John McCain won all but one of Southwest Virginia’s counties. Barack Obama pulled out a narrow victory in Montgomery.  In Floyd County, Obama pulled 39.02 percent while McCain received 59.01.  The third party candidates and assorted fruitcakes got the rest.

In the Senate race, Democrat Mark Warner pulled down 62.48 percent in Floyd County while Democrat Rick Boucher, running unopposed, tallied 97.93 percent (2.07 percent wrote in other names).  Some exit polls showed three quarters of white voters in Southwestern Virginia voted for Democrat Warner and Republican McCain and half of those admitted that race was a factor.

Hmmmm. Democrats carried two of three races in the county, along with most of Southwestern Virginia.  But a black Democrat who swept most of the rest of the nation couldn’t beat an absent-minded old man saddled with the albatross of George W. Bush’s failed policies and a nut case governor from Alaska.

Some will, of course, claim their vote for McCain was all about the man and his policies and had nothing to do with the color of Obama’s skin.

I’m sure a number of voters made their decision based on policy or philosophy and note race but  too much hate preceded this election season in the mountains of Southwestern Virginia, much of it emanating from the bowels of the rabid right, the pulpits of the ignorant and the armpits of white supremacy. This, unfortunately, is a bastion of fear mongering with unsubstantiated claims that homosexuality is a sin, marriage must ony be between men and women and abortion is murder.

While some may have had honest policy differences with Obama, I believe too many voters in on the Southwestern part of the Old Dominion voted their fears, their stereotypes and their bigotry on Election Day.  Too much hate flowed out of this part of the Commonwealth in this election, from the disgusting emails spread by the anti-Obama extremists, the invective-filled last-minute ad by the “Republican Trust” that dominated TV ads in the final weekend, the racist diatribe of longtime GOP activist Billy May to the anti-Muslim ravings of Virgil Goode. Let’s remember that Southwestern Virginia voted overwhemingly for the racism of former Senator George Allen and the homophobic Marriage Amendment two years ago.

Retiring Virginia Republican Congressman Tom Davis put it best Tuesday when he said the GOP has become “a rural, white political party.”

Still, there were signs of hope in the final results. Obama got almost 40 percent in Floyd County. That’s progress, but we still have a long road before racism is a historical footnote and not a sad reality of modern life.

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137 COMMENTS

  1. Doug’s original post implied that everyone voting against Obama was racist. He has changed it from what it first started out as. Not everyone took his words as implication on racism in the area, but initially it came across that way. I can’t speak for anyone else, but that is how I took his post and this was the reason behind all of my posts.

    I do want to share something. My daughter and I were talking about how school went today. She told me on two occasions that some kids were upset and bashing about Obama being President. My petite little 10 year old daughter stood up to these kids and told them “whether we like him or not, we should give him a chance and see what he can do”. Another kid told her he shouldn’t be President because he is black. She came back with “his race doesn’t matter, it is what he is going to do about things that counts”. I am VERY VERY proud of my daughter and I guess I have raised her right.

  2. I’m a senior in high school, today I was engaged in a politeful conversation with a black friend of mine. We talked about the election. About what it meant. I do agree with him on this.

    I am proud to say as an American, that we have officially moved forward from the darkest, most embarassing days of our nation. In electing a black president we can officially say America is the land of oppurtunity. I am proud to say this. I am proud today that I am experiencing this historic event, one that unifies our country rather than split it.

    Now, fully engaged with him in a conversation, I asked him why ( if he could vote ) he would vote for Obama. His answer: Because he’s black. Simply that’s all he said. I went on to ask him if he was a Christian, and his reply was yes sir. As I explained to him that Obama supports Abortion and Gay Marriage rights he drew a blank. He finally said. Wow. He didnt know. Now granted he can’t vote, but I fear he speaks for many young blacks across the nation. Not akin to Obama’s morals/ policies, but only akin to the fact that he’s Black.

    One more important note. The only thing he seemed to say about Obama was that he was going to get more money. I asked why: “Because he’s gonna take all the rich people’s money and give it to me”. I said. Okay. Imagine this. You win the lottery. 15 mil. The government is going to take 1 million of it, and give it to peope like me and you. His response – ” While Hell No, I’d be pissed off as hell if someone did that to me. How can the go take that money from me? That’s just wrong”.

    Just for the record – Im’ 17. My dad is a school teacher and my mom is a church secretary. I have two brothers. It’s safe to say that we don’t fall into the “rich” category. Do we want other’s money? No, we’ve been making ends meet for as long as I’ve been alive, so why change now. Also, growing up here, in the rural mountains of Va, I have learned the value of hard work. The value of what I work to earn. The value of a neighbor helping a neighbor.

