Saturday, May 17, 2008



For whom will you vote for President of the United States? Are you actually voting for a particular candidate or against one? It may come down to this. You’re a racist, a sexist or an ageist.

So you’re for Barack Obama. You’re impressed with his youth. You see his relative inexperience as a plus. He hasn’t been in Washington long enough to be tainted by cronyism or the “beltway” mentality. You especially like the idea of electing a black man to the Presidency without having to think about the fact that he is black. But vote against him and no matter how many times you deny it, someone will suspect you’re not voting for him because he’s an African-American. He’s black. You’re a racist.

So you’re for Hillary Rodham Clinton. You think her eight years in the White House as First Lady and her two term tenure as a United States Senator from New York make her uniquely qualified to answer the dreaded “red phone” at 3:00AM. You especially like the idea of electing the first woman to the Presidency. She is the first female candidate to make a serious run at the nation’s highest office. But vote against her and you’re a chauvinist. You’re a sexist.

What about John McCain? You’re voting for him because he’s a bona fide war hero and a Republican Senator who isn’t afraid to challenge his own party and reach across the aisle to Democrats. You like his tough stand and “straight talk” about terrorists. You believe he’s the candidate that will most protect America in the war on terror. But cast your vote for anyone else and there will be those who say you were just too uncomfortable voting for a man who will be 72 when he takes the oath of office, the oldest ever. You’ll disqualify him simply on that basis. Therefore, you’re an ageist.

Pick your poison. Welcome to the age of “ism.”

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