Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Who would I vote for (GOP nominee) today?

Posted in politics by Kathy on January 29, 2012

My top choice was Herman Cain, but sadly, he is not running any more. Of the remaining candidates, Rick Santorum is at the top of my list. If he weren’t running, I’d have to go Ron Paul, even though his foreign policy scares me. If Paul had a different foreign policy, he would be my top choice, or very close to it (although I do disagree with him on some other issues as well).

I don’t trust Romney — he was a liberal for far too many years, and (imo) became “conservative” only when it was politically expedient to do so — and that about sums up his character, imo — political expedience, rather than character and backbone. Besides, I think he is least likely to win against Obama, because he’ll be like McCain, only worse — even less likeable, and also bland. He won’t get conservatives fired up and lining up to go to the ballot boxes.

Newt… he’s an excellent debater, but I think he is too much of a “say what I need to get elected” kinda guy (like Romney, but not quite as bad, because Newt does at least have a conservative background and record). But he seems to be pandering to get elected. I think he would be the most effective President, because he knows how Washington works and can get things done… but I’m not sure if I’d always like what he could get done. Plus, he has character issues, and I don’t fully trust him. If he can’t be trusted to take his marriage vows seriously, why should I trust him to take his Oath of Office seriously?

Any of them would be better than Obama, but here’s how I rank them:

Who I’d vote for — Santorum, Paul, Gingrich, Romney

Who would be most effective as President — Gingrich, Romney, Santorum, Paul (although perhaps I should bump Paul up a bit, because he’d veto probably 90% of legislation Congress passed, and that’s probably a good thing, and can be a measure of effectiveness)

Most likely to beat Obama in a general election — Paul, Gingrich, Santorum, Romney

  • Paul gets much of the youth vote, as well as brings in the most liberals, libertarians, and independents, without losing too many conservatives — his anti-government, pro-small government, cut-spending message will resonate with many of us, and hopefully his libertarianism on social matters and his isolationist foreign policy won’t turn off too many (if the choice was between Obama, Paul, and a handful of 3rd-party people).
  • Gingrich is a good campaigner and speaker, and he can get the conservative base fired up (even if it is somewhat empty words), and it’s votes that count, so getting voters fired up is key.
  • Santorum is a rock-solid conservative, so may lose a few independents and centrists, but he’s somewhat small-government (but who isn’t, compared to Obama?), so may keep some libertarians; but the biggest thing he has going for him, is his ability to keep and solidify the conservative base, more so than Paul, probably more so than Gingrich, and certainly more so than Romney. His biggest problem is that he doesn’t generate much enthusiasm from his manner and mannerisms. If he could change that (add a dose of Herman Cain, for instance), he’d probably be better even than Gingrich in this matter.
  • Romney is bland — he can’t get people fired up to vote for him (he’s even struggling in the primary, when he’s outspending his opponents right and left — how much worse will he do when he’s being outspent by the Obama machine?), and that’s a huge problem. McCain’s problem in 2008 was that he induced a yawn in the conservatives, and they didn’t so much vote *for him* as *against Obama*. That doesn’t win elections. From my understanding (and mostly memory) of past elections, the winner is the one who generates the most positive — the most people voting *for* him; and the nominee whose best selling point is, “Vote for me, I’m not the other guy”, loses every time. It happened in every election in my memory, but particularly Dole, Kerry, and McCain.

Rick Perry scares me

Posted in politics by Kathy on August 18, 2011

Quite frankly, Rick Perry scares me. Yes, the Gardasil decision was horrible, but rather than downplay it as “just one misstep… and besides, he apologized!” I look at it as a serious, very serious character issue. As Michelle Malkin pointed out, it is just one example of many that indicate that what Perry says he is for (small govt), and what he actually does are quite different.

Additionally, in 2010, Rick Perry vowed to finish his term as TX governor and as recently as May of this year he affirmed he would NOT run for President. He has broken that pledge.

