The fact is that faced with circumstances that make the prospect of a victory easier than they could usually expect, Democrats have used that opportunity to break through some long standing barriers to blacks and women in spite of the fact that it would lessen their advantage. This is an unusual and counterintuitive step for a party out of power to take --- generally they go the safe route after being beaten two elections in a row and nominate the most mainstream candidate they can find. So, good for the Democrats for using their advantage to do more than just win an election. ( And truthfully, when else could they possibly do it? When the Republicans are on a roll?)
As a liberal who's been watching all this take place over the course of half a century now, I am thrilled at the prospect of crossing those boundaries with an African American or female president. But the sexism and racism we've seen in the campaign so far is a reminder that these things don't happen by magic or positive thinking. (Look at the racial make up of the prison population or the gender pay gap for illustration.) They happen because people are always out there fighting for it, over time, vigilantly manning the barricades against the conservative aristocrats (there aren't any other kind) and the people they purposefully manipulate with fear to keep full equality and true liberty from coming to fruition.
And sadly, those who do that fighting are often considered to be "unamerican" and "unpatriotic" because by demanding that America change, they are making a case that America is not perfect. For the chauvinist, nationalist, exceptionalist right, (and the mindbogglingly provincial thinkers in the of the village) that is something you are not allowed to admit.
Noted for June 19, 2013
4 hours ago