Is That A Monkey In Your Pocket?

by Amy Zidell
11.04.08 - Part V in a series analyzing, evaluating, and exploring the political and social implications of a 30 lb, 21 inch tall, gold-plated statue of Hindu monkey god, Hanuman, being sanctified and sent by a group in India to American presidential candidate Barack Obama. Parts I, II, & III detail the background of this idol gift.

Disclaimer: No offense or disrespect is intended to the Hindu faith or Hindu people, or worshippers of god Hanuman. If you feel a particular, specific group of people of which you happen to belong to is highlighted in this article and you don't like that, I really think you're being way too sensitive. It is demographics - it's statistics not racist. [Note: For any Republicans that have started election night drinking games early based on the word ACORN, this piece is about D E M O G R A P H I C S not Democrats so please read on.]

Almost Coherent disclaimer: I am low on sleep as I write this so please bear with me in the event some prose is especially Almost Coherent.

Demographics is the number! Number 5 as relates to this series on my list of serious campaign issues, the question "Is that a monkey in your pocket? touches on. The monkey question, raised by news reported in The Times of India: "The idol is being presented to Obama as he is reported to be a Lord Hanuman devotee and carries with him a locket of the monkey god along with other good luck charms." So Obama has  A monkey locket in his pocket/ What's the statistical significance of that? I'm sure someone is doing a real-time, feel-real, focus group assembling on this issue as you read.
  1. Demographics
    Obama's campaign showed tremendous strategic smarts by studying the complicated, convoluted, soon to be recycled [just guessing] portional delegate distribution scheme of the Democrat party and focused his campaign on delegate rich neighborhoods, such that he earned more delegates in some states where Hillary won the state's popular vote. According to my reference material research, portional isn't an actual work. Could that have a deleterious effect on the results of delagation apportionment based on it? Factoring in the arbitrary Super Delegates, it is almost as if a team of very educated, highly intelligent people had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with structuring the Democrat primary. Assuming this Hindu group didn't study demographics, they may be on to something.

    According to the Web Site, which sites the American Religious Identification Survey 2001 [], here are some key United State religious demographics:
     76.5 % Christian
       1.3 % Jewish
       0.5 % Muslim
       0.5 % Buddhist
    < 0.5 % and > 0.3 % Hidu
        0.5 % Agnostic
       0.4 % Atheist
     13.2 % stated No Religion

    I have not located statistics on how many Americans have a monkey locket in their pocket.

    Is there something about Hindus in America cornering the electoral college votes that the rest of us don't know? Are they democratically demographically significant beyond their less than full percentage point representation? When the religion of around 77.8% of your population does not embrace idols, and indeed the self-described religion of the candidate does not, it seems curious to adopt one. I wonder if the idol will register to vote.

[ Previous Part I   | Part II   |   Part III   | Part IV | |   You're reading Part V   |  Part VI   ]

Here are public domain depictions of Hindu God, Hanuman:
    Serious Campaign Issues/Question List
    Is that a monkey in your pocket?
  1. √ Religion
  2. √Monkeys
  3. √Special Interests
  4. √Judgment
  5. Demographics
  6. Silliness

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