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Author Topic: Views of the American Election from Afar
Kwea
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Yeah....and I want to see where it leads next.
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Mucus
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Indeed.
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Unicorn Feelings
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Look at how many people danced in the streets all over the world and all over America when he won.

Oh, how the Conservatives tried to demonize him.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Indeed.

Well alright then.
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Troubadour
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Everyone here was glued to the radio/tv/webcast throughout the day. His acceptance speech occurred about 4pm, Eastern Australian Time.

I was at the shops a bit before the announcement and the 15 year old sales kid had been listening in on the radio and was excited at the prospect of an Obama win.

My friends were ringing or emailing throughout the day with news and updates - I was doing the same back.

I watched his speech live and watched it again when my wife came home from work.

It's not my place to tell America or it's people what their values should be. Suffice to say that all the Australians I know think you've made the right choice and we rejoice with you for regaining the soul of your country.

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Eaquae Legit
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I was asleep for any dancing or singing, but folks in my house stayed up till at least 4am watching the coverage on the BBC. The next morning it was the conversation of the day. Most people here are really happy.
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Corwin
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I was also asleep, but the first thing I did in the morning was start my computer to see if Obama won. [Smile]
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Kama
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I waited until I got to work [Wink]

It definitely is too big for us to ignore, but I heard a phrase somewhere on TV that annoyed me -- apparently Europe is looking forward to the continuing "American leadership" under Obama. huh? I really doubt we are looking forward to America's leadership, especially since all the EU's political documents go on about how important it is to try an secure European leadership.

it was just a random comment, though, and I don't even remember who was supposed to have said it.

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lobo
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We will really be past racism when the liberals embrace a black conservative...

You still have to be the right kind of black in this country...

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Jhai
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Because everyone hates on Colin Powell all the time? I think the problem with your reasoning is that liberals don't embrace (with open arms, anyways) any conservatives, be they white, black, or purple. It's like saying we'll be past racism when those people who prefer apples to oranges start preferring oranges to apples.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by lobo:
We will really be past racism when the liberals embrace a black conservative...

You still have to be the right kind of black in this country...

That's a very strange perspective. I would have thought we were past racism when people were embraced based on the content of their character with out regard to the color of their skin. So I would consider it racist if liberals (or conservatives) were to embrace a black politician whose values and positions were at odds with their own.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by lobo:
We will really be past racism when the liberals embrace a black conservative...

You still have to be the right kind of black in this country...

Sort of putting the cart before the horse there aren't you? Conservatives have to embrace blacks before the rest of us can embrace a black conservative. What are we supposed to do, comb the countryside trying to find one? I liked JC Watts, but he left Congress in 2003 and guess what? There are no black Republicans in Congress now, and haven't been for five years.

Watts is on record with some pretty harsh comments for the Republican 2008 campaigns, wondering why it is that the party claims to be reaching out to blacks, and yet all they do is put ads in Ebony and Jet 60 days before the election like that'll do it.

quote:
Originally posted by Kama:
I waited until I got to work [Wink]

It definitely is too big for us to ignore, but I heard a phrase somewhere on TV that annoyed me -- apparently Europe is looking forward to the continuing "American leadership" under Obama. huh? I really doubt we are looking forward to America's leadership, especially since all the EU's political documents go on about how important it is to try an secure European leadership.

it was just a random comment, though, and I don't even remember who was supposed to have said it.

Personally, and I never hear this said on the American side of the Atlantic but, I'd much rather our relationship with Europe be a partnership rather than a leading role. I have no problem with them having an equal voice, so long as they take an equal role in burden sharing. Europe has slowly been beefing up their military for the last few years in response to a newfound desire to again be a voice on the world stage, and I think that's probably a smart move, though I wouldn't overdo it. If they want to, collectively, be a Euro Superpower, they'll have to beef up a bit. Economic power alone won't do it, and even if it did, they don't really have enough to dictate terms.
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lobo
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What liberal values are "black values"? It has always puzzled me that blacks seem to be the only ethnic group so one sided...
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Farmgirl
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Obama - President of The World!

(Is that something like a Hegemon?) [Wink]

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by lobo:
What liberal values are "black values"? It has always puzzled me that blacks seem to be the only ethnic group so one sided...

Who said that?

