It has happened. It is all but a but a done deal that Mitt Romney will take the GOP nomination. Which means we can finally discus the potential ramifications of a Romney v. Obama showdown. Let's dispel the need for political correctness here, and just say it all outright. Both candidates come with a built-in, loyal, fan base that will vote for them regardless of political ideas. One gets the Mormons, the other gets blacks*.
Religion and Race- two of the most divisive subjects in the country. And we are headed right into it. It is hard to find a person who doesn't have at least a little bias on at least one of the subjects. And not to stereotype too much here, but we all know that there are competing passions on these two subjects. The more pro affirmative action a person is, the less likely they are to be accepting of all religions, and sadly, vice versa. Thankfully, most people are not too passionate (which only angers the passionate people that more people don't care).
Hate crimes encompass race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, social status/class, ethnicity/nationality, age, sex/gender, and political affiliation. And we are headed to a presidential race that will trigger about half of those passions. That scares me. I don't want to see this country come to blows over which brand of hate is more acceptable. But I fear that is where we are headed.
Just this week we have seen the Trayvon Martin situation front and center in the news, while Lawrence O'Donnell spewed bigoted comments about Mormons.The country is already divided so deeply on the Trayvon Martin case that it seems impossible that George Zimmerman could ever get an impartial jury. And the media so inaccurately portrays Mormons every day that the Mormon church has actually started a list of articles that get it right.
What has been at times one of the more dull campaigns thus far on topic material, (do I need to remind you things got so desperate we turned to moon colonies?), now may become downright explosive.
The "war over women" has already begun, with both Obama and Romney needing to court the women vote. According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll, Romney lags well behind Obama with women voters. 57% of women prefer Obama, compared with 38% for Romney.
The passions that ignite hate crimes are all about to move to the national forefront. Let's not forget gay marriage will be on the table as well. In fact, of the hate crimes list, the only subjects I don't see becoming a major or divisive issue will be disability and age. Ethnicity/nationality will come up with immigration, and social status/class will be part of the economy arguments.
It isn't going to get pretty. It is going to get downright ugly.
*I am not a fan of the term African-Americans, because it is assumes that all blacks are Africans, and does not take into account those of Caribbean descent, who yes, are also of African descent, but have a very different heritage. Some of my dearest friends are of Caribbean descent. So please do not think I am being racist by saying blacks, and understand I use it to include more heritages. The term minorities doesn't apply here either, because not all minorities are as loyal to the non-Caucasian president. I truly do not mean to offend with my choice of words.