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Thread: A permenent end to 220 years of white male presidents?

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    A permenent end to 220 years of white male presidents?

    In 1978, Karol Józef Wojtyła was installed as the 264th Pope. According to Wikipedia, Pope John Paul II was the first first non-Italian pope since Adrian VI (Dutch) in the 1520s. His successor is German- born Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. These two popes ended a 460-year long period when all the popes were Italians.

    Barack Obama will, of course, be the first black president of the United States, with all the presidents in the 220 year period preceding his election being white men. Do you think Barack Obama's election signals a permanent end to the "tradition" where US presidents were all white men? Of the next five presidents following Obama, how many will be women, visible minorities, non-Christian, or otherwise not traditionally white Christian males?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Bobby Jindal in 2012!
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I dunno- but I think Obama should fill his cabinet entirely with non-white men and really freak everyone out

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    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Do you think Barack Obama's election signals a permanent end to the "tradition" where US presidents were all white men?
    Absolutely.

    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Of the next five presidents following Obama, how many will be women, visible minorities, non-Christian, or otherwise not traditionally white Christian males?
    Of the next five, at least one will be a woman. I'd say there's a better than even chance for someone of Hispanic heritage to rise to the top. And, it's about damn time!

    A Non-christian president may still be a tough sell for the foreseeable future. Too many political leaders still believe the USA was founded as a Christian nation.
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SGB View post
    A Non-christian president may still be a tough sell for the foreseeable future. Too many political leaders still believe the USA was founded as a Christian nation.
    I think the first non-Christian president will either be Hindu or Jewish. Both are associated with ethnic groups that are considered model minorities in the US.

    I don't think it's unreasonable to see an Indian-American (Jindal or someone else) on the ticket in 2012 or 2018. I think at least two of the next five presidents will be a visible minority, and two will be women. Sarah Palin won't be in the picture.

    As for the long term: IMHO, we probably won't see a gay, athiest or Muslim president until after 2040.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SGB View post
    I'd say there's a better than even chance for someone of Hispanic heritage to rise to the top.
    Henry Cisneros...talk about going down in flames.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    The British are often times perceived as stuffy, but they had Margaret Thatcher already. Apparently they respect "tough as nails" women. We'll get there at some point.

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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    I unfortunately see Obama's win further dividing this country racially. He will have a hard time getting respect, I believe black people expect him to change 220 years of history in four years and he can't so they will get frustrated, and white and black voters will have a hard time identifying with each other.

    If I had said, "I only voted for John McCain because he's white" I'd be a racist, however I believe many black citizens got registered and showed up to vote simply because he's black, the ignorance on the evening news and in the poll line helped solidify this fact.

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    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin will both be factors in the 2012 primaries and had Condi Rice been interested, she would have been a major factor in this year's race, at least at the primary level. Most true conservatives whom I know would have never batted an eye at supporting a 'Maggie Thatcher' style female candidate instead of Ronald Reagan. They respect people like them.

    Religion is a harder sell - despite his credentials, Mitt Romney would have sparked a party revolt in some states due to his religion (LDS) had he survived the primaries this year and that many of the party's base will say out loud (as a local Evangelical-Protestant friend of mine did) that they can NEVER support a 'cultist'. JFKennedy's religion (Roman Catholic) was a big issue in 1960.

    Interestingly, Joe Lieberman's religion (Orthodox Jewish) was never an issue in his 2000 vice-presidential loss, at least that I can recall.

    I wonder how Jindal's birth religion (Hindu, but converted to Roman Catholic) will mesh with the 'Bible Belt', but he seems to be doing very well as governor in Louisiana. We shall see. And a good immigrant story in his immediate family, too!

    Mike

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    ...however I believe many black citizens got registered and showed up to vote simply because he's black, the ignorance on the evening news and in the poll line helped solidify this fact.
    I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing, I'm sure that there were a large number of women prepared to vote for Hillary just because she's a woman and lots of people who vote for candidates just because they're Republicans and Democrats. I think that there are very few visionaries who actually go into the office of president with a plan and the ability to carry it out. In fact, I think that our form of government almost guarantees that the office-holder can't change things radically. Rather, it's the events that happen during their time in office and not necessarily their performance that defines their success or failure. .
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post

    If I had said, "I only voted for John McCain because he's white" I'd be a racist, however I believe many black citizens got registered and showed up to vote simply because he's black, the ignorance on the evening news and in the poll line helped solidify this fact.
    That's a legitimate view to have. but it is extremely simplistic and IMO very wrong. It assumes that blacks and whites have had a level playing field for quite some time when that is most definately not true. It pretty much ignores the fact that until recently black americans were legally allowed to be discriminated against, and they still continue to be, and that they felt that certain doors (like being president) were not open to them. To many black americans, his being elected president means finally that they are not second class citizens. That is a significant political issue for them. What significant political issue would be served by voting for McCain just because he was white?

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    If I had said, "I only voted for John McCain because he's white" I'd be a racist, however I believe many black citizens got registered and showed up to vote simply because he's black, the ignorance on the evening news and in the poll line helped solidify this fact.
    I can't defend identity politics, especially when followers of a candidate don't consider their platform, period. However, millions voted for Dubya because they felt that he was like them; a good 'ol boy they could share a beer with. Many women supported Hillary Clinton in the primary strictly because she was a woman, even though their politics might better mesh with one of the other Democratic candidates. Look at all the "hockey moms" that voted for McCain because :"Sarah Palin is just like me!"