You seem to imply that the only reason liberals don't embrace black conservative like Clarence Thomas or Condoleeza Rice is because of racism. Is there any reason besides race why I, as a liberal, should be more likely to like Rice than Rumsfield or Thomas than Scalia? These are all people who don't share my values and priorities.

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lobo
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I guess my question is: Why do blacks vote so heavily for the democrats. 90% in general 97% for Obama. I don't see any other ethnic group like that. What issues cause this?
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by lobo:
I guess my question is: Why do blacks vote so heavily for the democrats. 90% in general 97% for Obama. I don't see any other ethnic group like that. What issues cause this?

Well there's the fact that during the civil rights movement the republican party decided to embrace racism in order to win the south, an area of the country that hadn't supported them since the civil war. Its known as the Southern strategy. In 1970, Nixon's political strategist Kevin Phillips described the strategy to the New York Times.

quote:
From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

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kmbboots
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May have something to do with the Democrats voting to give them civil rights. And making it possible for them to vote and stuff in the South.
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lobo
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Ok, so a 40 year old grudge... Any platform issue?
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kmbboots
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I know an awful lot of Republicans who vote that way because they (or their parents or grandparents) remember the party of Bob LaFollette. Although Pres. Bush did cure a lot of them of that.
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Teshi
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A lot of Canadian businesses are worried about the protectionism issue. However, aside from that, I've not really found anyone who's actively sad about Obama winning. Most people were pretty celebratory.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by lobo:
Ok, so a 40 year old grudge... Any platform issue?

I can't believe you. I give you a direct quote of a republican saying that they are choosing the racist angle and that they know that will loose them 80 to 90 percent of the black vote and all you come back with is "a 40 year old grudge".

Get serious.

White southerners held a grudge against the republican party for 100 years after the civil war and that was clearly nothing more than a grudge seeing that southern democrats supported policies more closely in line with republicans than with northern democrats.

I know plenty of people who are republicans today because of Eisenhower over 50 years ago.

But beyond that, I think republican policies have consistently been less beneficial to blacks than they are to whites. Even in the last 5 years, republicans have been fighting to eliminate affirmitive action programs, low income housing, head start and a wide range of programs that have disproportionately benefited blacks.

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lobo
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Some data from the cnn exit polls:
Group Obama_vote McCain_vote
male 49 48
female 56 43
white 43 55
black 95 4
Latino 67 31
Asian 62 35
Income < 15k 73 25
Income > 100k 49 49
democrats 89 10
repubs 9 90
liberal 89 10
conservative 20 78
evangelical 24 74
union 60 37
millitary 44 54
gay 70 27

Compare to the Kerry/Bush results
male 44 55
female 51 48
white 41 58
black 88 11
Latino 53 44
Asian 56 44
Income < 15k 63 36
Income > 100k 41 58
democrats 89 11
repubs 6 93
liberal 85 13
conservative 15 84
evangelical 21 78
union 61 38
millitary 41 57
gay 77 23

Only the blacks vote in such a block (except for party identification and idiology...)

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lobo
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If democratic policies are so much better for blacks, why are so many still in poverty? Perhaps the democrats want that consistent block of people who want/need a handout? But poor whites don't vote in such a block. It is weird to me.
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ElJay
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lobo 1970 is when the policy of using racism to win southern whites started. It isn't necessarily when it ended. I don't think anyone can point to exactly when it ended, but Republicans still haven't made an effort to actively win over blacks. So if they kicked them out 40 years ago, were actively unwelcoming for some additional unknown time period beyond that, and have never really invited them back, why is it surprising that they overwhelmingly vote Democratic?
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The Rabbit
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quote:
If democratic policies are so much better for blacks, why are so many still in poverty?
Because we've had republicans in the white house for for 28 out of the last 40 years.

For example, the income gap between blacks and whites narrowed during the Clinton years and then widened again during the Bush years.

quote:
But poor whites don't vote in such a block. It is weird to me.
Why is it weird to you that after the republican party made it an official decision to piss of black voters in order to attract white racists that black voters are overwhelmingly democratic. Its really very simple.

The republican party may not be continuing to pursue the racism angle but once you've decided to drive all the blacks out of your party, you have to do something more than put away the whips to win them back.

