OK, I'm tired of this. Someone--who shall remain nameless--just asked me if I was "nervous" about Obama. FTDS. I don't believe in black cats. I don't toss salt over my shoulder. I step under ladders whenever the mood strikes me. I break mirrors in my spare time. I've made a hobby out of splitting poles. Thirteen is my favorite number. So fuck it, I'm gonna say it--Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States.
Here is the thing. I believe in competition. John Kerry wasn't swift-boated--he was beaten by a superior campaign. I guess Al Gore lost because of Nader and the Supreme Court. But why was it ever even that close? What is the use of being a Southern senator when you can't carry a single state in the South? I mean no disrespect to any of those guys, I really don't. But this notion that mystical and nefarious forces deprived them from claiming what was rightly theirs is odious and self-serving.
No one has conspired to deprive us of power over the past few decades. The American people aren't stupid. We've sucked at articulating our message. If you have any interest in a more progressive country, we need to be honest. At the presidential level, at least, conservatives have hammered us. Give them their due. Don't blame Rush. Don't blame Kristol. Don't denigrate states you've never visited. Give them their due. Give them their respect. Study them, and then get better.
Denial is bad for two reasons. First, if you can't accept that you lost, you don't have a prayer of getting better. If you think Kerry and Gore lost because they were too "high-minded," then you miss the basic fundamentals at work, and spend your days congratulating yourself for being up on the latest Paul Krugman. This is a war, and you don't lose wars because of abstract principles, but because of hard immovable facts. Is your army bigger than theirs? Are you attracting more recruits? Are you deploying in the right places? Who has more resources? Who has the technology edge? These are the reasons I voted Obama in the primary. I didn't think he was "more principled" than Clinton, nor did I really care. I thought she was tough, but I knew he was tougher. I thought her campaign was smart, but I thought his was smarter. I thought one person was talking about being a fighter, and another was out there actually being a fighter. The general is bearing all of this out, because right now, Barack Hussein Obama is beating John McCain like he stole something--from Toot, no less.
Second, if you can't accept that you lost, if you don't truly understand what happend to liberals over the past few decades, then can't fully appreciate what the Obama campaign is doing right now. If you can't admit that we've sucked in the South for the lionshare of three decades, then you can't really feel what it means to see a black man competing in Florida, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina. If you believe that Reagan Democrats were simply deluded, than you can't get what it means to see a black man polling at 52 percent among white blue collar folks in Ohio. If you think that black voters have forgotten the sacrifices of the Civil Rights movement, than you're likely to miss the beauty of the storm brewing right outside your door. Noting this isn't an invite to sit on your ass and not vote, it isn't evidence of complacency. To the contrary, it's evidence that the voters are not complacent.
Liberals are the wimp at the end of the bar. There is a gorgeous red-head, just down the way, working on her third vodka gimlet. Some herb-ass dude is blustering in her ear, but she's winking at you. She walks over and buys you a drink. She's waiting on you to ask for the math. But you want to talk her head off about how things like this never happen to you. About how you always spill your drink, or trip and fall trying to get off your bar-stool. It makes her want to go back and talk to the blustery herb just on GP. And she would--if the herb had any GP to speak of.
Folks, we are watching a revoloution. I'm talking about the technology, the GOTV effort, the historic numbers for black voters, a sick, sick edge among young voters. Are we going to spend the next days trying to concoct exotic scenarios in which the dastardly Republicans steal this one? Are black folks going to sit around wondering if white people will revert back to their Yacubic nature? Or are we going to start thinking about the change taking place right before our eyes, and what it means for our agenda? What will we do? I'm not asking for self-congratulation--just some self-confidence.