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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

The race is on

Barack Obama: Democratic persidential candidate; about 18 million votes, or 6 percent of the American population.

John McCain: Republican presidential candidate; about 9.6 million votes, or 3 percent of the American population.

We have us a race -- the people have spoken!

Each of the candidates has a problem with some voters. Obama:

At the same time, his consistent inability to win the votes of white downscale voters has become an election issue wielded by Hillary Clinton as a damning weakness for the general election.

And McCain:

McCain's relatively low support among white evangelicals does not necessarily mean he has lost them for the general election, however.

There go those pesky whites again, spoiling it for everybody.


Thu, 06/05/2008 - 8:24am

That CBS note about Obama needs a little more specificity. Obama's problem (vis a vis Clinton) with getting the votes of poor white voters is mostly peculiar to Appalachian poor white voters. He did tolerably well with that demographic in other areas of the country.

Harl Delos
Thu, 06/05/2008 - 9:14am

For a guy who started his career helping union employees at shuttered steel mills, you'd think Barry would have done better among the union crowd.

I was told in the 1960s by black college classmates that racism was much worse in the north. In the south, there was a custom of segregation, but people generally got along pretty well. In the north, the racism took the form of hatred. It took me a while to accept the notion, but I've pretty well accepted it.

People think of the emancipation proclamation as freeing the slaves, but in fact, the goal wasn't to help them but rather to hurt their owners. Northerners didn't hate slavery so much because they thought the slaves had it rough, but because they didn't want to compete against slave labor. Within 35 years, there was a great northern migration to the factories of the north, and white factory workers learned that they had to compete against them anyhow, whether they were "owned" or not.

I think there's a lesson there, when it comes to today's immigration issue. Mexicans aren't taking away American jobs because they are coming here; their hard work for low wages would take the jobs away anyway. It's a question of whether the factories should be here or there - and whether we give these immigrants the proper paperwork so that they pay taxes on their income. Immigration levels today are NOT a particular problem. Even counting all the illegal immigration, we're only seeing half as many immigrants now as we had in 1900.

So yeah, we should secure our borders - including building a 30-foot fence all along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and around the islands of Hawaii and the Bering archipelago. But we need to make it easier to get immigration papers. In some districts, it takes 8 months to get a 6-month extension OKed for a visa. That's a big reason why people aren't bothering to do it the "right" way.