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lobo
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Because I would think that most people would vote on issues. Blacks are more socialy conservative than socialy liberal. Perhaps they would lean more fiscally liberal, but not to the extent that they vote. They are more like a union I think. Taking orders from the union bosses - Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc. They haven't found their individual voice yet I think.
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The Rabbit
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If you want data, look at the graph in this article .

During the Reagan/BushI years, the income of black men dropped significantly and the income gap between blacks and whites grew. During the Clinton years, the average income of black men grew in real dollars and the gap between blacks and whites narrowed. During the last eight years, the gap has grown again and their income has dropped. It isn't about wanting a handout. Its about policies that disproportionately benefit whites over blacks.

[ November 06, 2008, 06:06 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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The Rabbit
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Why do you continue to persist that blacks aren't voting on issues. The fact that republican economic policies are demonstrably worse for blacks the whites is an issue.

Maybe your real question is why abortion and gay rights haven't attracted religious blacks the way they have attracted religious whites.

I think the answer to that one is relatively straight forward. Church continues to be the most segregated part of American society. Black churches tend to emphasize the social justice aspects of Christianity and the democratic party also emphasizes those issues. I doubt you will find a single black minister who teaches that changing abortion laws is the most important moral issue of our times. That isn't to say that black's think abortion isn't wrong, it just isn't the consuming issue for them that it is for many conservative Christians.

I find it weird that conservative white churches tend to focus more on issues like abortion and sexual morality and so little on social justice when Jesus talked so much more about the latter. I can appreciate the Catholic stance which seems much more balanced between the two extremes than many of the fundamentalist churches.

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kmbboots
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Here, lobo. You can have Alan Keyes.
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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Here, lobo. You can have Alan Keyes.

[ROFL]
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lobo
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Sorry, what article?

That is an interesting point about black churches vs. white churches. Blacks don't seem afraid to cross party lines when the vote is for an issue instead of a candidate - ie the large black vote for prop 8.

I guess the economic issue is the "consuming issue" for blacks. But even rich blacks, who would gain from repub policies, seem to vote dem...

From the polls, the born agains voted 24% for Obama while blacks voted 4% for McCain. It seems blacks are more consumed than evangelicals...

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by lobo:
Because I would think that most people would vote on issues. Blacks are more socialy conservative than socialy liberal. Perhaps they would lean more fiscally liberal, but not to the extent that they vote. They are more like a union I think. Taking orders from the union bosses - Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc. They haven't found their individual voice yet I think.

That's are really racist sentiment. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton weren't even Obama supporters.

There is another possibility you haven't considered.

We are only a few decades away from a legal system that included explicit laws that disadvantages blacks both economically and socially. Those laws were only changed when blacks rose up and fought for their right to vote. Given that history, it is not at all surprising that blacks continue to consider economic and social justice issues more important than whites.

Tell me, are you a member of the same political party as your parents? What about your grandparents?

I think if rather than looking at race, you looked at family history you'd find far less difference between blacks and whites.

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lobo
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"Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton weren't even Obama supporters."

Then why was he crying during Obama's speech?

I realize that at first they weren't supporters, mainly because they didn't want someone else taking their position as the "black leader".

They certainly came to be Obama supporters as soon as they realized he would be the nominee.

How is it a racist sentiment. You really shouldn't throw that term around like that.

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lobo
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"Tell me, are you a member of the same political party as your parents? What about your grandparents?

I think if rather than looking at race, you looked at family history you'd find far less difference between blacks and whites."

I don't think that is true. Young white kids rebel against their parents and vote democrat. Young black kids rebel in other ways, not political.

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Bella Bee
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Apparently the BBC news channel covered the election all night, so I guess a lot of people were having parties here. Personally, I decided that the result was going to be the same whether I was asleep or not.

Nearly everyone I've met seems overwhelmingly positive about Obama's win - he was definitely the favourite here (esp. in the media - if you think the US media was largely pro-Obama, you should have seen ours).
I get the impression that people here who loathed Bush are proud of you again. Since I have loved and been proud of America my whole life, I'm so glad not to have to deal with any overt anti-Americanism anymore. It'll save me a lot of arguments I could live without.

I've been staying out of the political threads here because quite frankly, I don't live in the US, so it's not my place to tell people there what to think about local politics. But personally, I'm really pleased with the result and I really do think the US just showed everyone its quality.

