Trippin’ on Politics

The web is almost where it’s supposed to be.  Using the iPhone I can stream music from my home machine.  From anywhere, pretty much.  That’s cool (and I hope it’s safe).

But I still can’t blog once, publish anywhere.  I want to write a blog on WordPress, say, and have it displayed or at least have the RSS feed consumed by MySpace and Facebook … ‘n stuff.

We’re getting there.  All this tech is headed to one central location for all of your good digital stuff.   Then we’ll have different interfaces, features to your stuff.  Like, for you online personals users, imagine one profile consumed by Yahoo, Match, E-Harmony, and that other one that’s like E-Harmony but allows the gay.

Or create your playlists in iTunes and have them accessible from any device or machine. Even through your car stereo.

We’re close.  Come on, digital paper!


NEW WORLD DISORDER

Of the mental variety.

I have something offensive to say.  I’m sorry.  I thought it.  I’m not proud of it, but it happened.  Please feel free to respond or comment.  And here it is:  Are older white women crazy??  Are they suffering from some sort of psychological disassociation disorder?

Because every time I hear an interview about the election and Obama/McCain/Palin, these older women say some wacky s—.   Here are a few statements explaining why they like and support Palin (paraphrased) that I’ve heard recently:

“Well, maybe she doesn’t have a lot of experience but she’s just so confident.”

“She has a special needs child and I have a special needs child.  She’s a hockey mom and I’m a soccer mom.”

You know what.  I can’t go on.  And not just because I’m drawing a blank.  There were at least three more of those that slipped my mind.  It’s the inverse of what they were saying about Obama.

I asked a friend of mine about this and he said that a lot of them are trying to justify their racism.  I think I have to agree.  I mean, I’m NOT saying that anyone who supports McCain/Palin is a racist.  I just haven’t heard a good reason to think that a  Vice President or President Palin is a good thing (country first?  really?) without all kinds of intellectual hoop jumping.

It’s just like the Harriet Miers nomination for the Supreme Court.

Every explanation I’ve heard has been a rationalization and I say that because none of their statements had anything to do with the issues at hand.  Financial crisis, two wars, some global tensions, housing market, unemployment, energy issues, rising cost of everything and so on.

Nope.  Irrelevant.  It’s all about, “She’s like me.”

Isn’t voting for a woman because she’s a woman as offensive as voting for a man because he’s a man — or NOT a woman.


IT’S NOT THE SAME

I’m going to assume that you, dear reader, are a rational sane human being.  I’m assuming you aren’t the anonymous comment flamers found on so many news site forums.  I will assume that you don’t subscribe to the theory that Obama is a secret Muslim terrorist and/or nigger.

As a rational human being, you may think, “But aren’t black people voting for Obama because he’s black?”

No.  Or I should say that it’s not that simple.  First of all, aside from being black, his experience and my experience aren’t similar at all.  Aside from being black and college educated I can’t think of any surface similarities.

Will it be a historic moment?  Absolutely.  Do I think it’s a sign of accomplishment and progress that we may have a black POTUS?  Right on.  Will a black president be a black people’s president?  Don’t think so.

But either way, please don’t mistake this for blind allegiance and loyalty.  A lot of people assume that black people vote Democratic because they’re brain dead zombies.  There’s a reason why black people vote Democratic.  The right wingers will say that Lincoln was a Republican and so on.  But the party that began to earnestly display a sense of justice toward black people in this country — Civil Rights legislation, Voting Act and so on — happens to be the Democratic Party.

Not perfect.  Not righteous.  Not altruistic.  Yes, also influenced by private/corporate money and influence.

But that’s the reality.  When Republicans vote repeatedly against minimum wage increases and more widespread health care assistance, for draconian immigration policies, and generally in favor of corporations and the wealthy while letting the middle class take the brunt and financial onus it adversely affects the populations that statistically don’t have access to wealth.

I mean, if it were a choice between Al Gore or (pre-affair knowledge) Jon Edwards and, say, Alan Keyes, I feel confident saying that the votes of the “black community” (if it exists) would be for the white guy and not the black guy.

Anyway, I have not heard one black person anywhere say:

“He made that three pointer just like I did that one time — how many guys could do that — so sure he’s ready to be president.”

