It won’t be Middle Class Whites saying they will vote for a Black Candidate and then not doing so on Tuesday. It will be the Intellectuals and Social Elites who will walk out on Mr. Obama on polling day leaving him just short of his goal.
I have heard long and loud the complaints from Conservatives that George Bush has been anything but a conservative. He has failed to veto legislation that has been all about big government and has added to our deficits. He has failed to fight for the things the conservative base wants. After 8 years of the Clinton Administration, they were tired of being looked down upon, tired of seeing a President bow to whatever political wind would make him popular. They wanted government to live up to lofty principles and George Bush spoke their language and enjoyed the same values. What he said, and the language that made Conservatives comfortable turned out to be different from what he actually did. Today, large numbers of them think their vote was a mistake.
Fast forward to 2008. Intellectuals are tired of a non-intellectual running the country. The guy just isn’t smart enough, in the view of most intellectuals, to do the job. In their view, he speaks a different language and has different values. The time is right for someone who speaks the language of intellectuals and who challenges dogma, the power of Wall Street, and the status quo. It is time, intellectuals say, for a change.
Along come two candidates, Barrack Obama, and Hillary Clinton. Many like Clinton, but almost as many don’t like her. Her negatives are a real risk to Democrats if they hope to sway independents to vote a Democrat into the White House. None of the intellectuals know Mr. Obama, but they like what they hear. He speaks their language and shares many of their values. They don’t like the fact that he has no experience to speak of but his great oratory has them believing he may be The Real Deal. And, they are blinded by hatred for Mr. Bush and fear that Mrs. Clinton has too much baggage to get elected. By keeping John Edwards in the race long enough to siphon off much of Mrs. Clinton’s base in the South, Mr. Obama squeaks by and wins the party’s nomination.
Now Mr. Obama is their standard bearer and the intellectuals want to believe more than ever that he is the right man at the right time. They begin to learn about his history, not much, but enough to have small doubts.
He did use questionable means to eliminate his competition in order to gain a seat in the Illinois Senate. He did do the same thing again to get his seat in the U.S. Senate. Intellectuals could rationalize that his opponents were not good people and deserved to lose.
They were shocked by some of the things that the Reverend Wright, Mr. Obama’s mentor of 20 years, had said. However, when Mr. Obama explained that he was not present when those things were said, the intellectuals wanted so badly to believe in him that they rationalized and accepted his incredible explanation. And, it would be hard to save face if the intellectuals had been arguing his virtues only to find out he is just a slick salesman who spoke their language.
Intellectuals were concerned when they learned of Mr. Obama’s ties to former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers and his wife Bernadette Dorn. They happily believed his explanation that Ayers and Dorn had done their domestic terrorism when he was 8 years old. And besides, they are both ‘respected’ professors now so why should past actions, for which they were acquitted, condemn them?
They hear that Mr. Obama is the single most liberal Senator and actually think that is a good thing because, as intellectuals, they are ‘Progressives’ (or ‘Liberals’ as the great-unwashed-masses label them). It is easy to ignore the fact that he has voted with his Democrat Colleagues over 95% of the time, a distinctly anti-change record.
Intellectuals, if nothing else, tend to reflect on what they know. They tend to challenge convention. How many of them will begin to wonder why they say they will be voting for a person who is still an unknown, has an anti-change record, has made his place in politics through slick oratory and shady legal maneuvers? More than a few are thinking Hillary Clinton would have been a better choice, for their party and for America.
Many intellectuals will be honest with themselves and will not vote for Mr. Obama on November 5. The resulting major change from pre-election polls will be due, not to the Bradley Effect, but to the Einstein Effect.