A buddy of mine called me up a few hours only after learning of the victory of Obama, being an armchair political critics, he gushed enthusiasm I seldom found in his usual dour demeanour. As usual, being his political sparring partner, I proceed to douse his babbling, but he wont listen, instead he contuinued pouring: Do you know wthat this mean? It mean America, a country that is percieved to be populated by white supremists and racists can now even accept a black president, and Malaysian especially the Malay bumiputra must take cognizance of this. This augurs well for a fair multiracial Malaysia, there is hope yet! Or something to that effect.
Fair Dinkum. Big Deal. Barack Obama is elected the first black president of America. What is in it for Malaysian. This of course has a tremendous implication, ramifications, indications, whatever, for Malaysia. It means Malaysian must think like American and to be blunt, Chinese, Indian, Dayak and Kadazan can also be Prime Minister. I say go on dreaming.
The fact that the Malay and gotten the message is without doubt. But whether they subscribe and embrace it is a totally different matter. Its like a fat person who is told he has to control his diet in order to stay healthy, he knows it, but he cant control himself and continues to gorge on whatever food his plucky fingers can lay on. Later, I can diet later, there is still time.
The facts of the US election must also be scritinzed to form a more realistic picture of the situation at hand. It was reported that a record turnout to vote in this latest election, which came to 131 million people representing 64% of the elegible voters. 64%! and this is a historical record! What happen to the remaining 36% or slightly more than one in three American?
Very important to note is that the popular vote was quite close. It is the "winner takes all" system of the election that put McCain at a disadvantage. Big state like New York and California command among them a whopping 80 electoral college, and Democrats traditionally hold sway in them and this election is no exception. When early in the vote count when Obana wa leading 200 to McCaine's 104 (?), with California and the pacific states still unaccounted for, it was foregone conclusion Obama was going to win. In other words, McCain's clout in California and other big states count for nought. In fact it can be that a candidate's popular vote may exceed his opponents and still lose the election. In fact this had happen just 8 years ago. Al Gore's popular vote was more than Bush yet the latter won.
Bear in mind that about 25% of American are non-whites (Black and Hispanic), and they are the most enthusiatic voters, which is understandable, and I can say without so much of an indepth analysis that a whopping majority of them voted Obama. Which brings me to the question: How many whites voted Obama?
Sure, you see a sea of white faces at Obama's rallies, and television interview white voters (especially ladies) gushing enthusiasm at the prospect of a black president. Mark Twain said: Better to keep quiet and be thought you are a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Same thing here. In politically correct America, better to hide your feeling of racism than to openly display them, (smack of hypocriticy?, that's America for you!) Thus you dont see whites surging in crowd of 100,000 strong in McCain's rally, and those that you see at Obama's are just flaunting their PCness.
Now lets get down to to nitty gritty:-
1.131 million American voted.
2.Very close popular votes.(give or take a million or two)
Means 66 million voted for Obama
and 65 million voted McCain
3. 25% of voters non-whites. A larger portion of non-white voters turn up to vote. Almost all non-white voted for Obama.
Means at least 32.75 million non-whites voted for Obama
and that of Obama's 66 million who voted for Obama, only 37.25 million are whites.
Means of the 65 million who voted of McCain, probably 0.1% of the black voted for him, These are probably 100-year-old unaccompanied wheelchair-bound grandmas who ticked the wrong wrong box with her trembling hand, or an over enthusiatic hip-hop dude who wore sunglasses into the booth and also ticked the wrong box.
Meaning of the 98.25 million white voters, 65.5 million whites voters DID'NT voted Obama.
What about the 36% of those who didnt vote, and who in all probabilty are whites?
Meaning two third of America's white are probably still racist!
Now, am I saying that Obama's victory is a fluke? A flash in the pan? or a carefully orchestrated plan of a man destined for greatness? I say its a combination of a both. Obama broke into the scene in the right place at the right time. At a time when America was sick of its Iran war, when big banks are fumbling, when people are sick of establishmentarianism, when the Republicans couldnt come up with a better candidate than an septuagent who went on to pick a nubile running mate with a fetish for lipstick, I could go on and on....in fact I would.....endorsing a black president is one thing, when he is in office sitting at the head of the table presiding over his group of advisors, I can imagine the viewer of such TV live telecast will be squirming in their sofa. Dont believe me? Watch out for Biden's body language next time a Cabinet meeting goes on air. I know its a novelty to have a black president, its even fun. but when he roll up his sleeve, it may be a totally different story. Please dont let me get started on assassination (touch wood).
Now back to Malaysia. Go read our PM on today's Star online www.thestar.com.my who said any one can be PM. Much as I like this to happen, ie minority can become PM one day, I still say, go on dreaming, Malaysia. I say Obama's vicotry counts for zilch for Malaysia, but my buddy would not take no for an answer. Our meeting was adjourned.