kansas. Surprised? well: it's true.
Back in 1854 the Kansas-Nebraska Act essentially allowed those states to decide whether they would be "free" or "slave" states. Then, along came a long-bearded gent named John Brown who single-handedly created the phrase, "Bleeding Kansas" with his abolitionist raids leaving God-fearing slave-loving souls dead in his wake. A few years later, a small group of Kansas farmers founded the "Free soil party" and shortly after promoted a backwoods lawyer named Abraham Lincoln as their revisionist candidate and the Republican party was effectively born.
I've live my entire life in Kansas, and except for very FEW elections have felt my vote meant NOTHING. You see: I'm a Democrat [at least in my heart: as my first time in a curtained booth I actually voted for the above-mentioned Richard M. Nixon!]. And: in the back of my brain, I've always resented the concept that there "...shall be no taxation without equal representation...." - I've always felt just a little shortchanged in that category... but, as many have pointed out: I could easily have moved to Oregon! Not an option, with all due respect to the residents of Portland!
SO: forgive my slight smugness as I bask in the little glimmer of rationality my fellow Kansans demonstrated by electing a Democratic Governor [and, a pretty good one, at that!] who can actually say what's on her mind and perhaps in the hearts of voters in our great country. Even if they can't see beyond race as a qualifying reason for their singular vote. Hopefully there is still time for them to listen, and learn and realise there is far more than a man's skin coclor at stake come November.