Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The end of the primary season

Whew. The primary season of the 2008 presidential race is finally -- officially -- over. The reality is that it's been over for several months, but poor, delusional Sen. Clinton has dragged this out until now for reasons best known to her.

I don't agree with Sen. Obama and won't vote for him. (I'll be voting for Libertarian Bob Barr in November). But this is a moment for the history books: the first time an American of African ancestry has headed up a major party ticket. America tends to view ethnic groups differently after someone from that group has won the presidency (think John Kennedy as the first Irish-American in 1960) and this is that moment for black Americans. The race issue will never again be a big deal in electoral politics. I'm glad for that.

Most of us are tired of this race. It's been going on for years, and won't be over for another 9 months. My wife and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary next week, and I joked that we should celebrate by visiting New Hampshire, where there are probably pols already hanging out in diners, pimping for the 2012 presidential race. But given the way the US system is set up, there's no way to avoid such long-range running. The only way to remedy it would be a change to a parliamentary system, where the date of the race is only known a few weeks to months in advance.

But that's not happening. So we'll endure this one until November. But life goes on apart from -- and in spite of -- electoral politics. It's always worth remembering that almost all of the important things in life happen apart from politics. Politicians fail to realize that. We must not.

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