Samuel L. Jackson Votes for Color

"Scary"
Samuel L. Jackson
In a recent interview with Ebony magazine, re-quoted on the New York Post website in Politics of Color, Samuel L. Jackson says he voted for Obama because he was black. Samuel goes on to say:
"Cuz that’s why other folks vote for other people — because they look like them. That’s American politics, pure and simple. [Obama’s] message didn’t mean [bleep] to me. In the end, he’s a politician. I just hoped he would do some of what he said he was gonna do. I know politicians say [bleep]; they lie. ’Cuz they want to get elected."
The interview is notable for some pretty strong language including repeated use of the 'N' word and some fairly radical suggestions that I'm willing to bet many people were thinking but are surprised that Samuel actually said out loud in an actual interview.

Samuel also goes on a bit of a rant, suggesting that Obama should get 'scary' because real N's are scary. Which leads me to think Samuel has played the tough guy just a bit too often and is starting to believe his own movie posters... Sorry Samuel, you're not that scary either. If I had to make a list of actors who I think of as scary, you don't even make the 'maybe' list. (Russell Crowe on the other hand... if he has a telephone close to hand).

But I digress... back to Samuel's quote above claiming that most people vote for people that look like them -  which is immediately on shaky ground when you consider that, if I was a US citizen, I would've voted for Obama too. Yeah, me and Obama, we're practically twins...NOT!

However, moving on to the rest of the quote, I believe Samuel is right on target with the sentiment. For a lot of people it doesn't matter what a politician says or which party they come from, they just vote for who looks the best in their view [NB: I'm using the word 'looks' in the broad sense rather than just physical looks. i.e. how they present themselves, how they handle media, questions etc.], because all politicians can't be trusted to do what they say. 

Which is something of an unfair perception of politicians and their ability to deliver on promises. All they really can do is make sure their promises are put forward for debate and discussion, once in government, and then hope they aren't watered down, butchered or completely thrown out.

Then if a promise doesn't get through the very people that blocked it, use it to perpetuate the idea that a promise has been 'broken'.

To really guarantee election promises you either need to live in a dictatorship or the government has to win with a clear majority that renders all other opposing elected representatives impudent.

Though politicians that change their mind on promises after being elected don't do anything to help the reputation of all politicians either. Yes, I'm looking at you Julia-"No Carbon Tax"-Gillard. Not that I can complain about that, since I voted for the Greens party, who were responsible for changing her mind. I mean who knew you couldn't trust a politicians word!

Which brings me back to Samuel's point. I didn't vote for the Greens because I actually care deeply about their policies. I don't even know half of what they actually stand for. I know broadly that they're about environmental responsibility, equity and empathy on social issues. Much of which I agree with.

However, I also know that all politicians, no matter who I vote for, will want to implement things that I disagree with - like a carbon tax (damn you Julia - you weren't supposed to change your mind on that!).

I just vote for the Greens because they're the only other party that can stop either of the major parties from getting things all their own way. I believe it's important that a government has to work to get its policies through. To do that you've gotta stop them from getting a majority government.

Mission accomplished. I got exactly what I voted for - damn you again Julia!

All I can say is, like Samuel, I just hoped at least some of the things I voted for got through... but not that carbon tax... Julia was my insurance on that. It's why I can vote for the Greens and give my preferences to Labor. I want to see both those parties working together because, broadly, they support things that I agree with and, for the most part, not a lot of the Greens actual policies usually get through.

As you've noticed I haven't really commented much on US politics. To be honest I don't really know a lot, other than I'd be a Democrat voter if I was a US citizen. (After George Bush Jnr. the Republicans have a lot of ground to make up before I'll forgive them for that). However the distrust of politicians is fairly universal no matter where you go.

I think Samuel was right on the money about that.

2 comments:

  1. I completely agree Samuel Jackson is not really that scary. If anything, he is Fury, thanks to a bunch of Marvel artists who decided that long ago.

    But on the matter of politics... When Obama was in the race for the US election, it looked like the whole world had a saying on it, and it was more or less common to choose Obama rather than McCain - or Palin. Obama was the preferred candidate outside the US, and most of the world was not black, or didn't even know what was he promising... George Bush Jr. was such a disgrace the whole world - at least the whole world outside the US - didn't want a Republican in the White House.
    We vote to the people we think will be more fair or will defend better what we think we should do with the world. It is a pity I can't find anyone suitable for the job anymore...

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    Replies
    1. I can't speak for McCain but I think Sarah Palin was more of a hindrance than a help to his campaign from an international point of view. To me she looked a lot like the female George Bush - both fairly intelligent but neither able to articulate that well through the media.

      I'm sure US voters got plenty of international pressure to vote for Obama.

      Obama has a talent for saying the right thing and sounding inspirational rather than scary. He was particularly good at this when he was running for office. Though I think he's struggled to deliver on promises because he doesn't have clear, majority support in congress.

      I agree with your last point totally. In Australia I have the same problem. Politicians here are little more than cardboard. They don't seem to stand for anything or have any opinion that hasn't been work shopped in a party focus group.

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