Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Michigan Primary is Secondary: Biases, and Liberty Come First

I just read the CNN Political Ticker for May 31, 2008, which deals with the Michigan primary. The particular issues the article pertains to are two-fold:
  1. The Primary was scheduled ahead of the campaign season
  2. The ballots that people voted on did not contain Barack Obama's name

The decision was made by the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee, yesterday, that the delegates would be given a half-vote and split between Clinton and Obama, giving Hilary a slight lead (69 pledges-Clinton, 59 pledges-Obama).

Now although this particular article would be a great jump-off point for me to delve into the ups and downs of the Democratic Presidential Candidate Campaign, but I have decided to take a unexpected "left turn" so to speak and talk about something that caught my eye when I finished reading the article.

Near the bottom of the article is a section to post comments. Although the comment section is now closed on the article, there was one comment that was posted. It reads as follows:

"I'm a Clinton supporter and NOT happy with this decision. Hillary should have gotten ALL of Michigan's delegates with ALL the votes! Truth be told, she was the only one that had her name on the ballot in that state! Obama conveniently did not put his name on the ballot, therefore he should get NO DELEGATES from that state! Looks like the DNC is obviously biased in favour of Obama. Pelosi and Dean…we hate you!"

That comment was posted by a semi-anonymous Clinton supporter named John. I found his comment to be of far more interest than the debacle surrounding the Michigan primary because it shows us how people can become so enveloped in a particular cause/belief that they do not see anything else.

What I am talking about is John's comment that "Hillary should have gotten ALL of Michigan's delegates with ALL the votes! Truth be told, she was the only one that had her name on the ballot in that state!" Her name was the only one on the ballot: true. What I do not agree with is the statement that she should have received all the votes. Now, I am an Obama supporter because I believe that he is a better candidate than Hillary Clinton, but that is not why I disagree with John's comment. The truth of the matter is that I agree in fairness and liberty. These two elements were not shown in the Michigan primary.

First of all, Obama's name was not even mentioned on the ballot, so even if people wanted to vote for him they couldn't. Most people do not question authority, such as the government, and so the only choice was the one they voted for, which was Hillary. I am sure that if the tables were turned, and her name had been left off, that John would be upset over that fact and be calling for a split-vote.

People, such as John state that the "DNC is biased toward Obama," but are they really? If the same thing happened to Hillary, I am pretty sure the same scenario would play out. When people are so enthralled with a particular belief or cause they cannot see anything else. For instance, have you ever watched the Discovery channel? Sometimes they have a program that comes on about different microrganisms that live in our homes. There are particular mites that live in our bedsheets and I remember after watching that, I thought I could feel something crawling on me when I got in bed.

What I am trying to say is that, when people start assessing situations (such as the Michigan primary fiasco) they cannot but help to think that: "The DNC is against Hillary." The same thing happens for Obama supporters as well. People become trapped in a particular mindset and find it hard to look at situations from different perspectives.

Now this is not to say that I think the world is perfect, and that there aren't people out there that want to try and influence the way people think (and even vote) because there definitely are. For instance, news media sometimes only portray one side of a story to create drama, or focus on the more controversial side of a story. But, sometimes people become "conspiracy seekers" who will only think that the world is out to get them/their candidate in this circumstance.

When people realize their biases, they can then DO something about them. Only then can there be a change in the way they think, and the way they view the world.

"To know the true reality of yourself, you must be aware not only of your conscious thoughts, but also of your unconscious prejudices, bias and habits" -Anonymous


Caledonian Jim said...

DC -

From a UK perspective, the Clinton/Obama tussle seems to be deflecting the Democrats from the real fight . Whoever wins, then the real struggle begins, because make no mistake the Republicans will play dirty poker and a Democratic win is by no means certain .

If Obama is the candidate, the race card will be played - if, as now seems unlikely, Hillary gets through, the sexist card will be played .The Republicans won't give up the White House easily and McCain, despite his age, is a better candidate than Bush was - at least he has a brain . And whether we like it or not, there is a Conservative constituency in the US that is hard to defeat . 2 wins by Bush proved that !

DC said...

I agree, it is not a coincidence that Bush was voted into office two terms in a row.

I herad a rumor yesterday that Obama has clinched the Democratic Candidacy, so I guess the race-card will be played.

We can only wait and see what happens, but being the non-conservative I am, hoping a Democratic government is brought into power.