I have heard of Alex Jones (libertarian political commentator/reporter), but haven’t watched much of him; yet there was this video he made just the other day (also posted below this paragraph), and if Alex Jones is right, then Gardasil wasn’t included in the federal protection for vaccines until Perry, as the first US governor, mandated it, and then federal protection kicked in, insulating Merck from any lawsuits stemming from Gardasil injuries or deaths. Even though the mandate was overturned, the federal protection remains, and that is a HUGE protection of profits for Merck — worth billions — even though it technically “did nothing” because the mandate didn’t kick in. And despite what Perry said this week about “going along with the legislators” and quietly accepting and backing off when they tried to curtail his power grab, he actually was quite defiant at the time. So he sounds even more like someone I couldn’t trust.

Some of Perry’s closest friends and advisors are current, and/or former Merck lobbyists (were current lobbyists at the time of the mandate). So, basically, Rick Perry gave Merck a “get out of lawsuit free” card with his mandate; and quite frankly, vaccine manufacturers **need to be held accountable** when they make dangerous vaccines that injure and kill.

Right now, vaccine manufacturers enjoy immunity from lawsuits from any vaccine damage (including death), PLUS they get all the profits from the sales PLUS they have multiple vaccines mandated/required for things like school and/or day-care attendance — it’s a vaccine manufacturer’s dream!! If you could make a product that you would a) make money from; b) force other people to buy; and c) have freedom from any lawsuits, why WOULDN’T you make such a product, and do everything you could — including buying off politicians — to try to get more people to have to buy your product. That isn’t freedom! — it’s government coercion and crony capitalism!! It’s the antithesis of the Tea Party movement, and stands in stark contrast to everything those of us for small government and parental rights stand for.

Finally, one of my Texas friends was asked for her opinion of Rick Perry, and she said the following (quoted in full):

For what it’s worth (in my opinion) Rick Perry is a golden boy. What I mean by that is regardless of what happens he always seems to come out shining. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Texas was once a weak governor government with the lieutenant governor, house and senate having the most power. In 8 years he (Perry) single-handedly took power away from those institutions and made himself a very strong governor. He has the brutish ability to push things through the house and senate. However, I am not aware of a single thing he is actually responsible for -yet he gets all of the credit for it. Somehow he’s managed to become the longest seated governor in the history of the United States. He has the uncanny ability to be likable, yet perhaps more importantly it’s almost impossible to not like him. On occasion he has come across bullish on certain policies (i.e. Remember the HPV vaccine he mandated for all girls under the age of 16) but at the slightest hint of public disapproval he manages to flip-flop and reverse course. I’m not convinced he’s qualified to lead the U.S., but strangely, based on the past 8 years of Texas politics, he may be the best qualified candidate in the race.

Quite frankly, this assessment scares me more than anything else I’ve read. Do we really want a recent “convert” (or possibly, just political posturing, since conservatism gets the votes these days!) who bullies people into submission “leading” this country? He’d get things done, but WHAT might he do? He now claims to be for small government, but he mandated a vaccine for little girls — how much more government intrusion can you get? And he stuck by that decision as recently as last year, and it’s only been since he joined the race that he has disavowed it. Sounds like pandering to me, and I simply don’t trust him to give him the job of President for four years.

Obama and Blagojevich

Posted in politics by Kathy on December 11, 2008

Ok, so the evidence is pretty conclusive that Blagojevich was involved in pay-to-play politics — since he is the only person who can appoint a person to the now-vacant Illinois Senate seat, it seems he was offering it to the highest bidder. Of course, since the seat was vacated by President-elect Obama, the question then becomes, was he involved in it in any way?