    Excluding South Africa and the United States, have any industrialized nations elected a black executive? Could it happen in France, Australia, Canada, or Ireland?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post

    I wonder how Jindal's birth religion (Hindu, but converted to Roman Catholic) will mesh with the 'Bible Belt', but he seems to be doing very well as governor in Louisiana. We shall see. And a good immigrant story in his immediate family, too!

    Mike
    I think Bobby Jindal is "the new, young face" for the Republican Party and has the most potential to become their Obama, as far as speaking eloquince, grasp of policy issues, and barrier breaking. Though I'm an outsider to everything going on in LaLaLand, it appears he is doing a far better job than his democratic predecessor. In fact, despite me being a democrat, he probably would have gotten my vote in that state from the little I've heard.

    To your other point about identity voting... A lot of people voted for W in Texas because he was from Texas, just as some chose Hillary & Palin for being women, Obama for being black, Bush for being their new "beer buddy", etc. Face it--many Americans are not the most sophisticated voters and both sides are guilty of aligning with the cult of personality that has been developing for quite a while now.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    This national election has definitely changed who we think of as presidential timbre. In 2008 we had a white guy, a black guy and a white woman who might have been president. That was huge.

    But I think old white guys will probably be around for a long time to come. They still represent the majority of governors, senators and congressmen out there. That is changing, but I do not anticipate a huge shift soon.

    Montana is about as white as it gets. We had a woman governor. We have prominent women in major state offices. But our senators and congressmen are white males. We did have Jeanette Rankin, who voted to keep the U.S. out of WWl and WWII, but has been white guys ever since.

    If there is a trend I have noticed about the USA it is that things tend to get better, but slowly.
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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bubba View post
    Bobby Jindal in 2012!
    He would have been a much better choice for VP than Palin.

    That said, I don't think that you can end having white males in the Presidential office permanently. However, I do think that the door to the Oval Office has been torn off its hinges and there will be more diversity in future elections.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    While surfing through the channels on election night I happened to see a minute or so of some cop show that evidently was made around 1972 (squad cars gave the year away). I was struck by one character who played the heroic police sergeant who made the big bust. The actor/character was black and it was painfully evident to this 2008 viewer the character was cast as the ’token black guy’. The character’s race was something everyone was made aware of (even made references in the dialogue like ‘you don’t think I know what it’s like to grow up in the face of adversity?’) and it generally felt as if he stuck out like sore thumb. Lots of tv shows, though, were like that during the late 60’s-early/mid 70’s. Hollywood/the entertainment industry made a concerted effort to implement its own affirmative action program during this time. There was an unwritten rule that every show should have at least one black character (and at first that was often the exact number). Another unwritten rule was that the actor should be portrayed in a positive light or ‘good guy’ role. Prior to this period, you might have had a black character on a show/movie but with few exceptions it would have been in the role of buffoon or clown (e.g. think Buckwheat).

    While these early efforts at integration within the entertainment industry may have had a wooden, forced, or contrived feel to them, they served an important function. For the first time American television audiences were encouraged to be sympathetic to George Jefferson and to laugh at/despise Archie Bunker for his bigoted attitudes. Shows like ‘All in the Family’ eventually paved the way for later more realistic portrayals and nowadays the race of any character on a television show is not an issue at all. Audiences are equally comfortable seeing African Americans cast in ‘good guy’ or ‘bad guy’ roles and whether or not they are good or bad has nothing to do with their racial identity. I’ve said it before that humans are very sophisticated lemmings but still lemmings just the same. We expertly mimic the behaviors and attitudes we see before eyes and I strongly believe that the entertainment industry has done much to help alter people’s attitudes about race in this country on a mass scale.

    An African-American being elected to the highest office in the land was unthinkable only two generations ago but is now a reality. The civil rights movement helped remove legal barriers but the challenging task of altering the hearts and minds of the American public is still not complete. Obama’s victory, however, represents a significant milestone. I think in some ways America’s political scene is similar to where the entertainment industry was circa 1972. We are seeing a number of pioneers entering the field now. Obama did nothing to promote race as a campaign issue, yet at this time of his victory we are also aware of the uniqueness of the event… kinda like the uniqueness of the tv show characters - this is not typical. this has not happened before.. With each passing election, though, I believe we will identify/view race identity less and less as an ‘issue’ until it fades completely from the public’s awareness. I’m guessing this is maybe only one generation away.

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    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    He would have been a much better choice for VP than Palin.

    That said, I don't think that you can end having white males in the Presidential office permanently. However, I do think that the door to the Oval Office has been torn off its hinges and there will be more diversity in future elections.
    Jindal's big problem with being on the ticket this time around is that he is 37 years old (b. 1971-06-10), only two years older than required by the USConstitution for that job. He would have been raked over the coals for 'inexperience' (yes, sort of a 'pot/kettle/dark color' thing from the 'D's, but they did do the same thing to Palin). I do agree, though, that he is a rising star in the Republican Party and will be a national force in 2012 and beyond.

    Mike

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    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Jindal's big problem with being on the ticket this time around is that he is 37 years old (b. 1971-06-10), only two years older than required by the USConstitution for that job. He would have been raked over the coals for 'inexperience' (yes, sort of a 'pot/kettle/dark color' thing from the 'D's, but they did do the same thing to Palin). I do agree, though, that he is a rising star in the Republican Party and will be a national force in 2012 and beyond.

    Mike
    I agree that age might have been a factor, but I don't think that Jindal would have been as easy of a target as Palin, because he seems more experienced and polished. He answers difficult questions in a very articulate manner. I'd be shocked to not hear his name come up a LOT more often over the next few years.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

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