I live in the South. No, I’m not talking about the metropolitan South. This isn’t some suburban wasteland of grocery stores and strip malls and planned communities like Oaky Acres and Shady Divisions. This isn’t a stop on any pop country superstar tour, and the people here have no idea what the word “commute” even means.
This is the asshole South. This is the South that festers like a boot blister. The kind of place where evolution is a sin and the public library is grown over with jungle rot. The mosquitoes here weigh forty pounds and feast on raw ignorance, ironically inflicting brain-swelling encephalitis on anyone who wanders out into the searing morning, afternoon, or evening in anything other than Gor-Tex coveralls.
Mention Barack Obama’s name around here, and you’re likely to make someone’s face curl up like they just smelled a fart. And assuming it’s not the fart smell wafting from the paper mill across the river or the fart smell from the actual fart they just unconsciously released in lieu of reading a book, it’s a metaphorical fart smell brought on by your stinky words. At worst, Obama’s name invites vague threats of assassination. At best, these people tell you there’s “just something about him I don’t trust”.
Make no mistake, people. The election down here isn’t decided by policy or issues. Not even a gross misunderstanding of policy or issues. The Republicans here don’t care about empty tax promises or energy plans or healthcare. They aren’t motivated by greed or selfishness or violent jingoism this year. They may cite McCain’s national defense credentials or his time spent being dunked in a pool of pig shit and strapped to an electrified box spring by the Vietnamese, but they’re really only thinking one thing when they go to the polls. They can’t let that black guy win.
A man near here even said as much when he rolled into the registrar’s office last week and demanded to be allowed to register past the deadline. Except he had a shotgun, and he didn’t say “black guy”. I hate to say it’s that simple, but around here simplicity is a way of life. You can criticize these people for thinking in terms of black and white, but this is the world they’ve created for themselves, and that’s the way it works.
If I was voting solely on the issues, Obama would still earn my vote. But I’m not going to pretend issues have anything to do with this election for me, either. I’m pulling the lever for Obama because I want to stick it to these rubes. I want them to wake up every morning and think about the fact that the majority of the country doesn’t think like they do. I want them on the run.
And I want at least four years of Mrs. Obama in the White House, because I can’t get enough of that woman. I’m a wee man, and I have waking dreams where I’m free-climbing her gams. I set up base camp in the curve of her knee and oh god, oh god are there treasures awaiting at that summit. I’ve soiled myself thinking of the soft-focus Barbara Walters tour of the Obamas’ Christmas decorations. I have a problem here, but a sweet one. Such a sweet one.
Anyway, it’s mostly about sticking it to the racists. And you know, that’s what social progress in this country is all about. I’m so sick of watching pundits and blowhards cup their hands to their mouths and whisper about Obama being taken out by some crazed lunatic. Look, Obama won’t be another JFK. Partly because he’s probably not riddled with muscle-rotting STDs, but also because when faced with real progress, the ignorant meth cookers of the word tend to just mumble under their breath, shrug their shoulders, and move on.
The civil rights movement was met with plenty of violent protest. Children were blown up, for Christ’s sake. But when the courts started handing down orders—when the laws were finally change—people were forced to accept it. There’s a fundamental respect for order in this country that ultimately supersedes any other convictions its people might have. We adapt and we change. It doesn’t mean we don’t bicker about it, and it doesn’t mean we’re decent human beings. But it does mean that progress isn’t impossible. We’ll have a black president just like we’ll have gay marriage in this country sooner than later. Think about saying the same thing twenty years ago–ten years ago, even–and you’ll feel that hopefulness everyone keeps talking about.
Every slack jawed, Palin-fapping yokel with a monkey doll in an Obama suit deserves to be slapped in the face with a new reality after November 4th. Obama isn’t going to fix this country. There’s nothing he can promise that’s a guarantee, and I’m sure his administration will verge into the realm of complete stupidity from time to time. That’s no different for any presidential candidate. But Obama’s election will create a new reality. It will necessarily break down a barrier that’s existed in this country for far too long. It will anger everyone who needs to be angered.
I’m excited to see what will happen. And you, too, can get in on some of that excitement tomorrow night (that’s Wednesday, the 15th) at 9pm eastern as hopeful, gams-crazed bloggers like myself will be gathered across the Internet for a liveblog of the final presidential debate. Go to my site, AmateurScientist.org, to take part. Panelists will include myself and fellow AmateurScientist.org writer Christian Walters as well as representatives from the skeptical science blog Skepchick.org and the vagina-friendly geektainment site PinkRaygun.com. A few surprise guests as well? If you’re good.
Yes, this is a shameless plug, but it’s also a cry for help. If anyone else out there can’t sleep at night without thinking of Michelle Obama shrugging out of her sleeveless dress and covering you with her body like a freshly quilted afghan, please leave a comment during the liveblog. I just…
I just need to know I’m not alone.