The thing that intrigues me most of this is the developing story (and the subsequent denials, “misquotes” and altered memories). Before there was any hint of scandal, one of Obama’s staff said that Obama had been in contact with the Governor (or perhaps this was done through liaisons) on who Obama wanted to fill the vacant seat. No biggee — that is in fact understandable, that if you won the Senate seat fair and square (of course, this is Chicago we’re talking about, so I’m using that term loosely!), that you’d want to have some input or suggestion on who should fill the vacancy, to be best able to represent your constituents — the people who originally elected you to the 6-year term. In other words, it is to be expected that Obama or somebody acting for him would get in contact with the Governor or somebody acting for him and suggest a person to fill the seat, maybe even lobby hard for him or her.

But now Obama (and by that I mean him and those associated with him — his staff and underlings who do business in his name) is saying that he had no contact with the Governor’s office about this. Is that believable? Ok, I guess I can buy that. But why did the first person lie? (Oh, no, I forgot — he just “mis-remembered” that Obama spoke with the Governor concerning who to fill the Senate seat. Yeah.) So if what’s-his-name (Axelrod, was it?) was wrong, it sounds like he was posturing — “Oh, yes, Obama can be in two places at once!” sort of thing — of course he wouldn’t let down his constituents by having no input into who would be chosen to represent them. So, it could be spun that Obama didn’t care enough about the citizens of Illinois to even suggest the most suitable replacement. But what if he did?

See, what’s the big deal about whether or not Obama mentioned a name? If you look at the transcript of the taped conversations, it seems obvious that Blagojevich talked to somebody authorized to speak for Obama, who was acting entirely honest and above-board and never offered any money or position or prestige in exchange for the Senate appointment. This also coincides with what Axelrod was quoted as saying on Nov. 23 — that the President-elect was in contact with the Governor about possible replacements. So, why wouldn’t Obama just say, “Well, of course, as the out-going Senator, I spoke with the Governor of the state to suggest a person (or a few people) who I thought would be the best choices for filling the vacancy”? Why not? It’s believable. In fact, it’s more believable than, “No, I cared so little about the state of Illinois or politics in general that I dropped them like a hot potato as soon as I was declared the winner of the Presidential race.”

If Obama hadn’t talked to Blagojevich about a suitable replacement, why wasn’t there a correction from the Obama camp following the Axelrod interview? That’s one interesting thing to consider.

Another is, if Obama did not talk to Blagojevich, why is it in the transcript that Blagojevich got flaming mad when Obama (or his authorized representative) did not offer anything for the seat? Just from what I read, it sounds like Blagojevich and Obama did not talk one-on-one, but rather that the Governor and possibly the President-elect used intermediaries. Otherwise, Blagojevich wouldn’t have asked what Obama offered, and been so mad when he found out that the answer was “nothing.” So I would say that the transcript clears Obama (and his authorized representatives) of any immediate wrong-doing in the scandal, in that he did not offer any sort of bribe in order to get the person he wanted appointed.

So why the denials? Why the obfuscation? And how to account for the transcript if there was no contact between the two parties at all?

Is it possible that while Obama (or an authorized representative) declined to try to bribe Blagojevich, that if it became public that he was approached by Blagojevich with an expectation of graft, and Obama did not report this, that he could be guilty of breaking some law. Which is a suitable explanation for why there is a denial of any contact, when that is almost not logical (unless Obama and Blagojevich were political enemies — which is possible, if Blagojevich wanted to run for the Presidency and was preempted by Obama; or if there was some other “bad blood” between them that we don’t know of — although they each endorsed the other in their most recent political runs), and in fact is contradicted by both the Axelrod interview and the transcript itself.

So, it’s possible that one of Obama’s underlings talked to one of Blagojevich’s underlings, and the President-elect did not speak personally to the Governor. Then, Obama can truthfully say that he did not speak to the Governor about a replacement. But if your authorized representatives talk to each other, it’s still deceptive to say that you didn’t. But why didn’t Obama just say, “Of course I suggested a person whom I think would best represent the people of the state of Illinois to someone in the Governor’s office, but at no time was there any attempt at corruption”? — unless there was?

