Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Kinda glad I'm not voting today

Bitch Ph.D. has written the post I would write, if I could think this carefully about my conflicted attitude toward the US Democratic primary.

6 comments:

Jonathan Gray said...

See, I'm really wishing I could vote today. Super Tuesdays and Election Days always make me so frustrated, knowing that whoever gets voted for will have tremendous power in the world, yet only Americans can make that decision. All the more frustrating when half the eligible voters I talk to would rather be at the Giants parade or simply at home watching Dukes of Hazzard reruns than voting.

Great link, though.

I'd also add, though, that I think the way "experience" is used in this campaign risks falling into age-old institutionally racist traps. Speaking of Obama, for instance, quite simply, America isn't set up right now to allow a black man the same opportunities of "experience" as McCain, or even as Clinton (who may've, as Bitch, PhD points out, gotten said experience through hubby, but at least still had a seat at the table, even if at the wives' end of that table). So it's like when Harvard gives legacy points for admissions -- up until very recently, how was a black person meant to get such points? Bitch, PhD's analysis of how the sexism goes (barely) underground with discussions of Clinton could thus be somewhat balanced by how the key criticism against Obama is racialized by its very nature. Not wanting to "roll the dice" on Obama sounds fine in the abstract, but in practice, institutionalized racism continues to the end of time unless the dice start rolling.

Elana Levine said...

Yes, Jon, Americans get to make these decisions, but really only Americans who live in states with primaries today (or previous to today). The wacky American electoral system yet again. My status as American counts today about as much as yours as not American does.

Thanks for emphasizing the racial implications of the experience point, which Bitch PhD also highlights. Amongst many other things, this election points out better than most cultural theory can the inseparability of race and gender as categories of identity and social power.

And don't diss the Dukes!

Jonathan Gray said...

no diss on the Dukes, but just as Boss Hogg learnt, those Duke boys'll always be back later: they ain't going' anywhere.

I'd just like to relieve some people of their voting duties for the day, so we can all be happy. If half or more of the nation don't want to exert their right to vote, why not just let those of us who want to help out? ;-)
Oh well, I guess nothing will be perfect till I have my own fiefdom in the South Pacific...

tvfan said...

I was going to vote, but they scheduled the election while I was on a cruise. Anyway, I think a black man could have "experience", but instead of say, serving as a Navy pilot and showing immense courage as a POW in Vietnam, Obama decided to be a lawyer and whore himself out for a Chicago slumlord buddy. We all have choices in America, his just weren't that inspiring. Also, a belated thanks for the blog, Elana, I enjoy it a lot. And I'll try to leave more uplifting comments in the future.

Jonathan Gray said...

tvfan, Obama was born in 1961, so unless you're espousing pre-teen militia :-), I don't think he was eligible to fight in Vietnam. And if you check up on it, he was a civil rights lawyer, Harvard Law Review's first black president in its very long history, he taught constitutional law at Uni of Chicago for 11 years, and has been a community leader and organizer. You make it sound like he was the bad landlord in Rent, but I find the above combination of advocate, teacher, and leader pretty inspiring and impressive. Kudos to McCain, too, but that shouldn't diminish the equally remarkable achievements of Obama, or any of the other candidates for that matter.

tvfan said...

I know Rent was popular, but if it was so good why have I never heard any of the songs? Anyway even if Obama isn't so bad, it seems in this case that being black is his main qualification. I like his new Utube video and all, but at the end of the day he is unqualified. I'm also amazed that his plan to increase taxes and spending is considered positive change. Ironically, that tends to subsidize negative behaviors, which has devastated the black community in particular.