I was thinking about this last night. It is something that nobody has talked about yet during this campaign season, but I'll predict that you'll see covered in the opinion/news and on blogs more and more as we near the election:
I would say that there is a small-but-sizable portion of the United States population (perhaps as low as 1%... three million people... but likely higher) who will never accept Barack Obama as their president. They will be virulently — perhaps violently — opposed. Three million people.
(The fact that these people have been whipped into a blood-thirsty frenzy by their pretty, charismatic-Christian V.P. nominee, who has them convinced that Obama is an anti-Christian, baby-killing, Muslim terrorist is most certainly exacerbating an already dangerous situation.)
Just remember, these are people from whom came the crazies of the shootout at Ruby Ridge, the siege of Waco, the bombing in Oklahoma City, the murder and bombing of abortion providers, Stormfront and the Michigan Militia... and they have never faced a challenge to their core, deeply-held political, cultural, racial, and religious values on the scale and scope of what they are about to. It will literally drive some of them (perhaps as low as 1%... thirty thousand people... but likely higher) insane. Insane enough to believe that it is the beginning of the end of the world. Insane enough that they will make major changes to their lives because of the upcoming President Obama. Thirty thousand people. Angry. Insane. At minimum.
I predict that you will see thousands upon thousands of these people arming themselves and (most likely, hopefully) retreating up into the hinterlands to "escape from America" like they did at Ruby Ridge, or (less likely, and sadly) engaging in acts of domestic terrorism like we saw in the 1990s... and probably, tragically, racial violence as well. You can expect to see many more Christian doomsday cults arise in the next 2 to 3 years. (Now is the time to buy stock in firearms manufacturers and camping equipment and survival gear companies.)
I think that the United States has not yet had the discussion as to whether or not we can have a black president: A large portion of America — the portion who need to be convinced that it can and should happen — still believe Barack Obama will lose, and think that the discussion will not need to be held. After the election though, when these people realize what they are faced with, that's when the discussion about the end of the racial Sturm und Drang in America will begin... and I predict that it will not be pretty. (And as above, the anti-Christian, baby-killing, Muslim terrorist labels from Sarah Palin make it so much more likely to lead to violence.)
Like I said — especially after we've all seen the video of the very angry people who have been attending McCain/Palin rallies — this is something we'll all be talking about soon, and unavoidably experiencing shortly thereafter.