    Not the value of “let’s take the sweat off another mans brow, a little bit of his money, a value that probably won’t affect him at all, and take it to help me live better.” That’s not what I’ve grew up on , and that’s not the way I want to live. I don’t want to live with the governement controlling my life. I can fend for myself, and make ends meet for myself.

  3. Zach your friend is too young and uninformed to speak for anyone, let alone young black voters. We are not single issue voters. Being black and living in America forces us to consider a myriad of societal issues when determining who we will vote for. We are overwhelmingly democratic voters and this year our candidate happened to be black. And clearly, the Republican party offered us very little. Had McCain 2000 showed up without Palin and Joe the Plumber, then I might have had a more difficult time choosing a candidate. But to assume that we chose Obama just because of his race is wrong. We vote the issues like everybody else.

    On your “important note,” sounds like your friend mixed a little Palin-speak with Obama economic policy. Please let your friend know that we already tax the wealthy at a higher rate and that all of our taxes go toward paying for a variety of things and isn’t signed over to us. Unless you live in Alaska. In that socialist state, Governor Palin takes from the wealthy (oil companies) and actually does give each Alaskan a check for $1,500.

    And as for you Doug. How dare you speak the truth about the racist county in which we live! You know nobody likes to hear that because it means that they may actually have to confront the issue and talk about it. Zach is a maverick. He actually goes out of his way to talk about race with a black friend. That’s highly unusual in these parts where it safer to just bash you.

  4. You sir, are the epitome of everything that’s rotten in America. You are like a cancer which needs desperately to be excised.

    You sir, are now a MINORITY, thank heavens.

    You sir, are irrelavent in today’s USA.

    You sir, are an abomination.

    You sir, are not even worthy of the moniker “sir”.

    African Americans are equal to Caucasians, in every way. They have a lovely, joyful, culture. They should be PROUD.

    I am a caucasian, middle-aged woman, not African-American.

    You sir, are what I am most ashamed of in the USA. I hope your kind dies out SOON and NEVER returns.

    Stamp out racism? YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Good for you and your daughter, Monica! You have every right to be proud of her and her wisdom and such a young age.

  6. Just curious, Zach, but why didn’t either Bush revoke Roe v. Wade? Obama does not personally support abortion either. Oh, and because I just can’t resist really getting you going…why shouldn’t gays be allowed the same rights as far as marriage goes?

  7. You DO NOT come on this web site and threaten people. You DO NOT use this web site to spread your homophobia and hate. If anyone needs to be kept away from our children it is you, sir.

  8. I am sorry sir, but you may not dictate how taxpayer dollars are spent on public education simply because someone holds opinions different from yours. Otherwise, those taxpayers should have a similar right to “see to it” that your child’s education does not come at taxpayer expense.

    We know taxpayers have no such right, and you should know that you should not threaten public employees and their jobs. Your proper recourse is to place your child(ren) in private school(s), at your full personal expense, or home school as many folks do in Floyd County.

    The re-distribution of wealth from those who hold differing views than you, via public taxation, to your child’s(ren’s) benefit, is un-American as was so forcefully pointed out to us all during the recent presidential election.

  9. Fred, what are you talking about? Propaganda? I think you are getting carried away with yourself, aren’t you? My children go to WES, and you don’t need to worry because I don’t attend PTA unless my children are in the program. I am not a member of the PTA. My youngest has already participated in the program and the other doesn’t like to participate anyway. I have no desire to be around you or any other small minded people such as yourself. I am very rarely at the school unless I have a parent-teacher conference.

    Because I support gay rights that makes me immoral?

    I strongly suggest you get a grip and be careful you don’t start slandering my name in public. Please leave my childrn out of any concerns you have with me.

  10. How DARE you threaten someone for saying their opinion! You call yourself a CHRISTIAN? Christians don’t behave that way. You are a hypocrite!

    It is NOT for YOU to judge Tracey or ANYONE for how they believe.

    And I would hardly say you were SANE. You are backwards and judgemental.

  11. We may also want to remember that Jesus was crucified at the request of “God fearing people” because he was an “outside agitator” that was “messing it up”. Those “God fearing” folks asked that a criminal be released instead of Jesus, according to the popular account.

    The God I’m familiar with is kind and forgiving. I think some folks just fear everything that they don’t understand– including God.

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