“He’s got two young daughters and I’ve got young kids.  So he’s got my vote.”

“He lives in a house and I live in a house.”

But that’s been the level of discourse when it comes to Palin.  Drives me nuts.  Arrrrgh, matey!

FALSE EQUALITY

One more thing before I go.  Will the press manage to do its job between now and Election Day?  Even when they finally get down to brass tacks and point out that, say, those recent McCain ads were over the top, or that something Palin or McCain says is patently false, they manage to create a false air of reciprocal behavior.

Like, “Yes, that ad about Obama wanting to teach kindergarteners how to have sex was misleading and sleazy, but both sides have been hitting below the belt.”

Example:  I have a friend that I would sometimes complain about to mutual friends.  Let’s call friend one “Warm Apple Crisp” and friend two “Vegetarian Lasagna”.  The conversation would go a little something like this:

Me: “Man.  Warm Apple Crisp kind of has some really bad B.O. sometimes, huh.  We were in the car the other day and I could barely breathe!”

Vegetarian Lasagna: “Well, everybody has B.O.  The bacteria in our sweat causes…”

Me: “I know.  I know.  Everyone is capable of B.O. but seriously.  It’s just about off the charts. I don’t think that’s healthy.”

Vegetarian Lasagna: “You have B.O. sometimes, too.”

So there I would be efficiently defused.  Warm Apple Crisp’s B.O. may have bordered on the criminal or at least the dangerously unhygienic, but that fact was effectively rhetorically negated.

It’s the same thing with the behavior and, I think, substance of McCain’s recent campaign tactics.  The lobbying ties are outrageous and disturbing to me, but when someone points it out on the news a pundit will say, “Well yes, but Obama has associations with lobbyists as well.”

You’re getting no sense of the order of magnitude because of the excessively balanced play even in matters that are not, in fact, balanced.

Keep your eyes and ears open, eh?

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3 comments

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  1. Sheila Faulstich

    Gary,

    You have written a well formed blog. While I tend to disagree on some points and do not resemble others, I can tell you this much…

    As an older WHITE woman…(Im not sure why this is important)
    I do support McCain/Palin. McCain was NOT my first choice on the GOP side.
    And while I admire what Obama has accomplished, he does not represent my values.

    This has been a very ugly campaign on BOTH sides-and I wish that these tactics would stop. I want to hear what they would like to accomplish, not why they dislike or disagree with each other. I mean, whats the point?

    The press needs to concentrate on what each candidate stands for. And to stop the insanity.

    I do like the fact that whichever side wins….we are making history of some type, whether its to elect the first African-American Pres or the first woman VP.

  2. cnewby run

    not too shabby sir, i’d like to first compliment you on your taste in wordpress themes, unsleepable is very urban art studio … anyway …

    … 2008 may well end up the most historic American election since Lincoln … 100 years from now our descendants will look at this period for answers to questions like “how did they survive financial ruin”, “how did they un-F*** their relations with foreign regions”, “how did they manage access to food and water when so much of the world was poor and depraved”, and on and on … but here’s where i take slight issue …

    what I have absolutely no doubt people will generally *not* be asking 100 years from now is “Was America ready for a woman as VP?” … or, “Was America ready for a black president?”.

    because, of course, the answer in either case is: NO

    And it will continue to be NO until we actually have a black president, or a woman president, or a HAL 9000 president, or a dolphin president, or a cactus president, or an airport urinal cake president. (that last one goes out to your GOP audience)

    Point being, we can never say we’re ready until the question itself seems equally ridiculous to anyone worth asking.

    but we have to start somewhere, and being that i consider myself someone worth asking, i’d like to state for the record that the question is ridiculous …

    as is anyone who simply votes for the guy (or gal) they “feel the most in common with” … we’re talking about politicians here … establishing rapport is *the* campaign fundamental. race, religion, values, social status … all a gimmick of the establishment put on for us rubes 🙂

  3. garyarthuryoung

    hey, guys.

    thanks for the comments. much appreciated.

    Sheila, i appreciate the comments from your p.o.v. keep ’em coming whenever you feel the urge. i read some of your blog, too. i like the cut of your gib.

    chris. do you have a blog you’ve been keeping up with?

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