Thoughts on yesterday’s pre-election discussions

Thanks for yesterday’s closing arguments on the election. Some thoughts:

(1) No one making the case for Obama talked about how salutary it would be to elect a black man, how this would help heal our nation’s racial wounds and make the world like us again.

(2) Monitoring and moderating comments to follow specific guidelines for a thread is hard.

(3) In the “argue here” post, we actually did attain a moment of agreement, in which people holding all kinds of different views came together on an issue. It was not politics, however, but beer. (More than that, it had to do with the desire for a personal sense of community, which should underly even politics.)

(4) I really appreciate the different people with different views who show up on this blog. Iron really does sharpen iron. And we do see examples of unity in the faith that transcends political differences, however sharply expressed.

Tonight, it is my custom to pull an election vigil, staying up to see how it all turns out.

I thought I’d start an election thread, updating it in the comments, which everyone else can participate in also. So join me in live-blogging the election.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Kirk

    VOTING THINS COMMUTR CROWDS!!

    Today, I got a nice spot at the park and ride, a seat on the bus, and a seat on the metro. From all appearances, people in N. VA and DC are hitting the polls hard enough to give me peace on my commute. God Bless America!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01763924682909630509 Orianna Laun

    My husband and I arrived at our polling place at 6:15am. We completed casting our ballots at 8am. If our precinct is any indication of voter turnout, it is high. Since we moved to the battleground state of Missouri, we have never had to wait more than 5-10 minutes to vote–not today.

  • Paul E.

    I have heard that it is possible that the winner will be known by 6 PM MST, which would make people still in line in Colorado, other Mountain states, and the Pacific states no reason to vote. I hope that doesn’t happen, because only Obama could win that early in the evening.

  • Mark

    Today I’m serving as one of the Republican attorneys monitoring polling places in parts of Nebraska 2nd Congressional District (Omaha area), which, given the oddity of Nebraska’s (and Maine’s) electoral system, Obama is hoping represents a single electoral vote for his campaign. No “Houdini Project” for us–just making sure there isn’t a 143% turnout in precincts with recent spikes in Democrat voter registrations.

  • Anon

    Various news services are reporting that just as in 2004, when more people voted in Philly than were old enough to vote, GOP election board members have been thrown out, illegally.

    The undead are voting in Ohio.

    Votor registration slips all over an interstate in Florida.

    Toledo, Ohio police are issued riot gear.

    Approximately 100,000 fraudulent voter registrations in Minnesota.

  • Anon

    And, as a counterpoint to my views of what an Obama-Pelosi-Reid regime would be like, there is this:

    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/e62444aa8c

  • allen

    “(1) No one making the case for Obama talked about how salutary it would be to elect a black man, how this would help heal our nation’s racial wounds and make the world like us again.”

    Since it’s never happened before, no one can really say what the upshot of it really will be. And he is, after all, half white, for whatever that’s worth. In America, I think it can’t be worth nothing at all.

  • Anon

    As to the whole Black thing, Alan Keyes is running this time, and he ran in 2000 when I supported him at caucus.

    It isn’t that the Dem lead appears Afro-American (he is not the descendant of slaves), but rather his appeal as an antichrist.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Allen,
    I somewhat greet your skepticism here. If Obama is elected I certainly hope that it will be salutary for our country in this way. I also wonder if it may not harden racism in many. What if Obama does a terrible job as president, and gets voted out after four years, or finds himself impeached? It is an unknown how this might effect the country’s race relations.
    Though I will say this. I do relish that there is a black man running for office, and though it is mentioned here and there in politics, it seems most people are judging him by his policy positions (or for some perceive lack of policy positions) and not the color of his skin.
    As for him being half white, part white. I don’t care very few African Americans if any in the United States have escaped the passing on of white blood. So I’m not sure what that means. You would have to be fresh off the boat, or trace your ancestry back two or three generations to Africa to believe you are not part white.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Paul (@3), I can’t speak for the other Pacific states, but here in Oregon, where we vote by mail, most of us already voted before today, so I doubt we’ll be much influenced by election returns or exit polls.

