Monday, November 17, 2008
POST ELECTION PONDERMENTS: WHAT IF BARACK OBAMA LOST?
There would be riots in the streets. I really believe that. For the first time in modern history, thousands of people, many of them young, took to the streets on election night when it was announced that Barack Obama was the projected winner.
They were mainly well behaved. They pumped their fists into the air and chanted, "O-Bama, O-Bama." Some popped champagne bottles. Others stopped traffic to express their excitement. Many were black. Most were white.
But, to understand my thinking on this, you have to go back a few hours or even a few months. A hostility toward anyone supporting John McCain was building. There were arguments. Friendships ended and tensions escalated when one person would announce to another that John McCain was the better candidate. Inside Brooklyn's Angry Wades bar, where hundreds of people were watching the election results, playful rough housing ensued, beers were spilled by the drunk ones and when one person was asked, "Who did you vote for," the young man's reply drew angry disdain from the nearby crowd. I thought they were going to lynch the kid.
During the night I heard the muffled mutterings of unfinished statements like, "If Obama doesn't win, I'll....." I'm thinking, "I'll, What?" Burn down a building? Break windows? Throw bottles at police? The climate was ripe for a riot.
While most Obama supporters aren't crazy fringe people, many are. They're way left liberals who really feared a McCain win. They had convinced themselves that life as we know it would end and our world would be reduced to radioactive ash.
I've never quite felt the tensions as high as they were during this Presidential campaign. One guy actually told me a few months back that he never wanted to talk to me again, after I told him I'd probably vote for McCain.
I'm not saying there aren't fringe folks on the right, but it seems the fringe liberal bunch outnumbered them 10-to-1. You see, crazy people do crazy things and these left-leaning radicals, I believe, were ready to implode, if Obama lost the election. Tears would turn to anger and the next day's nightly news would feature scenes from cities large and small of "hipster" types running wild on the streets, burning down buildings in protest of a John McCain presidency.