And last night, Bonfire Night, when the fireworks were going off here - celebrating, in a round about way, our own kind of idiosyncratic democracy - I do think there was an extra little sparkle in the air, for yours.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by lobo:
Sorry, what article?

Sorry, link fixed.

quote:
That is an interesting point about black churches vs. white churches. Blacks don't seem afraid to cross party lines when the vote is for an issue instead of a candidate - ie the large black vote for prop 8.
That's an interesting view of party lines. I doubt any party was listed next to prop 8.

quote:
I guess the economic issue is the "consuming issue" for blacks. But even rich blacks, who would gain from repub policies, seem to vote dem...
First, do you have statistics to back that up? Are you confident that the 5% of blacks who voted for McCain aren't primarily among the top 3% of Americans who will pay higher taxes under Obama?

Beyond that you are missing the point. I prefer democratic economic policies even though they don't favor me personally because I think economic policies that favor the rich over the poor are morally reprehensible. My income puts me well above the US median but it wouldn't matter how much money I made. I think poverty is a moral issue. Based on what I here from black ministers, I think that most black church's share that view and so I would expect many religious blacks to see progressive economic policies as a moral issue even if they are not poor.


quote:
From the polls, the born agains voted 24% for Obama while blacks voted 4% for McCain. It seems blacks are more consumed than evangelicals... [/QB]
Consumed by what?
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by lobo:
"Tell me, are you a member of the same political party as your parents? What about your grandparents?

I think if rather than looking at race, you looked at family history you'd find far less difference between blacks and whites."

I don't think that is true. Young white kids rebel against their parents and vote democrat. Young black kids rebel in other ways, not political.

You didn't answer my question?
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by lobo:
I don't think that is true. Young white kids rebel against their parents and vote democrat. Young black kids rebel in other ways, not political.

That's not what the studies show.

quote:
Over the past half century, scholars have consistently shown that high school and college-age young people generally adopt their parents' partisan identification. If both parents share the same party affiliation, Democrat or Republican, 60 to 65 percent of young people adopt the family partisanship, about 30 percent abandon it for an independent stance and only about 10% join the opposition party.
link
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lobo
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"You didn't answer my question?"

Sorry.

My Father was republican. My mother is fairly liberal.

I am conservative but not registered with any party. My votes for the last 6 elections:McCain, Bush, Bush, Perot, Perot, Bush.

My Mother voted for Obama and Bush. Before that she was not a US citizen.

My grandparents on my Mom's side are pretty liberal. My grandparents on my Dad's side I don't know. They died when I was very young. The rest of my Dad's siblings are all democrats.

I still don't buy your thesis as the exit polls suggest otherwise:

group %Obama %McCain
white 18-29 54 44
white 30-44 41 57
white 45-64 42 56
white 65+ 40 58

black 18-29 95 4
black 30-44 96 4
black 45-64 96 3
Black 65+ 94 6

latino 18-29 76-19
latino 30-44 63 36
latino 45-64 58-40
latino 65+ 68 30

Big generation gap for whites and latinos. Not so much for blacks. Interesting?

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lobo
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"That's not what the studies show."

Your study shows that 40% change parties. That is huge. The exit polls suggest that there is a 1% gap in black young voters and their parents (18-29 vs. 45-64). There is a 12% gap with whites and a 18% gap with latinos.

Why are blacks so different?

My guess is that they think they are victims and blame the republicans for their problems because they have been told so their entire lives.

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hobsen
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A better historical comparison might be what percentage of Roman Catholics voted for JFK in 1960. Also the first Hispanic candidate for president will get a lot of extra Hispanic votes. And the first Jewish candidate a lot of Jews. But once the novelty of being acknowledged is over, groups tend to go back to voting their interests.
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lobo
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hobsen, my point is that blacks always vote in large numbers for the dems - as a block. They voted a little bit more for Obama, but they were already at 90% before.
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The Rabbit
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quote:

Big generation gap for whites and latinos. Not so much for blacks. Interesting?

Not really since older blacks are the same persons that the republicans decided to drive out of the party a few decades back.

You are confounding multiple factors that one would expect to go in different directions. Older people are in general more likely to be conservative. One would not however expect this trend among older blacks who lived through the civil rights movement and republican policies designed to drive them into the democratic party.

