Of all the problems with the State as an institution, the most obvious one could be argued as the true root of all the others: by definition, it has to assume unanimity. As a monopoly of “legitimate” force, tolerating secession is suicidal to government, it must at the end of the day operate as if there is no dissent. Otherwise, it ends up just another gang, competing for power.
This kind of force, even taken out of context, is already dangerous. Now factor in human beings and our various conflicting values. Since power corrupts, the inevitable fear is that whoever holds that power will not hesitate to use it for their own benefit: wealth, satiating their personal fears, maybe revenge on some political “tribe” they feel has wronged them. When Joe Average says that they want someone in charge that they can have a beer with, or that “understands”, they’re attempting to articulate this fear — “I want someone just like ME in charge! If some ‘other’ has control they’re going to screw me over!”. Misguided, but all too understandable, in a way they have a point.
So…why do I say this? Consider the following:
For all the hope and excitement Obama’s candidacy is generating, some of his field workers, phone-bank volunteers and campaign surrogates are encountering a raw racism and hostility that have gone largely unnoticed — and unreported — this election season. Doors have been slammed in their faces. They’ve been called racially derogatory names (including the white volunteers). And they’ve endured malicious rants and ugly stereotyping from people who can’t fathom that the senator from Illinois could become the first African American president.
The contrast between the large, adoring crowds Obama draws at public events and the gritty street-level work to win votes is stark. The candidate is largely insulated from the mean-spiritedness that some of his foot soldiers deal with away from the media spotlight.
Victoria Switzer, a retired social studies teacher, was on phone-bank duty one night during the Pennsylvania primary campaign. One night was all she could take: “It wasn’t pretty.” She made 60 calls to prospective voters in Susquehanna County, her home county, which is 98 percent white. The responses were dispiriting. One caller, Switzer remembers, said he couldn’t possibly vote for Obama and concluded: “Hang that darky from a tree!”
Documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy, the daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, said she, too, came across “a lot of racism” when campaigning for Obama in Pennsylvania. One Pittsburgh union organizer told her he would not vote for Obama because he is black, and a white voter, she said, offered this frank reason for not backing Obama: “White people look out for white people, and black people look out for black people.” (emphasis mine)
^^^^Exhibit A, as far as the uglier side of this problem goes. Plain and simple, this person distrusts anyone not like them in power, and a black man with a Harvard law degree is about as “other” as it gets for them. I’m sure there are black people that support him for the same reason, though — like with whites who oppose him for this reason — it is not the norm. Some blacks simply believe that “it’s our turn now”.
I’d be inclined to say to the above sentiment “what do you mean ‘our’?”, explain my displeasure at us continuing to place new asses in the throne instead of dismantling the castle, and point out that the sole thing me & him have in common other than skin color is that we both think invading Iraq was a dumb idea — and by extension, thinking melanin content overrides ones personal interests is also rather dumb. However, despite that fantasy of racial unity ironically playing into the paranoia of Anonymous Bigoted Whitey quoted above, they’d never listen. The simplest answers tend to be the most satisfying, them being wrong is an afterthought.