Sunday, December 13, 2009

The political "what ifs" that wind up happening

The political and societal 'what ifs' are some of the most interesting things that occur in modern times.  What I'm talking about are the things in conventional wisdom or in scholarly thought are the things assumed not likely to occur.  However, some of these things have been defeated due to circumstance or sheer luck, but it happened.  Case and point, the Commonwealth of Virginia elected it first black governor with L. Douglas Wilder back in 1989 although just 7 years prior California failed doing the same with the candidacy of Tom Bradley thus we have the political theory known as the Bradley effect.  Nevertheless, a Southern state was the first to actually elect self-identified black governor to its office. 

Another case of this is with Houston just yesterday where the city elected its first openly gay mayor, yet it recently declined to pass a referendum to allow domestic partnership benefits including same-gender-loving (SGL) employees and their partners.  Other cases including the passage of Proposition 8 in a assumed politically and socially progressive state as California at the same time as more conservative yet urbane states like Florida with its Amendment 2 and Arizona with Proposition 102, all of which were banned the recognition or allowance of same-sex unions, domestic partnerships, or civil unions with their state boundaries.  Also the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger, famous action movie actor and a moderate Republican, to the helm of governor in California in 2003 after the electoral recall of Gray Davis, a Democrat.  Finally, the election of the first self-identified black president of the US with candidacy of Barack Obama.

It shows that anything is entirely possible in these day and age politically speaking in our society, so when I hear naysayers like Joe Reed, Jesse Jackson, and others say that it's not likely for Alabama to elect a black governor with the candidacy of Artur Davis or that Birmingham can't possibly make a turnout in the midst of huge recession then I say never say never.

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