Thursday, January 10, 2008

Honestly, I'm going to shut up about this very, very soon!

The psychotic left-wingers who read Salon regularly (or, at least, the ones who comment there) hate Camille Paglia for not being a sufficiently true believer, but I tend to enjoy her writing. I'd say I only agree with about 35% of what she says, which is fine with me. I agree with this:

I will vote for Hillary if she is the nominee of my party, because I want Democrats appointed to the Cabinet and the Supreme Court. But I plan to vote for Barack Obama in the Pennsylvania primary because he is a rational, centered personality who speaks the language of idealism and national unity. Obama has served longer as an elected official than Hillary. He has had experience as a grass-roots activist, and he is also a highly educated lawyer who will be a quick learner in office. His international parentage and childhood, as well as his knowledge of both Christianity and Islam, would make him the right leader at the right time. And his wife Michelle is a powerhouse.

The Obamas represent the future, not the past.
Personally, I'm a bit guilty over allowing my sour grapes to air where everyone can share in their pungent aroma! However, what really bothers me about this race isn't just my usual sense that the fix is in (although there's that too); it's the feeling that we're never going to escape the psychotic left-wingers and right-wingers among us who treat politics like a religious cult. One shudders to think of those Republicans who find it politically expedient to believe that there is absolutely no basis for theories of evolution or climate change or innate homosexuality: they're apparatchiks and one expects that, if Obama was nominated, they would just as fervently believe that he is a jihadist, or a communist, or a pedophile. Actually, according to the posters on the Free Republic site, he's already an "enemy of the state"!

That doesn't make me any more comfortable sharing mental space with those progressives (or regressives) who claim that they're not really fond of Hillary Clinton- a candidate who seemingly combines the arrogant, entitled narcissism of George W. Bush with the inveterate dishonesty and wannabe conservatism of Bill Clinton*- but they're going to support her anyway to teach the media a lesson about sexism. I really do want to think the best of people, and I just can't imagine that anyone would really be so much of a twit as to support a candidate simply to counter "perceived sexism". But in the last few days, I've read way too many variations on: "I don't really support any of Hillary's ideas. But I'm going to vote for her anyway because she's going to really piss off the 'neocons' and the sexists! (To give one example, grabbed basically at random, here's an actual quote from an Edwards supporter: "I will happily, joyfully, gleefully vote for Senator Clinton in the general if she wins the nomination, first and foremost to piss off the fascists, the wingnuts and the gasbags by pissing ON them." And this is what calls itself the "reality-based community"!) I mean, if angering the chauvinists in the media or on the right is a legitimate goal for grounded adults to have, why not just support Britney Spears, a woman who has been endlessly vilified by the media for the crime of suffering from mental illness? "Britney for President: I don't really agree with her, but Rush Limbaugh hates her".

I realize that groups often define themselves in contrast to an imaginary Other. Christ, as a grad student, I'm required to have that sentence tattooed on my ass! I'm just starting to wonder if some people have any other reason to believe the things they do. I wonder if one of the actual drawbacks of Obama for some individuals is that he is willing and able to transcend the party bickering that gives them a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives.

*(Not to mention the goddamned warmongering. Seriously, can't we just elect someone who doesn't want to bomb Iran? Just for, you know, the hell of it?)

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