This is purely anecdoctal and theoretical in nature but something to think about.
On the way home from work yesterday my husband was telling me about how politics are dominating the conversations at work. Of course, being my hubby, he has some pretty strong ideas about what to think about things. The shocker came when some of the guys talking said they wouldn’t be voting for Obama. Stereotypes say construction workers are typically Democrats, right? Well, those guys are but they’re still not voting for Obama.
Of course, this made hubby sit up and take a more direct line and he asked why not to which the reply was that Obama had made it about race. Now, before you get all twisted over that, let me inform you of something that will twist it further. These are black construction workers.
And it’s not just this particular ones who feel this way. They talked about their church, members and leaders all think the same way. You see, as they explained to hubby, they have moved far away from the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, over the years. They consider themselves middle class and upper working class and they want the same things that others, white, black, purple, red, green, etc, want to be judged for themselves, not pigeonholed and expected to act and be a certain way because of skin color. They don’t want to be “black” and worry about the “black” experience. They just want to be men and worry about their families and providing the best they can for them. And they believe, because Obama has made this campaign about race, that it will change everything for them to the negative; that they will lose the gains they have made over the decades and are making in their own lives right now.
Well, that’s the short story of it but the dynamics were a lot more complex. Or perhaps they aren’t. Perhaps they are just complex in my mind because I am so much immersed in the day to day of politics, from a hillbilly perspective, of course.
These same fellows picked on my husband because he isn’t an Obama fan and when somebody tries to tell him he’s racist because of it, he always has a sarcastic answer to them. You see, these same fellows also hear these things flying back and forth at work and know they would be in for worse than that, being black.
I could go and find links and references but being well documented and easily found with a Google search, we know, or at least it’s being claimed that Obama has 95% of the black vote. At the same time, we’re being inundated with the idea that anyone who doesn’t vote for Obama, it’s because of racism. In a weird sort of way, they’re right, but it isn’t the racism of those voting against him. We also know what happens to blacks who don’t adher to the Democrat Party. They get called Oreos, Uncle Toms,traitors, or in the case of Condoleeza Rice, likened to a slave out of the book “Gone With the Wind.”
From here, it becomes theoretical. One can’t help but wonder if there is a level of fear among Democrat voters that have them declaring for Obama in polls and surveys simply because they want to avoid the labels that have been attached to others who have bucked the Democrat Party line. It also calls into question that 95% estimate of the black vote. Oh, I’m sure he’ll garner more than a lion’s share but perhaps not as much as he and others believe.
One could almost infer that from the conversation relayed to me. They singled hubby out because they wanted to talk about McCain and knew he’d know more than a great many others on the job site. They wanted to know more about McCain and his positions. My hubby obliged as I knew he would. In fact, he was beginning to feel rather put upon being surrounded by all the Obama Nationites.
They’ll never admit it publicly and I certainly can’t blame them but what goes on in the voting booth is just between them and the machines.
If my theory has any merit whatsoever, this would be a good time for conservatives to step up, brave the verbal abuse, and reach out to others of like mind in the communities they have long believed to be so solidly Democrat they haven’t put in much effort.
All things considered this is going to be an interesting election.
Crossposted to Hangright Politics.