A lot of people have been expecting a Republican October Surprise, supposedly that time right before the General Election where the Republican Party goes into their bag of dirty tricks and pull out something that will severely damage the Presidential campaign of Barack Obama.
The only October surprise that I am seeing is coming from both “sides” of the political spectrum and that is a combination of hubris and short term thinking. [I realize that there are more than two sides to our current political landscape, but let’s face it, in the grand scheme of things only two of them count. Whether you want to label them “liberals/Democrats/Obama Supporters” or “conservative/Republican/McCain Supporters”, you know what I am referring to, so playing with semantics will only get you ignored and possibly mocked.] There is a sense of hubris so strong coming from the Obama side of things that even he had to come out and warn against it.
They need to realize that the Bradley Effect is not something that can be taken lightly. There seems to still be a deep racial animosity towards Blacks in this country. The fact that one could very likely be in charge of the country is not something that will sit well with a certain subset of people, regardless of what they say in public. They don’t see the uplifting of one person, they see the uplifting of an entire race at the detriment to their own.
This is, of course, ridiculous because like a lot of black people that I know, I don’t expect to automatically get a job on November 5 if Barack Obama gets elected. I don’t expect to get 40 acres and a mule or the monetary equivalent. I don’t expect to get invited to the White House (yes, it will still be called The White House) for a BYOB BBQ celebration, complete with chicken, watermelon, malt liquor and Kool-Aid. And above all, I don’t expect to get Universal Healthcare or an education system that will automatically improve (I fell for that okey-doke in the past).
On the other side, I hear a lot of angry McCain supporters who have already thrown in the towel and are looking for someone to blame. This week’s “Benedict Arnold” is Colin Powell who went against party lines to throw his way-too overinflated support behind the other guy. I have two comments on the Powell endorsement: 1) Isn’t going against the wishes of your party this year’s definition of a maverick, and if so, then why all of the lamentations and rending of garments? and 2) Despite how the relationship ended, wasn’t Colin Powell a part of the same Bush Administration who did a number on McCain back in 2000? Everything that I have heard about Bush/McCain, is that those two guys really don’t like each other. Is it really beyond all imagination that Powell would take the bullet for his old boss once again to do something that he might not have otherwise have done?
People need to realize that whether their side wins or loses in November, this country needs EVERYONE to come together to fix some of the problems that we have. A lot of people are acting like they want to just go back to their arms-filled compound and wait for the coming End of Days. Or worse, they are going to exercise their own version of non-violent protest and just not help. Not sabotage any efforts, but just not help. Sometimes the only thing worse than a guy who doesn’t show up to work is one who does but does nothing all day but complain about how he doesn’t want to be there.
Both sides need to get other themselves and realize that there is life after November 4. Chances are, you will not agree with everything that the winning side says and does, but act as if your side is the only side with any clue as to what they are doing is the epitome of hubris, it is short term thinking, and it is wrong.