I was in the car listening on XM when Obama was officially nominated. But I didn’t want to let it pass without saying that it is a wonderful thing that a black man can gain the nomination of a major American political party. The Democratic Party, which didn’t admit black delegates to one of its conventions until 1936 (the GOP did nearly a half-century earlier) has done a great and historic thing. It’s another example of America’s greatness many fail to appreciate: We are better at racial and ethnic reconciliation and assimilation than pretty much all of these countries that are supposed to be more enlightened than we are. I sincerely doubt the French, British, Germans et al. will be considering a candidate of African descent like this for quite a while.
And, if Obama is elected president, on this narrow but important criteria, it would be a wonderful thing for the country to elect a black man.
Now, I don’t think we should elect the guy, for all the obvious reasons and a few less-than-obvious ones. I don’t think you should vote for a man just because of the color of their skin (just as I don’t think you should vote against someone because of the color of their skin). And I don’t think having our first African-American president be a failed president (which I think he would probably be) would be a wonderful thing for race relations either. I’ve long thought the first black president would be a Republican. I still think it would be better for the country if that were the case, and if Obama loses I’m sure the next African-American with a shot at the job will be a Republican.
But it’s worth taking a moment to say this is an exciting benchmark in racial progress. Congratulations to Barack Obama, the Democratic Party and the United States.