Young people who do not choose the party of their parents, are 3 times more likely to be independent. In this election, independents of all ages were more likely to vote for Obama.

Obama had a strong appeal to young people of all ages.

For whites, all three point to older people being more likely to favor McCain than younger people.. For blacks, none of them would suggest young blacks would vote differently than older blacks.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by lobo:
hobsen, my point is that blacks always vote in large numbers for the dems - as a block. They voted a little bit more for Obama, but they were already at 90% before.

Well technically it was only 88% in the last election but your point stands.

The problem is we've already answered your question repeatedly. Blacks vote against republicans because republicans intentionally drove them away back in the 60s and 70s. Republicans admitted that. They knew what they were doing. They even predicted that after what they did, they would never get more than 10-20% of the black vote. And "never" was their word not mine.

THAT IS THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION.

You keep insisting that there must be another explanation and then asserting that blacks can't think for themselves like other people.

Why do you keep pushing this repugnant racist explanation when presented with hard data that there is a better and more logical alternative?

[ November 06, 2008, 07:13 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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scholarette
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I think successful blacks do not change party affiliations because they still retain a strong connection the their roots. Also, they had to fight their way up. They know how important social programs are for their development and see their families still needing that help.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
That is an interesting point about black churches vs. white churches. Blacks don't seem afraid to cross party lines when the vote is for an issue instead of a candidate - ie the large black vote for prop 8.
That's an interesting view of party lines. I doubt any party was listed next to prop 8.
Prominent members of both parties were featured in ads against it.
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Mucus
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I'm going to go off topic with an actual view from afar, or at least outside of the country [Wink]

quote:

He supports the death penalty for heinous crimes, while acknowledging that capital punishment is likely not a deterrent.

He is opposed to same-sex marriage, though noting that time may prove he's on the wrong side of history on this issue.

He wants more combat troops in Afghanistan, while vowing to take American soldiers out of Iraq within 16 months of assuming office.

He had himself baptized as a Christian in adulthood.

Barack Obama is not the Canadian version of a liberal politician, even while occupying the far left as a United States senator of the political spectrum. In Canadian terms, he'd barely qualify as a Red Tory.

This may all underscore how far to the right America has listed in recent years, or how vast the chasm between what much of the world considers progressive and how that term is defined in this country.

An overwhelming majority of Canadians adore Obama, would have swept him into the Oval Office with a record-setting trouncing of the Republican party. Indeed, it often seemed as if Canadians were resentful of the fact they couldn't vote in another nation's election; as if they should be able to impact another's political topography.

...

But, on the testimony as Obama has provided it in his own words, in two memoirs he simply is not as perceived by many in his thrall. The fault isn't that he's misrepresented himself; Obama has been quite candid about his beliefs, values and objectives. Yet many seem not to have been listening, or perhaps just tuning out the bits that rankle, parts that don't fit into their idealized characterization of Obama as antidote to what came before.

"I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own values," he once said.

...

Obama has values. You just might not like them. What he has promised, however, is that he won't be held hostage to his own certainties either. That way lies same-old partisanship and polarized governance.

The difference Obama draws between values and ideology: "Values are faithfully applied to the facts before us, while ideology overrides whatever facts call theory into question."

It is America's business where it decides to go under an Obama administration, no doubt to be influenced by the judges he nominates for the Supreme Court. But Canadians weary of losses in Kandahar might be in for a rude awakening when, as commander-in-chief, this president does exactly as promised: Muscles up the U.S. war against terrorism in Afghanistan, asking for more not less from its NATO allies. Obama has been even more hawkish than McCain about running Al Qaeda and Taliban belligerents to ground in their Pakistan sanctuaries.

He has so many promises to keep. Not all will be so sweetly received as getting a puppy for his daughters in the White House.

http://www.thestar.com/USElection/article/532402

A Red Tory is a somewhat archaic (and IMHO, missed) political wing of our Conservative party which was known for things like strong federalism, fiscal conservatism, and strong support of a welfare state, yet mostly lacking in the social conservatism that characterizes our modern conservative (and republican) parties.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by lobo:
Ok, so a 40 year old grudge... Any platform issue?

It doesn't work that way. People aren't democrats on the week of the elections only- they stay democrats, and their friends, and their kids become democrats. It's a slow process, and not one defined only by issues.
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orlox
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http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11072008/watch3.html
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