Along with about a billion or so other people, I watched Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last night, and I can't help feeling amazed. We've finally done it, a major party has nominated a man of color as its candidate for President of the United States.
African Americans have run for the office before, but they were always long shots, with no real expectation of winning the nomination. They were there mostly to express a point of view rather than compete. The country is not ready to elect a black man as president, we were always told.
Well, I think we're ready now.
Polls are showing McCain and Obama in a dead heat. The talking heads say there are too many people out there who believe Obama is too liberal, too young, too inexperienced and a closet Muslim with ties to Arab terrorists. (Not because he's black, no one's going to admit to being a racist even to an anonymous pollster)
Years ago, my high school history teacher talked about the polls taken in 1940 when Franklin Roosevelt ran against Wendell Wilkie. The results showed that Wilkie had a substantial margin over FDR and was expected to win. But here was something the pollsters did not consider. People who couldn't afford telephones supported Roosevelt. And they came out in droves to vote for him, re-electing him to a third term.
The same could be true of Obama. Polls are conducted on landlines. A good many of Obama's supporters communicate soley through cell phones. They will certainly come out in droves to vote for him, even though their views never appear in the polling results we see every night on the news.
Of course, the only poll that counts is the one taken on November 4th. Can't wait to see how that one turns out.