Thursday, October 16, 2008

A new Civil War? The 2008 Presidential Election

Last night was the last debate between Sens. McCain and Obama. In my opinion, both candidates did well, and neither committed any blunder of such a significance as to torpedo his campaign. In less than a month, we will have our opportunity to bring this campaign to a conclusion.

I have recently had the opportunity to dialogue with other Christians about this campaign. As the only black member of an email group, I have become the de facto spokesperson for the Obama campaign since I informed my brothers and sisters that I was considering voting for Obama, in part, because of the historic nature of his campaign. To put it another way, I was not only voting for Obama the person, but also for what he represents, a milestone in the history of race relations in the United States.

In the months since my initial announcement, I have been bombarded with emails discussing Sen Obama's views on abortion and taxes, his connection to Rev Jeremiah Wright, a Black Liberation theologian, and anything else that they found offensive. After a while, I concluded that my fellowship with them was more important to me than my success in converting them to being supporters of the Obama candidacy (which I wasn't trying to do anyway).

The most recent exchange centered on allegations that supporters of the McCain/Palin campaign had called Obama a "traitor" and someone hollered "kill him!" Again, I did not say that anyone who did not support Obama was either a racist or had violent intentions against him, but I was accused of doing so, simply because I said that anyone who is opposed to Obama should express their opposition in the proper way, by voting, rather than by expressing it via death threats.

I am now on the verge of terminating my membership, or being cast out of it, because of this. I have known these people electronically for almost five years now. We have agreed and disagreed on countless subjects, but never has the level of discourse gotten so hostile as it has over this campaign.

What is it about this campaign that has brought out such hostilities between people on opposing sides? Especially, why has this campaign created such tension across racial lines between people who were able to be friends even though they disagreed on other issues based upon their cultural distinctions. I didn't start acting/posting as a black man with this presidential campaign, and it isn't the first time that we have disagreed over an issue that dealt with race. It is, however, the first time that I have felt that I could be parting company with people that I called my brothers in Christ.

I will be glad when November 4 gets here.