One of the two major-party candidates for president is black, the other white.
Obviously, there is much more to say about them. We can talk about their ideas, character, experience, communication skills. Presumably, conscientious voters will choose the person they think can best do the job — regardless of race.
Not so, says Jacob Weisberg of Slate.com. According to Weisberg, given the collapse of the Republicans and the weak economy, everything is stacked in favor of Barack Obama. Therefore, if Obama loses the election, only racism could explain it.
Weisberg offers no coherent argument. He simply asserts that Obama has vastly more advantages than liabilities, while with McCain it’s vice versa. So the right choice is transparently obvious.
And hey, even if you disagree with Obama’s policy prescriptions, at least they’re “serious attempts” to deal with big problems. It doesn’t seem to occur to Weisberg that the “seriousness” of a proposed policy is not what makes it right or wrong. Or that a voter might reasonably consider the actual content of a proposal.
Of course, some voters might reject Obama out of racism. But it’s not self-evident that “racism is the only reason McCain might beat him.”
And would it not be racist, condescending, unjust, and downright stupid for us voters to treat a black man’s qualifications for the job of president as irrelevant, just to prove we’re not racist?
To his credit, Mr. Obama would expect more of us than that.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.