Can you imagine the fall-out if somewhere on these tapes is Obama talking to one of Blagojevich’s lackeys in which the lackey starts to hint or even press Obama for some sort of ambassadorship for the Governor or his wife, or something of that nature, in exchange for appointing so-and-so to the vacant Senate seat? Yikes! Talk about being tainted!

And that’s the conclusion the denials have led me to — that Obama or an authorized representative did indeed talk to somebody in the Governor’s office about a Senate replacement, and that Obama did not offer any political exchange, and that if such was suggested, that he declined any graft for the Governor. How much Obama knew and how much he was shielded from knowing about a suggestion of graft can only be known by Obama and any intermediaries. But it stinks. Even if Obama did nothing illegal, it still stinks — and if he was aware of the corruption that was being attempted by Gov. Blagojevich and did nothing….

Did Sarah Palin help or hurt McCain’s bid?

Posted in politics by Kathy on November 7, 2008

I know that there were many people who did not like his choice for many reasons:

  • she is female, and “women should be keepers at home, so I can’t vote for him”
  • her experience was questionable (although I daresay she gave Obama a run for his money in this category, but of course the media found him eminently qualified with all of his months of experience)
  • while confident in several settings (prepared speeches, especially the RNC), she seemed too nervous or tense in others
  • it was merely a political choice, to try to get more female vote, and “we women are too smart to fall for that, and we’re insulted that you would attempt it” (despite the fact that more than one Hillary supporter tried to rally more women to her cause in the waning days of her bid simply because she also was female)
  • she was too conservative (but who are we fooling? Those who think she is too conservative were probably going to vote Obama anyway)

Perhaps there are others, but these are the ones that spring to mind. So, she may have cost him a few votes. Was it enough to make him lose? Tough question. The thing is, he could have picked far worse.

Had he chosen a white male, the media (and most certainly the Obama campaign) would have made much of the fact that it was just “politics as usual”, that Republicans didn’t offer anything new, yada, yada, yada. So, yes, I agree that his choice of Sarah Palin was more because she was a woman — to “shake things up a bit” perhaps — than because of what she brought to the ticket on other issues. Because he certainly could have found another governor with her qualifications and then some — my Governor, Haley Barbour (from Mississippi — yes, he’s a man, despite that “Haley” is almost always a female name nowadays!), was probably as strong a conservative as she was, and with much more experience, too.

Had he picked a someone like Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, J.C. Watts, Alan Keyes, or some other prominent person who was not white, he could have similarly “shaken things up” while choosing someone with more experience than Palin, and perhaps not running into some of the issues that were raised. (Of course, with the media in the tank for Obama, they would’ve found something else to complain about.)

Had McCain chosen some of the people whose names had been kicked around as possible VP candidates — Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Joe Lieberman (it would’ve been fun to have had two Joes for VP candidates — can’t you just imagine the debate? — “Say it ain’t so, Joe!” “No, Joe, I do say it’s so!”), or others who were on the liberal side of certain social issues — he certainly would have lost much of his base. As it was, he had to struggle to hold onto them, with a strong pro-life running mate. I, for one, could not have voted for him if he had picked one of those men.

When is it that Republicans are going to realize that the problem is not that they are too conservative — it’s that they’re not conservative enough?? I voted for McCain, reluctantly, because I was more worried about an Obama presidency than a McCain presidency. But elections are not won on “beating the other guy” — they’re won on “voting for your guy.” This was proven in all of the elections I can remember (from Clinton’s first win on). I especially think about Bob Dole’s unsuccessful bid in ’96 — he never energized his base — those that voted for him primarily did so because he was the only one with a chance to beat Clinton. It’s a case of “Elect me, just because I’m not him,” and it doesn’t work.

One of McCain’s problems was that he was too liberal, and turned off a lot of his base. Part of that was re-energized with Palin’s candidacy — she brought a lot of spirit back to the Republican Party. Yeah, she turned off a few of the base, I’m sure; and with the help of the nonstop barrage from the media drove a few more independents away, but I think she probably helped him more than she hurt him. He hurt himself more than she hurt him, I’ll say that! Conservatives didn’t like the choice between the liberal candidate and the more-liberal candidate, plain and simple.

