An anti-Obama guy with a protest sign at a recent rally put the whole race into perspective for me, but it had nothing to do with his sign, and everything to do with his face, and with the faces of those who challenged him.
I was reading the ANP story about this protester at an Obama rally who was confronted, very peacefully, by folks at the rally who wanted to know what his sign, which seemed to be yet another Muslim slam, "meant."
The sign was really irrelevant. Watch the video below. Look at him. Look at his face, his manner.
The guy is really terrified. At first pass, I thought it might be that he was getting a little freaked out by being confronted by several very unhappy Muslims, but when I go back to the beginning, he just has this look of fear that says a lot about where other white Americans, who are less inclined to feel the urge to protest, are feeling right now.
His face speaks volumes to why, when papers are endorsing Obama at simply astounding ratios, and 59% of the country apparently thinks that Sarah Palin is not fit to be President should that be necessary, we have a race that continues to tighten.
As the majority of the United States voting population is waking up and searching for those poll-standing shoes for Tuesday, there comes the realization:
'Hey, the black guy might actually win.'
It is enough to turn Pat Boone as white as his shoes.
As much as I wholly and completely disagree with the protester's message, I have to marvel a bit at his courage. Dems have kids and women who bust into Palin rallies so they can protest and be escorted out. They have this agenda or that to grind on specific issues that they feel Palin does not fairly represent. They may think that she's not qualified, and they make their feelings known.
None of them, though, are there because she is white, or because she is a woman. While they may be out there, I have yet to see someone clutching a sign with a shot of Sarah Palin from her church speaking in tongues, or displaying her alongside the Alaska secessionists.
Here is this guy out there with his goofy hat and sign, ready to take on the world -- sort of -- because he is genuinely terrified of a black "Muslim" man in the White House. He keeps repeating:
"It's not the right time."
As if some time for him, and those like him, is ever going to be right.
I was also impressed with those who challenged our demonstrator. They were clearly angry, but they showed reserve, and respect.
It made me think that, even if Obama does not win on Tuesday, he has changed politics in America, and for the better; that those who want to see someone bring prosperity back to the whole country, not just its elites, have the support of people who are strong, and resolved to change their world vocally, yet peacefully.
Step back from the political muck with me for a minute, and freeze frame this moment, and you have a crystallization of this election cycle:
We are facing staggering times that require a solid, confident, forward-thinking leader. Time and again, to anyone calm and rational, Barack Obama has demonstrated those traits. Heck, he even talked down Rachael Maddow with a pleasant smile after hours and hours on his game at dozens of rallies and meets over the prior 48 hours.
John McCain has vacillated, waffled, flip-flopped, lied, misrepresented, shaded, and vastly distorted the facts in ways that anyone from the diligent FactCheck.org, to the average guy on the street who isn't scared of black people, seems to get.
McCain screams and rants about how he is going to clean up the mess that his party made over the last twenty-odd years, but everyone working for him are the mess-makers.
He talks about his own populist drive, yet he is busing in kids to fill in crowds, and hiring temps to canvass because, in spite of their vocal screaming, he does not have enough supporters to canvass or even rip up Obama road signs. Don't tell Lou Dobbs, but I actually saw some nice day laborers doing that here in Boca Raton, Florida, at night, with a beat-up pick-up truck.
His biggest command decision was to bring aboard a first mate, Sarah Palin, who is nice eye-candy, but who is hopelessly clueless when it comes to anything from telling you what her favorite newspaper is to even the most rudimentary foreign policy questions.
She reads a teleprompter well, but Bible Spice, as Alec Baldwin so aptly dubber her, is not a qualified person to be sitting in the Oval Office.
So we have this problem: If Barack Obama was "the white guy" would our friend there with his poster be out there with the anti-Muslim mask for anti-black thinking? No.
Would the Dems be able to bat back the vast media machine that powers up the Republican attack machine that is crippled by two decades of its corrupt and morally bankrupt fiscal policy coming down around its ears? Yes.
Our race has come down to two things that no amount of rational reason will resolve: Which is the United States of America more afraid of -- the economy failing, or the White House being occupied by a black man?
I guess that we'll find out on Tuesday.