Richard Belzer: “Every Black Kid in America Will Be One Inch Taller the Day After Obama is Elected”


Richard Belzer performs at Comix on Saturday, November 1.

It’s not hype to say that this is the most important American election in history. I’m saying that because FDR was already in office when the Second World War started. And Lincoln was established before the Civil War began.

Not only is there no incumbent or vice-presidential candidate on the ballot this time, this election has boiled down to “Who are we? What is America?”

I don’t think most people understand how dangerous it would be to elect the Republican ticket in 2008. I believe McCain is a genuinely dangerous person. And his age is not the point. I know people in their eighties who are very sharp. My concerns about McCain are that he was tortured for five years during the Vietnam War, which isn’t necessarily ennobling.

Think about his inability to raise his arms above his head. Keep that in mind for someone with such oversized pride and ego, who is so enamored of himself. The fact that he can’t comb his own hair—he must be seething with so much anger for his inability to do the most basic acts. It’s an anger that underscores everything he does. And it’s an anger, in particular, for people who question his judgment.

As for Obama, here’s the community organizer, Harvard Law student, freshman senator, who dares to run for president against the incredibly imposing Clinton machine, which was considered the most powerful, the most well-connected in modern political history. Hillary Clinton thought she was going to stride right into the White House. Both Hillary and McCain are flabbergasted at this young man who spoiled their runs. And Obama hasn’t just beat these old political machines; he’s done it while redefining how candidates raise money—through small donations, not from fat cats.

Every black kid in America will be one inch taller the day after Obama is elected. The rest of the world will see that we’re not the warmongers they think we are. They’ll see that we’re not the racists they think we are. And in the Arab world, this will help heal the scars of Abu Ghraib.

There will be a sigh of relief from both our friends and our enemies.

More artists, writers, and performers on next week’s presidential election here.