I had an interesting conversation this afternoon with a police officer friend of mine. We had never discussed politics before, so I had no idea of what his thoughts were concerning McCain and Obama. The discussion came up because yesterday was the local election primary for Indian River County right here in Mayberry, er I mean Sebastian, Florida. Now this guy is not your typical police officer, and his wife even claims he has three distinct personalities. I won't go into details because some of you may know him. So we got into this discussion and he comes out with this anti-Obama speech that rather startled me since I never expected a dyed-in-the-wool Republican in this person. But he based his assumptions on Obama thusly: he's a Muslim front for terrorism, a crook, and he scares my policeman friend!!! To say I was startled is an understatement, and I laughed it off as him trying to get my goat. Nope, he was dead serious. I asked him what he thought of McCain. Isn't too crazy about him either, but he's got it over Obama. Then I jokingly asked him if he felt so negatively about Obama due to the fact that Obama is black. "Hell, no, I don't care what color he is he just scares the ---- of me."
So where does this lead me? I am not all that fond of Obama. He's a face without substance, IMHO. But a Muslim front? Uh uh. But it got me to thinking how many other Americans might be thinking the same thing. Or is this guy just an aberration? Somehow I don't think so. I truly believe that when lots of middle Americans (either called so due to class or location) pull that curtain behind them on election day, their base prejudices will rise to the fore. And that is what scares me.
What is the voice of the people? What will convince voters on election day? Will it be the economy? Will it be party alignment? Will it be Iraq? Or will the voice of the people be good ole' down home racism?