Sunday, February 10, 2008

Class, Race, Gender

Today the paper printed the election results by town. In our little white corner of Blue State, the results were pure class: Obama took the affluent towns; Clinton the less affluent.

Town is an interesting case. We are in the middle of a newcomers/townies class war--also involving unions--that to date has largely been waged in School Committee, but just carried over into an important local race. The old guard won (to the disgust and despair of the rest of us--the guy they ran was really a placeholder for rage, not a viable candidate). Clinton also beat Obama--by 200 votes.

But here's what I'm wondering: how much of the class thing is in fact a race thing? That is, are the white lower-middle/working class/union voters who are going for Clinton going for her because they believe in her (as she is spinning it) or because they don't want a black man to be president? And, on the flip side, how much of the race thing is a gender thing? Are the white men who seem to be turning to Obama suddenly realizing that they could end up with a woman president?

I hate to think the worst of people, when this election has the potential to bring out the best, but I'm not quite sure we're all where we should be on these issues--actually, I'm quite sure we're not.

(Obviously I'm speaking in generalizations that don't hold for all, or even most, individuals.)

1 comment:

Jane said...

I just read that nationally the voting seems to be following race more than gender. I think this race is so exciting in that if the Dems win the presidency, no matter which candidate it is, it will be historic...but I admit that I somewhat dread the discussion and dissection of motivation in voting that will come about - for the reasons you state - we'll never really know the answers, and what answers we likely will arrive at, will not be all that easy to swallow.