    It does make for a different experience than the rest of the country, though. While I imagine most of you have been anxiously looking forward to this day to do your part, I did my part over a week ago, and have been restless waiting for the rest of the country to catch up!

    And yet, it was nice knowing this past week that I’d already done my thing, so I had no need to pay too close attention to all the yammering. Slightly more peaceful.

  • J

    “No one making the case for Obama talked about how salutary it would be to elect a black man, how this would help heal our nation’s racial wounds and make the world like us again.”

    Yesterday in my pro-Obama comments I (a white man) did not mention the salutary fact of his race because it’s not really how I identify Obama. After 8 years of Republican malfeasance, Obama’s first-rate temperment, intelligence and policies provide compelling reasons to support him. Nonetheless, I am excited that we Americans appear to be on the verge on electing our first black president.
    I suggest, however, that the comment that Obama’s election will “make the world like us again” evinces a misunderstanding of current events. The world does not consider the US a rogue or outlaw nation right now because our president is white. We’re loathed because we despise any sort of international coalition that we can’t dominate. We invade countries at will and have announced, per the Bush doctrine, that we have the unilateral right to destroy any country on earth that we think might at some future time be a threat. What colony of Rome loved Rome?
    If Obama is popular worldwide, it’s due to the fact that so many recognize that he offers a sliver of hope that US foreign policy may become more humane and sane.

  • allen

    Bror Erickson#9

    “What if Obama does a terrible job as president, and gets voted out after four years, or finds himself impeached? It is an unknown how this might effect the country’s race relations.”

    Well, just blame it on the white half then. I mean we’re in uncharted territory, as it were. The closest thing would be Andrew Johnson, the runaway indentured servant(he acquitted himself well, for what it’s worth).

    I guess I’m basically suggesting that there has been a sort of evolution of racist thinking in America. Not among the “true believers” of course, but at the “grass-roots” level. If an Obama administration is a disaster, there will be some “back-sliding” of fair-play sentiment, but not very much, I think.

    But you’re right. It’s unknowable just now. I hope it remains unresolved.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Just voted. Seems I timed it right. There were no lines! Of course the rain might have something to do with that.

    As for Obama’s foreign policy, and offering a sliver of hope. I don’t buy it. I find it fascinating how the whole world watches our election, and even goes so far as trying to influence it. I find it amazing that so many people in the United States care, what France or Germany think. And part of the problem there is that the media there is just as liberal if not more so than here, and so all we get is skewed data as to what they really think. I mean if it wasn’t skewed than I doubt Merkel would have made it in Germany, or Sarkowzi in France, both pro American.
    Quite frankly though I think it is not quite a good thing for our populace to be so obsessed with what other countries think of what we are doing. Do France or Germany check with us? France pulls off military operations all over North Africa and other areas of the world without ever even notifying the U.N. We might learn a thing or two from them in that regard.

  • nathan
  • Paul E.

    tODD @ 10,

    I too voted by mail-in and many here in Colorado have already done so as well. The news last night stated that 65%, or 1.7 million, voters have already cast their ballot via mail-in or early voting.

    My whole point was saying that Dr. Veith may not have to stay up too late tonight if that scenario comes to pass!

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer TK

    I found a quote in this news story disturbing:

    “Obama, being partly African, has the moral obligation to intervene in Africa,” said Samuel Conteh, Managing Editor of The New Citizen, an independent local newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone. “The aspirations of Africans are very high, believing that he will change the social and economic situations of Africans.”

    This way of thinking concerns me. Why would citizens of another country think that our president would help them?

    Source: http://apnews.myway.com//article/20081104/D94860U00.html

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    TK (@16), “Why would citizens of another country think that our president would help them?”

    If I’m not mistaken, Israelis routinely think such things. And have powerful lobbying groups to convey their thoughts to our government. I do not think the Israelis are alone in this.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer TK

    Agreed, but still disturbing.


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