07 November 2008


One of the things about the Obama campaign that really struck me was the extent to which his supporters assumed that he was lying. On a series of issues, people supported him even though his professed position on important policy matters didn't jibe with theirs. "Well," they would say patronizingly when called on this, "you don't understand. He has to say that to get elected." This is a really fascinating way to deal with cognitive dissonance.

The best example of this, because it is the example on which Obama wavered least, is gay marriage. Obama does not support gay marriage because, as a Christian, he believes that God mandated that marriage be between a man and a woman.
"I'm a Christian, and so although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman," Obama said.
Nonetheless, liberals and the left assume that he can't really believe this but is only saying it to avoid alienating voters.

Well, I don't know what anyone "really" believes. I only know what they say and what presidential candidates say makes a difference. Obama won California and so did Proposition 8, and the two things probably aren't unconnected. According to exit polls, blacks and Latinos were 28% of the electorate and both voted for Proposition 8, blacks by better than two to one (70% yes, 30% no). The census bureau estimated that blacks were only 6.7% of the California population in 2006 while Hispanics are 36%. Clearly Proposition 8 wouldn't have passed without black and Latino votes.


Anonymous said...

Anyone interested in black, especially urban black, attitudes to religion and social morality should pick up a copy of the excellent "New England White" by black legal scholar and novelist Stepehn Carter. The chapter to read is Chapter 45, "Miss Terry's Tale".

Anonymous said...

Sorry, having made pretty much the same post on a few other blogs, and having been swarmed for ambiguity, here's the short version: Social libertarianism looks a lot different fron a white suburb than from the balcony in a black ghetto.