My hope now is that these next four years won’t be too bad, and at the end of them, a true conservative (following in the footsteps of Reagan) will emerge to run for President and win.

Some excellent posts

Posted in abortion, politics by Kathy on November 5, 2008

Well, we’ve elected the first black President of the United States. I’m not upset about that. I just wish it were a conservative black President — I would’ve voted for a man such as Alan Keyes or J.C. Watts, but could not vote for a man like Obama. It does stick in my craw that he has repudiated his white half. I’ve rarely seen him speak of his biracial status — only “African American”, and with praise for his biological father that left him as a youngster. Yes, he spoke lovingly of his white grandmother… but what of his white mother? He seems to want to be as little “white” as possible, which is not the language of inclusion he mouths so eloquently on other fronts.

I didn’t like John McCain, but I voted for him, because I liked Obama far less. A lot of people I know couldn’t bring themselves to vote for either one of them, so abstained or voted third-party. That’s fine; it’s their choice. We’ve now elected probably the most liberal President of the United States. I hope you people that helped him win like what you get!

Here are some other posts which I’ve enjoyed reading on the post-election aftermath:

Who are you voting for?

Posted in politics by Kathy on November 1, 2008

The election is nearly upon us, folks, and I’m fairly interested in it. Problem is, I don’t particularly like either of the main two candidates. I know a lot of folks in this position — in fact, most people I know are in this position. For some, Obama is not liberal enough, but he’s better than McCain; for others, McCain is not conservative enough, but he’s better than Obama. In general, most of the people I know are “holding their nose” while voting for the guy they dislike less. But there is another option — “none of the above” or one of the third-party candidates. To be honest, I don’t know how many votes any candidate would have to get in order to be considered “newsworthy.” I seem to remember that Ross Perot got a whopping 1% of votes, but I could be wrong. It may be that if all of the dissatisfied people vote for somebody — anybody — other than Obama or McCain that all of their votes will be added up together by somebody to show how dissatisfied they as a group were, even if no single candidate got more than a fraction of a percentage of the total. Nobody I know who is voting 3rd-party expects their candidate to win — they’re making a statement about their dissatisfaction in the main choices. Rather than voting for “the lesser of two evils”, or abstaining altogether, they’re voting for someone who they do agree with, even if s/he has zero chance of actually winning.

Problem with Polls

Posted in politics by Kathy on October 21, 2008

I’m signed up to do online polls, and usually they’re about different companies (do I have a positive or negative opinion of companies like T.J. Maxx or Budweiser; have I heard something positive or negative in the last week about FedEx or Starbucks; that sort of thing), but recently they’ve mostly been about politics.

One thing that bothers me about some of these questions — and it’s bothered me when I’ve heard poll results given in the past — is that there just aren’t enough choices given — there just isn’t enough information gleaned from the questions, usually.

There can be loaded questions like, “Is Barack Obama’s campaign more positive than most Presidential campaigns or about the same?” Well, what if you think it’s more negative?

Or, “Should abortion be completely illegal, or should there be some allowances?” Most if not all people think that there should be allowances to save the mother’s life (if the baby is too young to survive), and many other people think that there should be exceptions for pregnancies due to rape or incest, so to choose between the two would lead most if not all people to say that abortion should be legal. Of course, that doesn’t answer whether or not these people think it should be legal without any restrictions, such as the Freedom of Choice Act would guarantee, without any exceptions for parental consent, or viability, which Barack Obama has promised to sign should he become President.

If the question were asked, “Should abortion be legal without any restrictions?”, undoubtedly some people would agree with that statement, but most people think that there should be restrictions, for instance, laws concerning minors, or crossing state lines, or statutory rape, or viability. That’s why there should be plenty of options in these polls, otherwise they’re meaningless.

