Something about this headline, and the story that follows it: “Gender or race: Black women voters face tough choices in S.C.“, strikes me as offensively patronizing. Can a voter in South Carolina pick between several available candidates based only on demographics?
Or might the voters be able to discern something more than race and sex?
Isn’t it possible instead that the voters might prefer one candidate over another based on what they might do as President, based on their policy platforms, based on their intelligence and their abilities to govern and lead? Might not an African-American woman in South Carolina, who is registered to vote as a Democrat, rationally prefer John Edwards to Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton? After all, Edwards is offering a substantively different set of policy proposals than the very similar packages offered by Obama and Clinton.
Indeed, might not an African-American woman in South Carolina choose to be registered as something other than a Democrat? I realize that a great majority of them are Democrats, and there probably aren’t very many African-American women in South Carolina who had to choose between John McCain and Mike Huckabee last week, but I think that people these days are a bit more complex and heterogenous than CNN is giving them credit for being.