The Shepherd's Heart/The 2008 election is a chance to watch history made

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Never before have the members of the Party of the Democrats had a choice between a visionary young African-American man and a gung-ho female Washington insider when deciding how to vote in the primaries.

Those who know me know that I am not a racist, so don't start calling me names after I say what I am about to say.

For as much as I have tended to disagree with most of what Geraldine Ferraro has had to say in recent years, I have to agree with her on one thing: The battle for this year's Democratic presidential nomination is a novel one and I don't think Mr. Obama would be doing as well as he is if it were not for the fact that he is a young black visionary male running against a white female. In fact, the point isn't that Mr. Obama is black or that Mrs. Clinton is female -- it's about the opportunity to make history.

Democrats have the opportunity to put a woman or an African-American in the White House for the first time in our history. And the mere thought of that groundbreaking event has brought about at least one good thing -- it has brought voters out of the woodwork. People are turning out in record numbers to make their voices heard on who the nominee should be for their party.

Though I admit that many Americans are -- as am I -- disillusioned with the current administration, I do not believe voters would be flocking to the polls in such numbers if there were two middle-aged, white, Washington-insider types dueling it out for the nomination.

Could anyone imagine such numbers turning out to vote if the prospective nominees were, say, John Kerry and John Edwards? Or Al Gore and John Edwards? Or even John Edwards and John Edwards? Of course not. Two white males running against each other is old hat. We've done that and done that and done that until everyone is tired of that. Sadly, it seems that same-old-same-old usually gives us the same-old outcome, no matter what side of the aisle wins in November.

But what a novel primary we are now witnessing. An African-American taking on a white female. And doing quite well, I might add.

No matter who wins the Democratic nomination, if they can pull off a victory against the Republicans -- and whoever else gets into the fray this fall -- it will make history. And we will all be witness to such an event.

We need to get one thing straight, however.

This primary is not about race or gender.

It's about making history.

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