Also, sometimes the results are presented in a way that is confusing at best and down-right deceptive at worst. I remember reading that some advertising campaign (Levi’s 501 Jeans, back in the ’80s) said that “80% of college kids say that Levi’s 501 jeans are ‘the thing to wear’ on campus.” Well, the only options they had were 501 jeans and something like “skirts” or some other generic term. Another ad campaign said that “most people said that [X] beer was as good as or better than [Y] beer.” The deception? 50% of people said that the two beers were equal; 20% said that X was better; and 30% said that Y was better. The company combined the “as good as” as well as the “better” to come up with 70%; but actually, more people preferred Y to X.

Frequently — but more frequently during election times — there will be polls presented to the public that ask and answer the question, “Do you agree with the direction the country is taking?” or sometimes it’s more specifically about Congress or the President or whatever. That question is just simply too vague. I say that most people will answer “no” to that, but their reasoning will be vastly different. I’m on a few different email lists, and keep up with lots of people’s blogs. While most of the people I know in real life range from conservative to very conservative, my computer friends range from very conservative to very liberal, so I get to see a wide range of views this way. I don’t know a single person who thinks this country is heading in the right direction. Many people think it’s becoming too liberal, while many other people think it’s not becoming liberal enough. To hear the pro-abortion people talk, they won’t be happy until FOCA is signed; while to hear the pro-life people talk, they won’t be happy until Roe is overturned. So, if things remain as they are, as long as abortion is a vital issue to them, they will probably answer the question (is the country heading in the right direction?) in the negative. Other people may answer the question primarily on the economy, or terrorism, or the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, or how “green” we are, or this, or that, or the other.

So, no, I don’t think the country is heading in the right direction — I wish it were more like it was in my childhood (under Reagan), or in the 50s (except for the racism). When I think of how much child porn there is and other forms of porn and sexual deviancy that is not just tolerated but promoted, I can’t think this country is heading in the right direction. But that doesn’t mean that I think Obama is going to be the savior of the country! — far from it! I think he’ll take us even further from my desire. I just read the Dr. Seuss story And to Think that I saw it on Mulberry Street to my kids, and it starts off with the little boy (Marco) walking “all the long way to school and the long way back” by himself. I wish we could go back to the time where we could send our kids out to play all day, or walk to school by themselves, without worry that something might happen. I hear stories of children who left their homes in the morning, and didn’t come back until supper or nightfall, and their parents never worried about them. I know that kidnapping is rare, as is pedophilia, and most of those happen in familial situations (ex-husbands taking the kids, or Uncle Joe touching his nieces), but I can’t take that chance.


The Barack Obama Test

Posted in politics by Kathy on October 4, 2008

This was an interesting set of questions, designed to help people decide if they agree or disagree with Barack Obama on most issues.

Ok, in trying to get the button to embed, I must have gotten the graphic but not the link. Oh, well. Click here, or on the button in the right-hand column.

Racism and Sexism in Presidential Politics

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on June 16, 2008

Ok, so this post is just a tad out-dated, since Hilary Clinton has officially conceded defeat, but I should have written this some time ago, and am just now getting around to it.

Throughout the campaign, there has been talk about the sexism factor with Hilary’s Presidential bid, and the racism factor with Obama’s Presidential bid. I’m not discounting that there has been sexism or racism by some people in how they decided who to vote for in the primaries, nor how they may vote in the general election. But what gets me, is that it seems that these two candidates want(ed) it both ways. Or, at least, that Hilary was glad enough to get the women’s vote simply because she was a woman (which is as sexist as not voting for her simply because she was a woman), and that Obama didn’t decline any votes made by blacks simply because he is also black (which is equally racist as voting for John McCain simply because he is white).

