It’s Just Because He’s, You Know, Black
Kleinheider goes a long way in attempting to paint Powell’s endorsement as ineffectual and possibly a win for McCain. As part of his reasoning:
Most whites in America have no sense of racial solidarity. They do not think of themselves as white Americans or any kind of hyphenated American, they see themselves as simply Americans.
This is folly. I would say that many White brothers and sisters don’t think of themselves as White Americans because the “White” part is the understood modifier and always has been until the last half of the last century. There’s no need to mention something that is universally understood among your cohort. One may voice the sentiment that we don’t need hyphens because in their experience the hyphen has never been applied to them.
However, as applied to ACK’s reasoning that the Powell decision will not be a big factor because of this kind of “non racial” thinking, then this is a contradiction. For White people to reject Powell’s endorsement as racial solidarity among Black folks, there MUST be a sense of “White Americans” as a group that has something in common that they do not share with Black Americans. If they don’t see themselves as a group, then how can they perceive a threat to themselves as a group of people with shared characteristics?
People who are shrugging off Powell’s endorsement as mere racial solidarity are not going to be pulling the trigger for Obama, end of story. That line of thinking is their security blanket that Powell’s endorsement will not matter in the main. It is a position that ignores the reality of Powell’s popularity and the real story which is the now snowballing move of moderate Republicans to Obama. There is no way to count this as a win for McCain.