Several months ago, I read a blog in which a feminist was beginning to whine and cry about how that Hilary was not further ahead, or wasn’t getting the female vote, or that Obama had just taken the lead — or whatever the thing was. She made some comment along the lines of, “Women should support Hilary, just because she’s a woman.” Blatant sexism!

And then there’s this article, which I just skimmed, that says that a lot of black conservatives want to vote for Obama simply because he’s black too…. but they don’t know if they can ignore his political views in order to do so. I can understand that. I disagree with it — profoundly — but I understand it.

Might John McCain need to pick a black running mate, so that black conservatives don’t jump ship? I mean, McCain needs all the votes he can get! There are so many conservatives (including myself) who are not at all thrilled with the possibility of voting for him, and may just sit out the election or vote for a third-party candidate. If McCain picks a conservative enough running mate, I might be able to vote for the ticket; but I’m pretty sick of voting for the lesser of two evils, because it seems that all we’ve gotten is more evil. I hope Obama loses (and when Hilary was still in it, I hoped she wouldn’t win the Presidency, either), but I can’t vote for McCain.

So, does racism come into play in this Presidential race? Yep. But it also works both ways! And I have yet to hear Barack Obama tell his fellow African-Americans not to vote for him because of his skin color, but to make their decision based solely on the politics and his political viewpoint. And while McCain may get some votes out of racism, I think that Obama will get just as many votes if not more, out of racism.

Some people may call it “reverse racism” or “reverse discrimination” or “reverse sexism,” but those are false terms. If it’s racism, discrimination, or sexism, then it is that thing regardless of who is doing the discrimination and who is being discriminated against. Here’s the way I look at things — if you reverse the races (for instance, white people voting for John McCain just because he’s white), and it sounds racist… then it’s just as racist for you to be voting for Obama simply because he’s black; and it’s just as sexist for you women to have voted for Hilary Clinton just because she’s female. If white people vote for McCain simply because he’s white, that’s as racist as black people voting for Obama simply because he’s black. Period. End of story.

And if you’re a black person (or African-American, if you prefer — I don’t want to offend either way) reading this blog, and you’re going to vote for Barack Obama simply because he’s black (even if you don’t agree with his politics), then you are perpetrating the very racism that you claim to hate and want to do away with.

I remember watching the Cosby Show, and A Different World when I was a kid and a teenager, and of course Oprah! (Actually, most of the shows that I liked then were black shows — Fresh Prince, Family Matters, Living Single…) And I remember a lot of talk about being “color-blind” and a series of shows Oprah did on racism. It had to be 15 years ago. But you know what? It still applies.

So, to you black conservatives who may be seriously considering voting for Barack Obama simply because he is black, even if you don’t like all of the liberal stuff he has voted for in his career, and all of the liberal stuff he’s advocating now as the Democratic candidate for President — I say you’re racist. Understandably so; but racist nonetheless.

The choice for President should be based on what the candidates stand for. When Alan Keyes or some other conservative black ran for office, I don’t recall hearing Republicans saying, “Black people just need to vote for him because he’s black.” I understand that Obama has a great amount of appeal, with his personality and presentation; plus, he is the Democratic candidate for President, so he has at least a 50-50 chance of winning, which is more than Alan Keyes or any other black person has been able to say. I understand it’s tempting to vote for him. But if you do, make sure it’s because you agree with him, and not just because of the color of his skin. Remember Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech? It included this famous line, “a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man’s skin determines the content of his character.” I’m afraid that some people are saying that the color of Barack Obama’s skin determines the content of his character, because some conservatives are courting the idea of voting for him despite his thoroughly consistent liberal views and voting record.

You don’t want to vote for John McCain? That’s fine — I don’t either. Depending on who he picks as his running mate, I may vote for him, but probably not (the names of potential running mates that I’ve heard have been kicked around are too liberal for me, as well). But I ain’t voting for Obama, either! I’m planning on trying to find who all the third-party candidates may be, and I’ll try to pick the best one of them — regardless of race or gender.

Vote your conscience, not your skin color.